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Building Futures

building futures affordable housing symposium

Each year Habitat Charlotte Region hosts a symposium on affordable housing to hear from industry experts and regional panelists that can provide insight into the ongoing affordable housing crisis that affects our North Carolina region and much of the country.

The 2024 Building Futures Symposium hosted by Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region will take place on Wednesday, March 20 at Central Piedmont Community College’s Dale F. Halton Theater.

Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava, Assistant Secretary for Administration for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Laura Belcher, President & CEO, Habitat Charlotte Region

Ely Portillo, Charlotte Journalist

Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava, Assistant Secretary for Administration for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


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Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava

about elizabeth

Elizabeth de Leόn Bhargava is the Assistant Secretary for Administration at HUD. In her role, Elizabeth leads the infrastructure and support functions that enable the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 8,200 employees to perform the agency’s mission. As Assistant Secretary for Administration, Elizabeth serves as HUD’s Chief Acquisition Officer overseeing a portfolio of $10 billion dollars in government contracts.  In addition, her portfolio includes HUD’s national security and emergency management program, the agency’s safety & health office, labor relations, the agency’s Freedom of Information Act, data privacy, diversity and inclusion efforts and the agency’s 3.5 million square feet of space across 70 offices around the country. She currently serves as a member of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics and on the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Minority Business Enterprise Advisory Council.

Prior to joining HUD, Elizabeth served as the Deputy Secretary for Labor & Workforce for New York State. She became the first Latina to hold the position. While in office, Elizabeth oversaw labor and workforce operations and negotiations for more than 170,000 New York State employees and contractors. She was instrumental in securing New York’s historic $15 minimum hourly wage and establishing the nation’s most robust Paid Family Leave program covering 8.5 million workers.

Elizabeth has also served in numerous roles for New York City including, First Deputy Chief of Staff to the New York City Council Speaker, and Deputy Commissioner for the Neighborhood Development Division of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. A lawyer by trade, Elizabeth started her career in the New York State Office of the Attorney General, where she investigated and prosecuted violations of civil rights, labor, charities and consumer fraud state laws.  She holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.

why it matters

Critical housing issues abound in communities throughout the United States, and the Charlotte region is no exception. Land prices, overdevelopment, underproduction, and inflation are just a few factors affecting the housing market for families.

Having a safe place to live is something that every single person wants. However, housing costs have skyrocketed in recent decades due to inflation, recessions, and housing shortages, resulting in multiple housing crises that have made it difficult for most Americans to afford a home. The main issue in the affordable housing crisis is that there is greater demand for housing than a supply of homes or units available, which then drives up the prices of the available housing.

The 2024 Building Futures Affordable Housing Symposium will allow attendees to hear from speakers that work on the front lines of the affordable housing crisis.