Lifting Up Solutions to Address America’s Housing Displacement Crisis

MZ Strategies Fall 2018 Speaking Tour

It was a busy summer for MZ Strategies, LLC with a focus throughout our work on helping communities --- from the neighborhood, to the city, to the region – develop strategies to address the rising displacement crisis that is hitting low-income residents and communities of color especially hard. Through our work with partners in Chicago, IL; Richmond, VA; Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN; Portland, OR; and Los Angeles, CA (among others) we are learning much and testing new policies, all of which are centered around elevating community voice, ownership, and education to ensure that long-time residents and small business owners can remain in communities as they attract new and much-needed investment.


Over the next several months, Mariia Zimmerman, Principal of MZ Strategies, LLC will be speaking about what we’re learning at several different events across the country.

Washington DC. September 23 – Mariia will be at the American Planning Association’s Policy and Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC where she is chairing APA’s Infrastructure Work Group to develop recommendations on what planners should be doing to address infrastructure issues and crises in their communities. Housing is a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure and is a focus of this year’s conference.

Portland OR. October 3 –  Mariia joins Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group as keynote speakers for the Westside Economic Alliance conference examining the connection between housing and transportation. Mariia will share her perspectives on balancing the benefits of community investment revitalization with preserving affordability and community identify. Portland’s westside communities are important employment centers for the region and offer a variety of housing types. Mariia will share emerging policies for counties and suburban towns to work with the private sector to preserve market-rate affordable units while also testing tools for developing new parts of the urban growth boundary where future development is planned.

St Louis MO. October 16 – MZ Strategies teamed with Farr Associates Architecture and Design, GB Arrington and Strategic Economics to undertake the Bi-State Development Northside-Southside Corridor Transit Oriented Development Study. Mariia will lead a discussion with local officials, community leaders and practitioners on strategies to incentivize development while creating the tools to ensure that new development benefits current residents and provides a range of housing options for people at various income levels. Mariia will build upon several themes captured in this great piece by Todd Swanstrom on the important nuances needed when talking about gentrification and displacement in places like St. Louis where many neighborhoods continue to suffer from decades of disinvestment, weak property values and also land speculation.

Pittsburgh PA. October 22-24 - The national Rail~Volution conference takes place in Pittsburgh this year offering a great opportunity to see first-hand the impressive work underway by America’s “come back city”. Mariia will be leading two unique and exciting sessions.

Los Angeles CA. December 4 – For the past two years, MZ Strategies has been supporting the national Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) led by Enterprise Community Partners, the Low-Income Investment Fund, the Federal Reserve Bank – San Francisco, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. SPARCC is hosting a day-long national event with community leaders and investment partners from across the country to share national trends in the crisis of housing, commercial, and cultural displacement with a focus on strategies that bridge the gap between capital investments and community needs, ownership, and benefits.