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How Cities Are Making Holistic Housing Policy

Building housing is no longer the only goal.

December 14, 2021

In cities across the United States, affordable housing policies are moving beyond simply building homes for low-income residents. Accessible housing can be the starting point in a drive to advance goals related to climate change mitigation, anti-displacement, equitable internet access and more.

Watch Next City Housing Correspondent Roshan Abraham as he leads a panel discussion with city officials from Austin, Boston and New York City to discuss programs in those cities that highlight the Right to Return, net-zero emissions housing projects, and mandatory broadband access in all new affordable housing construction.



Roshan Abraham
Housing Correspondent, Next City

Roshan Abraham is a journalist whose reporting on criminal justice, housing and health has appeared in VICE, The Verge, Pacific Standard, The Village Voice, and more. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, Roshan was an Open City Fellow and a Witness Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop.



Greg Casar
Austin City Council Member

A native Texan, son of Mexican immigrants, and community organizer, Gregorio “Greg” Casar currently serves on the Austin City Council representing the city’s lowest income district. He has a proven track record of successfully fighting for working Texans on issues of labor rights, reproductive justice, immigration reform, civil rights, and more. Despite the uphill battle in Texas, Casar successfully raised wages for thousands of workers, ended all personal marijuana arrests in his city, and closed inexcusable tax loopholes for the wealthiest.


Jolie Milstein
President and CEO, New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH)

Jolie Milstein is President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). She joined NYSAFAH from Praxis Housing, where she was responsible for creating the organization's permanent supportive housing developments, and has an extensive background in economic development, business management, and finance. A licensed architect, Jolie holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, a Master of Architecture from UCLA and the Architecture Association and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University. She is also adjunct faculty at the Fordham University Real Estate Institute.


Jessica Boatright 
Deputy Director for the Department of Neighborhood Development's Neighborhood Housing Development Division

Jessica Boatright is the Deputy Director for the Department of Neighborhood Development's Neighborhood Housing Development Division, where she manages a professional staff of development officers, architects and construction specialists. This team works diligently to ensure that public funding is wisely invested in strong affordable housing developments that will serve their local neighborhoods and the citizens of Boston.

Prior to joining DND, Jessica worked at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, leading efforts to expand and innovate on their mission and to increase the availability of housing affordable for all. 

Before Dorchester Bay, Jessica held key positions at several organizations and agencies, focusing on preserving and growing supportive housing, managing organizational development and strategic planning activities, and directing community planning projects around the country.

Jessica received a Master in City Planning and a Certificate in Urban Design from MIT, a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis and Anthropology from Pomona College, and completed the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. Jessica is a Massachusetts native and an active member of the Roslindale community, where she lives with her family.

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