The New York State Rural Housing Coalition, Inc. is issuing a call for workshops for the 2017 Affordable Housing and Rural Development Conference. The Conference has been the premiere annual training event for rural community development practitioners in New York since 1979. The Coalition has successfully incorporated peer-led trainings, as well as professional presenters, into the conference experience in the past.
Subject Matter: The Rural Housing Coalition seeks workshop proposals from qualified presenters on a variety of subjects related to the development and preservation of affordable housing in rural communities in New York, as well as other community development and community revitalization programs suitable for rural communities in New York State. All content must have a goal of building the capacity of rural community development and housing professionals to undertake housing activities and community development projects, including development of affordable rental housing, preservation and rehabilitation of substandard single family homes, home ownership assistance programs and housing counseling, rental assistance, Main Street revitalization, public facilities financing or development, creative economic development financing and implementation, or inter-disciplinary collaboration. A key element of the Conference is information sharing on innovative financing techniques or financial tools in support of community revitalization or affordable housing development. The Coalition is also interested in workshop trainings on organizational development, financial management, succession planning and staff recruiting, staff supervision and oversight, and other similar issues that impact non-profit sustainability. All training content must reflect the unique challenges of working in the rural communities of New York State, including project scale, resource limitations, lack of infrastructure, and geographic isolation.
Venue: The venue for the 2017 Conference has not yet been finalized. At the present time, it is presumed that the Conference will be held at a hotel conference center in a central New York location, for ease of access from all parts of New York. There will be a number of breakout rooms for concurrent workshop sessions, with the rooms generally seating 45 or more attendees.
Audience: The audience for the Affordable Housing and Community Development Conference are non-profit and municipal affordable housing and community development program and project operating and management staff, supplemented by housing consultants, property managers, tax credit syndicators, CPAs, mortgage lenders, CDFIs, philanthropy staff, healthy homes specialists, and engineering firms.
The overall conference attendance for the past two years has been just shy of 200 persons. Attendance per session does vary, and attendees are permitted to move between tracks and workshops at will, as the Coalition does not enforce registration in any specific session.
Workshop Format: The Coalition’s Annual Conference traditionally takes place over a day and a half. Every effort is made to organize the event in tracks based on subject matter or target audience. Presenters are invited to suggest tracks, or to propose a series of workshops to complete an entire track. The first day of the conference typically consists of four 90 minute workshops, separated by 15 minute coffee breaks and a 90 minute luncheon. Where appropriate, workshops may be combined to provide a longer session to accommodate more complex subject matter. This model can work well if the content can be organized into 90 minute modules.
The second day usually consists of two 90 minute workshops separated by a 15 minute coffee break. The second day of the conference concludes with the closing luncheon. The Coalition sometimes includes a pre-conference day at the event for targeted full-day trainings leading to certification in a particular subject area. These trainings often require attendees to pay additional tuition fees.
Form of Proposal: Qualified presenters are invited to submit a proposal detailing the issue or issues that the workshop is designed to resolve, a synopsis of the workshop content, listing of all anticipated presenters/co-presenters, and the target audience for the presentation. Please include a list of materials and handouts for distribution to the audience, preferred classroom seating arrangement, needed equipment or materials for presentation purposes, and a line item budget detailing all expected costs. Proposals for an entire training track are welcome and encouraged.
The Rural Housing Coalition respectfully requests that presenters refrain from using the workshop content as an opportunity for a sales pitch for their products or services. We encourage the use of networking opportunities throughout the conference for that kind of information sharing and connecting with our attendees.
To submit a workshop idea, or a formal proposal, please email the Coalition staff no later than February 28, 2017 at email@example.com.