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Building A More Affordable Future: Standard Communities’ Joe Ouellette At Bisnow’s Multifamily Annual Conference East On Nov. 29

Standard Communities Chief Strategy Officer Joe Ouellette

The affordable housing crisis in the U.S. has reached its breaking point. Currently, 6.8 million more affordable housing units are needed for extremely low-income families, and only 1 in 4 families who need assistance receive it. 

The commercial real estate industry has been working for decades to address this problem, and some of its biggest names will be coming together at Bisnow’s Multifamily Annual Conference East event on Nov. 29 to discuss the momentum they have made. To hear more from them, register here.

Standard Communities Chief Strategy Officer Joe Ouellette will be featured on The Power of Partnerships for Affordable Housing Success Stories panel at the event, talking about the work his company is doing to address the growing issue of housing affordability. 

“On any given night, more than 500,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the United States,” Ouellette said. “There is no state or county in this country where a renter working full time at the prevailing minimum wage can afford a one-bedroom apartment. Delivering high-quality affordable and workforce housing is a challenging and complex problem, but it’s essential to the strength and well-being of our nation.” 

Bisnow sat down with Ouellette to learn more about why he is choosing to participate in this event and how Standard Communities is committed to the much-needed effort to build more affordable housing. 

Bisnow: What inspired you to agree to speak at Bisnow's Multifamily Annual Conference East event?  

Ouellette: We are stronger when we come together to share our knowledge, ideas and strengths. I want to bring our valuable perspective to this great panel of admirable people who are similarly committed to building a better world by working to solve the affordable housing crisis in this country. 

At Standard Communities, we believe in the power of public-private partnerships, and we’ve seen firsthand how they increase efficiency and drive innovation. Public-private partnerships create jobs, build a strong tax base and enhance housing security and economic opportunities for millions of Americans, leaving a lasting impact on so many lives.

Bisnow: What will you be speaking about?  

Ouellette: Mainly our projects across the country. We have leveraged unique and innovative public-private partnerships in each of our distinct business units — LIHTC acquisition redevelopment, LIHTC new construction and essential housing — to create high-quality affordable and workforce housing around the country. Some examples include acquisition redevelopment at Fort Chaplin Park and Ritch Homes Apartments in D.C., new construction at Aspen Wood Apartments in San Ramon, California, and essential housing at The Crescent in West Hollywood, California. 

Bisnow: Can you describe your role at Standard Communities?  

Ouellette: I work closely with our co-founders, Jeff Jaeger and Scott Alter, to determine how we can efficiently and effectively scale our business to make the largest impact for the people who need it most. I'm focused on how the work we do happens, particularly how it's organized, designed and executed. I play an integral role in attracting and retaining talent and cultivating a positive culture — a place where our team is proud of what we do. 

Bisnow: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing affordable housing right now? 

Ouellette: The markets are in a transition period right now. Interest rates are up significantly, and buyer-seller bid-ask spreads are wide, making it extremely difficult to find and execute projects. Construction and labor costs also remain stubbornly high. These combined influences are creating significant funding gaps for projects, which are stretching already-thin resources at local, state and federal levels.  

Bisnow: What are you most excited about experiencing at the upcoming event?  

Ouellette: I look forward to hearing about the innovative projects the other developers have done. How they are thinking about the present and future and the challenges of doing deals in these uncertain times. I am excited to participate on a panel with some amazing participants who care just as much about affordable and workforce housing as I do.

Bisnow: Outside of work, what are you passionate about? 

Ouellette: Outside of family time with my wife and kids, I spend most of my free personal time reading and exercising. I’m intrigued by the history of Russia and its people right now and recently finished a Catherine the Great biography titled Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie. On most weekends, you can find me out on long runs, playing pickup basketball, and enjoying yoga and meditation.

To hear more of Ouellette’s thoughts on affordable housing and CRE in general, join him at Bisnow’s Multifamily Annual Conference East event on Nov. 29. 

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Standard Communities. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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