Spring Environmental Forum, April 4, 2007

The Florida State University College of Law and the Environmental and Land Use Section of The Florida Bar present:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
3:00 p.m.
B.K. Roberts Hall, Room 103

Reception to follow forum in Room R103

Once thought to be limited to Northeastern cities and coastal California, pressure to provide affordable housing for workforce populations has spread throughout many parts of the nation and has surfaced in Florida with dramatic effects. In many urban areas of our state, teachers, police, firefighters and other professionals vital to the safety and prosperity of a community no longer can find suitable housing within their economic means, and people of more modest incomes feel even more shut out of the market. When the median income no longer provides access to the median-priced home and is losing ground each year, concerns are bound to arise with the manner in which state and local government have designed and implemented housing policy.

At this forum, the state's leading experts on affordable housing policy will explore causes of this trend, its consequences and the actions state and local governments can take to solve the problem. How much do we understand the root causes? What effects is this trend having on our state and local economies? What mix of policies and incentives can state and local governments use to address the challenges?

J.B. Ruhl, the Florida State University College of Law Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property, will introduce the forum. Prior to joining the law school in 1999, he taught at several other nationally regarded universities, and was a partner in the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., practicing environmental and natural resources law.


Henry H. Fishkind has more than 20 years experience in economic analysis and forecasting and is widely regarded as one of Florida's premier economists and financial advisors. In 1988, Fishkind formed Fishkind & Associates as a full service economic and financial consulting firm.

Penny Herman has been a licensed Realtor in Florida for 28 years, and is broker/owner of Penny Herman Realty. She holds a Certified Residential Specialist designation, and serves as chair of the State and Local Taxation Subcommittee and as a Trustee for the Florida Association of Realtors. In addition, she founded and served as President of the Tallahassee Lenders Consortium.

Wellington H. Meffert II has been involved with construction and housing issues for 30 years. Currently, he serves as general counsel and a legislative lobbyist for Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a public corporation that issues bonds, awards funding and allocates federal tax credits for the construction of affordable housing in Florida.

Jaimie Ross is the Affordable Housing Director at 1000 Friends of Florida, a statewide nonprofit growth management organization. She is president of the Florida Housing Coalition, directs the Florida Community Land Trust Institute and chairs the Affordable Housing Committee of the Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.

Shaw P. Stiller has worked with the Florida Department of Community Affairs for more than 10 years, first as assistant general counsel and now as general counsel. Before joining the DCA, he worked in private practice as an associate for Broad & Cassel and then for Apgar & Pelham, focusing on land use litigation.


David L. Powell is a shareholder in the Tallahassee law firm of Hopping Green & Sams and practices in the fields of land use, growth management and facility siting. He is an adjunct professor at the Florida State University College of Law.