Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond, a Thompson Coburn partner, this week hosted a two-day conference in St. Louis this week addressing our nation’s housing challenges.
In October 2011, Bond joined the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission as a co-chair. The Commission aims to reform the nation’s housing policy by crafting realistic and actionable policy recommendations that address long-term challenges in the housing sector. Throughout 2012, the Commission is visiting different regions of the country and holding roundtables in Washington, D.C., to hear first-hand from stakeholders and interest groups about the housing challenges affecting citizens.
As one of the co-chairs, Bond was able to bring the Commission to St. Louis.
At a roundtable on community lending on Monday, Bond joined his fellow BPC Commissioners, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, and bank presidents and CEOs from the St. Louis region. Later, Bond led the BPC Commissioners on a visit of three of St. Louis’ most successful housing developments: Murphy Park, Renaissance Place, and 6 North. Formerly dilapidated and crime-ridden public housing, the developments now are mixed-income housing properties that have helped anchor neighborhood revitalization.
On Tuesday, Bond, the BPC, and the Jack Kemp Foundation held a large public forum to discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in solving our nation’s housing problems.
“Too many Americans remain trapped in unaffordable or unsafe housing,” Bond said. “Yet with scarce federal resources and partisan gridlock in Washington any real solution may seem impossible. That is why I am so proud to showcase St. Louis’ many success stories, which prove that bipartisan, innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors can transform neighborhoods and revitalize our communities.”
The all-day event featured U.S. Reps. Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan, James Bullard, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. Local and national housing experts also spoke about the need for comprehensive resident services, homebuyer education programs, and rental housing preservation to protect and support renters and homeowners going forward.
The event received news coverage by the Associated Press, KMOX and St. Louis NPR affiliate KWMU.