The Housing Ohio 2021 Conference

COHHIO’s first-ever virtual conference
April 5th-7th, 2021

Housing Ohio is COHHIO’s annual conference to convene advocates, practitioners, and experts to explore new and innovative approaches to ending homelessness and expanding access to affordable housing in Ohio. This year’s event will occur online due to the ongoing pandemic. (See Full Agenda)

Scheduled for April 5 – 7, Housing Ohio 2021 occurs during a critical junction – just over one year since the coronavirus reached Ohio, and a few months after the inauguration of a new president in the White House. This event provides an opportunity to take stock of the extraordinary challenges the pandemic has thrust on people experiencing homelessness and those who serve them, as we plot a new course toward a healthier, more equitable, and durable response to housing insecurity.

Ann Marie Oliva and Richard Cho

This year’s conference opens Monday, April 5 with an appearance from the new U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, followed by a panel discussion featuring Richard Cho, HUD’s new Senior Advisor for Housing and Services, and Ann Oliva, visiting senior fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. During this plenary session “Covid, Housing & Homelessness: Our Path Forward,” Richard and Ann join COHHIO’s own Bill Faith to explore how we can emerge from this pandemic to create a healthier homelessness system that’s prepared to respond to future crises and connects people to permanent housing solutions.

Tuesday’s plenary “Equitably Transforming Our Community Response to Homelessness” builds on this theme by applying a racial equity lens. Nationally renowned policy strategist and social justice activist Marc Dones and Samantha Batko, senior research associate at the Urban Institute, both contributors to the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response will share lessons learned from working with communities, what policy shifts are needed right now, and how we can transform systems to achieve housing justice. We’ll also hear Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik discuss the state’s efforts to stabilize at-risk Ohioans during the pandemic.

Wednesday morning’s plenary “Tackling the Affordable Housing Crisis” starts off with comments from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the new Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Development Committee, who will share his plans for increasing the Senate’s attention to affordable housing and homelessness issues. Then we’ll host a panel discussion with National Low Income Housing Coalition President & CEO Diane Yentel, who has advocated tirelessly for a robust federal response to pandemic-induced housing insecurity, and Zillow economist Alexandra Lee, who will discuss how the pandemic has affected decades-old trends in America’s affordable housing shortage. They will highlight the Biden administration’s ambitious proposals to expand housing access for struggling Americans.

Conference Details

Membership Discount
COHHIO’s organizational members get a $15 discount off every employee’s conference registration. You can join COHHIO or renew your organization’s membership at the same time you register for the conference – just add the membership option that corresponds to your organization’s annual budget before you check out. If you are unsure of your organization’s membership status please email or call Manuel Quintero at 614-280-1984 (ext. 127).

Sponsors and Presenters
Please enter your discount codes when finalizing your registration. If you are unsure of your codes please contact Marcus Roth at 614-280-1984 (ext. 111).

Cancellation/refund policy
Cancellation requests must be made in writing and received prior to March 26 at 5:00 p.m. to receive a full refund. Refunds will not be given for no-shows. No-shows are required to pay the registration fee if they do not cancel their registration. Please email cancellation requests to or fax 614-463-1060.

Continuing Education Units
Attendance at Housing Ohio sessions is eligible for up to 9 social work CEUs. CEU codes will be provided at the conclusion of each session. Please note: CEUs will be provided only to those attending live sessions – not recorded videos. 

A limited number of scholarships will be available to those who demonstrate a financial burden and would not otherwise be able to attend the conference. Scholarships are limited to one per organization. Submit your written request via email, to The deadline is March 15. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Problems? email Manuel Quintero or call 614-280-1984 x127.

The Housing Ohio conference is made possible with major support from the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Housing Ohio Conference Agenda

Monday, April 5


10:00am – 11:30am

Covid, Housing & Homelessness: Our Path Forward The pandemic revealed health and safety vulnerabilities in our homeless system, which has long depended to a great extent on congregate shelters to serve unhoused Ohioans. Providers have been working overtime to implement new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among Ohio’s homeless population. Join COHHIO’s Bill Faith, Richard Cho, HUD’s Senior Policy Advisor, and Ann Oliva, visiting senior fellow of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, to learn how can we emerge from this public health crisis to create a healthier homelessness response system that can respond to future crises and connect people to permanent housing solutions.

