Friday, June 20, 2008

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing

The Colorado Blue Ribbon Panel on Housing met from October of 2004 to November of 2005. When it was created, the panel was the first statewide panel in 17 years to examine housing policy in Colorado.

In order to make the panel truly reflective of the many interests involved in housing in Colorado, it was my job to assemble members from the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors in order for them to come together and produce recommendations on a statewide housing agenda.

Members were generally chief executives from the local for-profit sector such as owners of single-family housing construction firms and directors of economic development groups; or they were board members from professional associations like the Realtors Association; or they were government representatives like county commissioners, mayors, city managers, and members of the General Assembly.

I put together the monthly agendas, arranged the meetings, and ensured the members were satisfied with the progress being made. I screened presenters and arranged for informational presentations and developed the final recommendations. By the end of the process, the panel members can formed a cooperative group whose final recommendations effectively set the tone for housing policy for quite some time.

I wrote the final 60-page report which can be found here:

To provide an opportunity for more localized views to inform the Panel, I organized six local advisory committees known as roundtables. These groups represented six different regions of the state including mountain rural resort areas, the eastern plains, and southern Colorado.

In some cases I organized statewide videoconferencing to allow all groups to see each other, and I traveled throughout the state to meet with local representatives from each group. Most members of these groups were local elected officials or affordable housing officials from non-profit groups.

The Panel's report and conclusions eventually set the agenda for a statewide public policy agenda regarding housing and local government.