The National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C., is hosting a daylong conference in conjunction with the ongoing How Housing Matters to Families and Communities five-year initiative funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The event also integrates a HUD exploration of stable housing as a means to improve health, wealth, and education. This interdisciplinary event open to architects, policymakers, urban planners, and others interested in community development will present research and case studies on how secure and affordable housing opportunities positively impact employment, physical and mental health, neighborhood development, and the well-being of children. “We know these correlations intuitively,” says the museum’s vice president for education, Scott Kratz, “but it’s important to put hard facts and numbers in front of policymakers.”
The focus of conference planners, Kratz explains, is to bring together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to explore three primary themes about the affects of housing on children’s academic achievement, economic opportunities through job training and resources, and health issues such as allowing seniors to age safely in place. The response so far has been tremendous. More than 300 people have registered so far, and the conference doesn’t take place until Nov. 2. There is still room to sign up for the event online. Details on presenters and specific session topics will be posted on the NBM website as they become available. The conference qualifies as 6 CEUs for members of the AIA and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).