Workshop Set A

11:30am – 12:30pm

Evicted: Lessons from Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Matthew Desmond cast a spotlight on America’s eviction crisis, noting that evictions are not just a symptom of poverty, but a cause. Localities across the country, including several in Ohio, are taking action. Hear from presenters working in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati to stem the tide of evictions, protect tenants, and prevent homelessness.
Housing at the Center: A Foundation to Thrive In this session we will hear how providers utilize housing programs to meet the needs of special populations in Ohio. This session highlights the Ohio 811 project which provides rental subsidies to low-income Ohioans with disabilities; Scholar House which gives young parents the stability to advance their education; and EDEN Inc.’s Returning Home Ohio program, which connects returning citizens to private rental units.
Impact of Hotels as Non-Congregate Emergency Shelters Researchers from the University of Washington and the King County, Washington recently studied the use of non-congregate hotel settings to serve people experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area. Their findings help inform future strategic responses to homelessness and public health crises as a return to high-density shelters may not be an option due to ongoing public health concerns.

Workshop Set B

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Community Action Agencies’ Role in Ending Homelessness During the ongoing pandemic, Community Action Agencies in Ohio are playing a critical role in the administration of emergency rental assistance for people affected by job and income loss. We will hear how CAAs have targeted these resources to households most in need and how they are implementing these programs in ways that make them accessible to help at-risk Ohioans avoid eviction and homelessness
Street Outreach in the Era of Coordinated Entry Effective Coordinated Entry systems incorporate street outreach so that people living on the land can access permanent housing resources. Unfortunately, there are often gaps in the interface between the point of engagement and the resolution of homelessness. Learn about best practices for the transition from street outreach to housing, and how data can better inform outreach and ensure integration with other services.
Affordable Housing Development Principles: What, Who & How Affordable housing is crucial for ending homelessness and promoting housing stability for low-income Ohioans. Presenters will demystify the affordable housing development process and explain how Low-Income Housing Tax Credits work, illustrating these concepts with several local case studies.

Tuesday, April 6


10:00am – 11:30am

Equitably Transforming Our Community Response to Homelessness The struggles of communities to respond effectively, urgently, and equitably to the needs of people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed what we already knew but have not addressed: our homelessness response systems must be transformed and reimagined, and redesigned to achieve racial equity and justice. Marc Dones and Sam Batko will discuss the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response Project, a collaborative call to action delivered by people who have experienced homelessness and homelessness response systems. They’ll share lessons learned from communities, what policy shifts are needed right now, and how we can transform systems to achieve housing justice.

Workshop Set C

11:30am – 12:30pm

Segregated City: The Lasting Impact of Redlining, Sundown Towns and More Historic patterns of discriminatory lending, zoning, and restrictions on African-Americans’ freedom of movement have left a lasting impact on communities around the country. In this session we’ll explore how these practices shaped our present-day neighborhoods and American society.
Problem Solving: A Conflict Resolution Approach to Homelessness Prevention Problem Solving is a client-centered, conflict resolution approach that helps clients identify their own strengths and resources to empower them to create their own paths out of homelessness. This session delves into the Problem Solving philosophy and provides interactive activities to build effective techniques.
Healthy Beginnings at Home: Better Birth Outcomes through Rental Assistance Healthy Beginnings at Home, an innovative partnership between housing and healthcare providers in Columbus, is laying the groundwork to demonstrate the positive benefits of safe, stable and affordable housing on maternal and infant health. During this session, Healthy Beginnings partners will discuss their findings, and ongoing efforts to expand this pilot project beyond Columbus.

Workshop Set D

1:00am – 2:00pm

Identifying and Supporting Decompensation in Your Program The pandemic’s negative impact on mental health is widespread, but an individual who is decompensating in your housing program can cause greater instability and jeopardize their own ability to remain safely housed. In this session, presenters will explain how to identify signs of decompensation and help these individuals maintain their housing and the safety of your program.
Beyond a Home: Building Meaningful Supports in Communities As homeless services providers, we are capable of physically ending a person’s homelessness, but helping someone find a true home is a more complicated challenge. Hear from professionals working to help individuals find a sense of belonging with friends, neighbors, and social networks through pragmatic training in advocating for oneself, public speaking, and conflict resolution.
Fair Housing: Animals in Housing & Shelters The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against protected classes, including those with a disability. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation. Both laws allow for people with disabilities to have animals to assist them. Learn exactly how these protections apply to shelter and housing programs, and how they implemented strategies to meet the needs of the individual and the animal.

