HUD Regional Administrator Ophelia Basgal Keynote Speaker at National Conference

[Photo: Ophelia Basgal, wearing lei, speaking from podium] Ophelia Basgal, wearing lei, speaking from podium

HUD Regional Administrator (RA) Ophelia Basgal traveled to Honolulu September 11-12, 2012 as a keynote speaker at the National Conference on Affordable Housing in High Cost Areas. The three-day conference offered workshops, informative presentations by national experts, exhibits and networking, and was attended by hundreds of community professionals, stakeholders and interested parties from across the country, as well as American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

RA Basgal was the keynote speaker on September 12 and spoke about the many challenges facing the housing community and the need for innovative solutions. She stated that the solutions to affordable housing have to be place-based and integrate education, economic development, transportation, and energy efficiency along with the preservation of existing housing and the development of new housing.

RA Basgal co-addressed a conference breakout session on holistic community revitalization and HUD's Choice Neighborhoods. The topic covered detailed successful strategies to revitalize urban neighborhoods through the redevelopment of public housing into mixed-income communities.

Additionally, RA Basgal convened a special post-conference session for HUD Hawaii grantees on "The Cost of Housing and True Affordability." The session focused on the combined cost of housing and transportation and the Location Affordability Index to calculate true affordability of housing choice and inform investment and policy decisions on housing and transportation.

On September 10, 2012, before the conference, RA Basgal attended the first meeting of the State of Hawaii's Interagency Council on Homelessness held at the State Capitol. She joined Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombi; Colin Kippen, the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness; Mark Chandler, Director of Community Planning and Development and the HUD representative on the Council; Michael Flores, Acting Field Office Director; and a number of community stakeholders.

Together they joined in kicking off the development of an ambitious ten-year plan to address homelessness in all Hawaii counties. In Honolulu alone, there are 4,353 homeless based on a January 2012 point-in-time count.

Before her departure to return home on Thursday, September 13, RA Basgal, Michael Flores and Cecilia Fong, Management Analyst in the Honolulu Field Office, met with representatives of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for the State of Hawaii to discuss the current status of the State's efforts to educate homeowners on mortgage foreclosure relief. RA Basgal shared what other communities in HUD's Region IX are doing to help homeowners with loan modifications.


Content Archived: February 20, 2014