Surging home prices and escalating rents — in combination with a severe housing shortage — have created an affordability crisis for many Jacksonville residents. Incomes have not kept pace with rising costs. Indeed, if you measure average incomes against average home prices, Florida has become America’s least affordable place to live
According to Andrew Ross, author of Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing, the inability of many Americans to afford safe and stable housing is “the biggest crisis in the country.” So what can we do about it? On August 3, we’re convening a panel of experts to discuss the factors that are contributing to Jacksonville’s housing affordability crisis, as well as what steps stakeholders can take to lessen the impact on our city’s residents. The program will be held at Jessie Ball duPont Center, located at 40 East Adams Street, and begins at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 each. Street parking is available (and parking is free after 6 p.m.). Refreshments will be available during the program. Come early or stay downtown after the TEDxJacksonville event ends to enjoy Jacksonville’s First Wednesday Art Walk, which also takes place on August 3. Seating is limited, so secure your seats today.

Discussion Leaders:

Dr. Irvin CohenDr. Irvin PeDro Cohen: LISC Jacksonville. Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen is the Executive Director of LISC Jacksonville. Dr. Cohen is a Jacksonville, FL native and he received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of North Florida, an MBA in Marketing from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, NC, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Urban Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. His research is largely centered on the social well-being (education, healthcare and economics) of low socioeconomic communities, particularly the role the African American church plays within that space.
David GarfunkelDavid Garfunkel: LIFT JAX. David Garfunkel is President of LIFT JAX, an initiative of business and community leaders working to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville. David leads LIFT JAX in its role as Community Quarterback, the nonprofit organization that drives the community revitalization initiative in Jacksonville’s Eastside in partnership with resident leaders. Prior to joining LIFT JAX, David worked for five years at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm focused on finding new ways to advance social change.
Dawn LockhartDawn Lockhart: Director of Strategic Partnerships, City of Jacksonville. Dawn Lockhart was appointed the inaugural Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mayor Lenny Curry in 2016, where she is responsible for developing a shared agenda between the private sector, philanthropy, nonprofits, and government. Working across all sectors, Ms. Lockhart develops strategic partnerships to facilitate innovative collaborations and program policy reforms resulting in better outcomes for all citizens. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Mayor-elect Economic Development Transition Team.
Shannon NazworthShannon Nazworth, Ability Housing. Shannon Nazworth is President and CEO of Ability Housing, a position she has held since 2003. Ability Housing is dedicated to building strong communities where everyone has a home. Its vision is a society where housing is a right, not a privilege, and all individuals have safe, affordable housing in vibrant communities. Nazworth brings more than 20 years of experience in the affordable housing sector. Nazworth is also Chair of the State of Florida Council on Homelessness, immediate past president of the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition, and was a gubernatorial appointee to both the Florida Affordable Housing Workgroup and Affordable Housing Study Commission.