Wednesday, April 7


10:00am – 11:30am

Tackling the Affordable Housing Crisis The pandemic and economic recession have exposed many cracks in the foundation of our system, particularly with the growing affordable housing shortage at a time when we’re all advised to stay home. Kicking off this plenary is Sen. Sherrod Brown, the new Chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Development Committee, who will share his plans for increasing the Senate’s attention to housing and homelessness issues. Then we’ll hear National Low Income Housing Coalition President & CEO Diane Yentel and Zillow economist Alexandra Lee explore emerging trends in the decades-old affordable housing shortage problem and share ideas for how the Biden administration can adopt new federal policies to expand access to homes for struggling Americans.

Workshop Set E

11:30am – 12:30pm

Public Policy Advocacy & Debate  Join this interactive session hear about COHHIO’s efforts to advance better state and federal policies and secure adequate funding to expand affordable housing and end homelessness. Meet legislators and learn how to effectively put your advocacy skills into action.
Strategies to Ensure DV Survivors Aren’t Twice Victimized Domestic Violence survivors face numerous challenges to achieve housing stability. In this session, we’ll learn how communities have used rapid rehousing, Coordinated Entry and more to address the unique needs of DV survivors.
Shared Housing: Opportunities & Challenges The convergence of demographic trends with today’s economic realities indicates a new openness to shared living as an innovative, lower-cost alternative housing model to reduce and prevent homelessness among individuals and families. Discover how this approach uses existing and underutilized housing to overcome affordable housing challenges.

Workshop Set F

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Improving Services for Human Trafficking Victims Discover the shocking reality of human trafficking in Ohio, and see how housing interventions can help survivors overcome their trauma. Learn to identify and serve people through wrap-around programs that target human trafficking survivors.
Tackling Health Disparities for People Experiencing Homelessness This session highlights a case study of the Family Health Program, a localized intervention designed to improve health outcomes at a Permanent Supportive Housing campus. Learn strategies to improve health and well-being by expanding access to health services through training and education, and how to turn a demonstration grant into a sustainable project by strategically building community partnerships.
Meeting the Housing Needs of Individuals Diagnosed with HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS has become more of a manageable chronic disease over the past decade. As with any chronic health condition, providers still need to know about the unique needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Panelists will offer a variety of approaches for housing providers and case managers to support people with resources that can help them thrive at home and in their community.

Thank you Housing Ohio 2021 sponsors!

Other confirmed 2021 sponsors include:


Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County

AmeriHealth Caritas

AT&T Ohio

Barbara Poppe & Associates

Buckeye Community Hope Foundation

Buckeye Health Plan


CHN Housing Partners

Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

Community Housing Network

Corporation for Supportive Housing

Duke Energy

Enterprise Community Partners

Episcopal Retirement Services

Fairfield Homes

Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati

Finance Fund

First Financial Bank



JPMorgan Chase


The Kroger Co.

Ice Miller LLP


Mertens & Stickler CPAs

Miami Valley Housing Opportunities

Millennia Housing Companies

Model Group

Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.

Mount Carmel Health System

Mutual of America

National Church Residences

National Equity Fund, Inc.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Novogradac & Co., LLP

New Era Benefits Consulting


Ohio State University College of Social Work

Park National Bank


Preservation of Affordable Housing

The Provident Companies

RiverHills Bank


Star Title Agency

Stock Development Company

The Community Builders

Third Federal Savings & Loan

Tidwell Group

U.S. Bank

VSI Insights

Wallick Communities

WesBanco Bank

Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.

Other Supporters Include:

Porter Wright

St. Mary Development Corp.

Wanted: Housing Ohio 2021 Sponsors
Contact Marcus Roth, Communications/Development Director, 614-280-1984 X 111;