This is an archive of all Community Trailblazers content. It provides a historical perspective on the creation of housing and communities.

The Oral History of Housing and Communities

In the Community TrailBlazers Podcast, we are featuring Fellows of the American Academy of Housing and Communities who have had a major impact on world affairs, federal policy, and the development of community culture through courageous action to bring about change. Most have lived through many Presidents, many generations, and many changes. We capture their thoughts on the last 50 years of public policy and discuss what the future may hold.

Kent Watkins founded this honorary society, consisting of the top national and international thought leaders and implementers in the field of urbanism. These include heads of federal agencies and their senior staffs, as well as urbanist leaders in social welfare, health, education, culinary arts, art and poetry, transportation, climate and others who have made an impact on the culture of the areas we live in.  All are considered peers and have achieved success in some unique way. Referred to as the Academy Series, Nan McKay spotlights these trailblazers.

Barry Zigas

Building a Housing Landscape Ep. 25 - Barry Zigas details why the proper supply of affordable housing often falls short, with funding regularly lacking to get "the train running at maximum efficiency." He explains why building a housing landscape is so critical today. The insufficiency of tax credits and what ...
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Barbara Adams

Pennsylvania's Housing Champion Ep. 27 - Barbara Adams is an influential leader in Pennsylvania for her tireless efforts to implement housing projects, help reduce poverty, and advocate for social justice issues. Barbara Adams is recognized as one of Pennsylvania's accomplished leaders with decades of experience in law, finance, government, and ...
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Robert Elliott

Race Relations Is Our Biggest Problem Ep. 26 - Robert (Bob) Elliott has held significant roles in many of the critical decisions that shaped housing policy, particularly those that affected race relations, including the Gautreaux decision. The need for implementation of existing programs in the affordable housing sector The challenge ...
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Jane Katz

Taking A Global View Ep. 32 - As an international studies major, Jane Katz came to Washington, D.C. with high ideals about the future and working globally. Yet like many who have had a non-linear career path, she found herself working in the housing arena, spending time at HUD and ...
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John Koskinen

His Role as the Fixer Ep. 31 - John Koskinen was involved in 911, anthrax, Y2K, IRS, Freddie Mac rebuilding during the 2008 financial crisis., and yes, even soccoer. That's why his role is referred to as "the fixer." The steps that he took while in government to deal with ...
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John Weicher

A Scholar's Take on Housing Ep. 30 - John Weicher He offers his breadth of experience to discuss trending issues in the housing and real estate markets and surveys the key accomplishments from his career.  As the author of 14 books and numerous scholarly articles, Weicher provides an academic's insights ...
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Marion McFadden

Why We Need Political Will Ep. 29 -  Marion McFadden, has candid advice on the priorities and political will Washington should have. While Congress has yet to provide funding needed to take people off long waiting lists for assistance, there is hope to be found in the private sector and ...
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Michael Bodaken

Going Green for Smarter Housing Ep. 28 - In this episode of the Community Trailblazers Podcast, Nan McKay interviews Michael Bodaken as he shares his past role as head of the nonprofit National Housing Trust.  He was largely responsible for the growth of the organization into an industry leader in ...
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