Annual Right to Housing Forum
Each year, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty hosts a National Forum on the Human Right to Housing. People who are currently or formerly homeless, attorneys, government officials, and advocates from across the country gather in Washington, D.C., to organize and strategize on ways we can work to end the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness.
Our National Forum provides a valuable opportunity for people and organizations that do diverse work in the housing and homelessness sector to work together to create innovative and effective ways to fight homelessness. This year’s Forum is generously hosted by Hogan Lovells LLP (555 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20004) and will be held June 5 and 6.
2019 Forum Agenda at a Glance
Wednesday, June 5th
9-9:30am Welcome and Setting the Stage
- Maria Foscarinis, Founder and Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
- T. Weymouth Clark, Pro Bono Partner Hogan Lovells LLP
- Khadijah Williams, NLCHP Board Member
9:30-10am Opening Keynote
- Amanda Andere, Chief Executive Officer of Funders Together to End Homelessness
10-11:15am Rotating Roundtables: HNH Successes and Challenges
At the HNH Rotating Roundtables, come and get a taste of a variety of different topics related to the successes and challenges faced by members of the Housing Not Handcuffs Campaign.
- Panhandling Campaign- Pierre Collins (Emerson National Hunger Fellow at NLCHP)
- Privatization of Public Space- Nikita Price (Picture the Homeless), Paul Boden (WRAP)
- Vigilantism- Megan Hustings and Annie Leomporra (NCH), Amirio Freeman (FRAC)
- Corporate responsibility- Kelley Cutler and Armando Garcia (SF Coalition)
- Family homelessness- Claas Ehlers (Family Promise)
- Youth homelessness- Brandy Ryan and Marta Beresin (NLCHP)
11:15am-12:30pm Plenary- Martin: What Does it Mean and Where Do We Go Next with Litigation?
Martin v. Boise sets an important precedent that litigators can build on within the 8th Amendment context, including in moving us toward at least shelter, if not housing, remedies. Other legal theories can also help complement and enlarge the space opened up through the Martin decision. This panel will discuss what the decision means and does not mean, and how we can strategically maximize its impact in the courts.
- Carol Sobel (Law Office of Carol Sobel), Christian Abasto (Disability Rights CA), David Peery (Camillus Health Concern), Eric Tars (NLCHP), Michael Bern (Latham & Watkins LLP), Wookie Kim (ACLU of Hawai’i)
1:30-2:45pm Plenary- Martin: Where Do We Go Next with Policy?
In addition to opening up new possibilities in the courts, the Martin decision provides new leverage for policy advocacy to stop the criminalization of homelessness, prevent homelessness through renters’ rights, and create more affordable, accessible housing in our communities. This panel will discuss how we can ensure communities see Martin not as a limitation on what they can do, but as an opportunity to implement better policies and best practices to end homelessness, rather than criminalize its symptoms.
- John Pollock (National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel), Pete White (Los Angeles Community Action Network), Sara Rankin (Seattle University School of Law Homeless Rights Advocacy Project), Terese Howard, (Denver Homeless Out Loud), Tristia Bauman (NLCHP)
2:55pm-4:35pm Beyond Martin: Breakout Sessions
4:40-5:30pm Reconvene and Debrief
- Stand Up Set by Shahera Hyatt (Executive Director of California Homeless Youth Project)
Thursday, June 6th
8-9am Breakfast and Networking
9-9:20am Reorientation to Today’s Tasks
9:30-11:30am Beyond Martin: Breakout Sessions II
11:30-12:30pm Report back, Closing Debrief, and Next Steps
2018 National Forum on the Human Right to Housing
For our 2018 National Forum, more than 150 advocates and leaders, from over 100 organizations and 30 states gathered in Washington, D.C.
2018 Keynote speaker Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing.
2017 National Forum on the Human Right to Housing
2017 keynote speaker Peter Edelman, Director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality with NLCHP Board Member Julie Jordan (left) and NLCHP Executive Director and Founder Maria Foscarinis (right).
Plenary discussion on the effects of the 2016 election on the federal environment and how this affects work related to homelessness and poverty. Speakers included: Sarah Mickelson, Don Saunders, and Chiraag Bains.