Confronting Barriers

Wednesday September 16, 2020

9:00am to 3:15pm

Confronting Barriers is Virginia’s Fair Housing Summit. HOME hosts this summit to educate and discuss legislative, administrative, and social issues that affect equal access to housing. The summit is an opportunity for scholars, government officials, housing professionals, and advocates to connect and share their passion and information with one another.

This year, the summit will take place virtually in order to encourage our participants to remain safe, healthy, and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Registration is Open! Securely purchase tickets through Eventbrite:

Bree Newsome sits in a chair smiling at someone off camera. She is wearing her hair in long dreads, has on a black long sleeve shirt, and a colorful blue, black, and pink beaded necklace.

Keynote Speaker: Bree Newsome

Bree Newsome is an artist, activist, writer, and community leader. She drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag. She is a fierce defender of civil rights, and helps communities organize at the grassroots level to fight systemic racial injustice.


Exploring Gentrification, Evictions, and Foreclosures.

During these unprecedented times, the impact of displacement is felt even more, especially in communities of color. Households are facing eviction at alarming rates, and as foreclosure moratoria end, families are being forced to leave their homes. Gentrification further exacerbates displacement in communities where households already struggle to find affordable housing. This workshop will explore gentrification, eviction, and foreclosure as reasons for serial displacement in communities of color, as well as policy and legislative solutions for addressing this issue.

Source of Income, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Status as a Veteran

On July 1st, 2020 Virginia added four new fair housing protections to the Virginia Fair Housing Law. These protected classes, along with race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, and disability work to combat discrimination in residential housing. This session will cover Virginia’s new protected classes and provide information on how to make sure housing providers follow the law.

As the homeownership gap between black and white households continues to increase, it is important to think about strategies for people of color to access wealth building opportunities and reduce exclusionary barriers to housing. This workshop will explore micro and macro strategies for creating more socially, economically, and racially inclusive housing that promote equity.

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Arbery, Sean Reed, and countless other black people that have illuminated the connection between police brutality and housing segregation. In 2018, researchers from Boston University designed the State Racism Index to understand the extent to which police shootings reflect structural racism in housing. They found that for every 10 point increase in the state racial segregation index, there was a 67 percent increase in the state’s ratio of police shooting of unarmed Black victims to unarmed white victims. This session will explore the link between housing and over-policing in communities of color as well as strategies for combatting racial disparities in policing.

The COVID-19 health crisis has exposed just how much racial inequality continues to plague the housing industry throughout Virginia. This session will explore how federal, state, and local policies can guide the commonwealth through recovering, specifically policies that address racial inequities in housing and communities of color.


Thank you to our sponsors!

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Logo

Virginia Housing Logo

Bank of America Logo

Dominion Energy Logo

A Special Thank You to:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The work that provided the basis for this event was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.