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Not just talk, but making a difference

From housing to college affordability, the Institute and its conferences

March 19, 2020

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Free tuition is now part of the national conversation. For some, like Nicole-Lynn Riel of Tullahoma, Tenn., it worked. In Tennessee, community colleges are free. Riel graduated from Motlow State Community College in May 2017 without debt, worthy of a hug from her mother.
Free tuition is now part of the national conversation. For some, like Nicole-Lynn Riel of Tullahoma, Tenn., it worked. In Tennessee, community colleges are free. Riel graduated from Motlow State Community College in May 2017 without debt, worthy of a hug from her mother, and sure to be a topic at the Institute’s fall conference. Joe Buglewicz/Redux/New York Times
Not just talk, but making a difference

Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute conferences serve as a gathering place for research and policy exchange by scholars, practitioners, lawmakers, and community leaders. And that’s what the Institute did at its October 2019 fall conference, “Expanding and Diversifying Housing: Approaches and Impacts on Opportunity.”

The event tackled issues such as the effect new market-rate housing has on housing costs for people at all income levels, the impact of regulations on housing supply, and the link between access to housing and improved outcomes for residents and communities.

Policymakers and practitioners shared data and challenges at the Institute’s fall housing conference.

“We were trying to talk about a focused question that people need answers to,” said Institute Director Abigail Wozniak. That’s the approach of all Institute conferences.

The Institute’s next conference, scheduled for May 7, will tackle another pressing issue of public concern: college affordability. The big question: “Higher Ed: Who Pays?” Panelists will examine a range of funding options, from the current system where students mostly pay their own way to policies that promise free college for all.

“We care about a system that helps people find the education and training they need and get high-quality versions of that,” Wozniak said. But accessibility needs to be balanced with long-run viability, she said.

Tu-Uyen Tran
Tu-Uyen Tran
Senior Writer