Homes Within Reach celebrates its thirteenth year!

This year's theme is "Shining Our Light on Housing Solutions", where we envision a future together, working in partnership for a home within reach.

The conference provides an opportunity for service providers, housing professionals, community builders and those passionately committed to ensuring a home for every Pennsylvanian to network, share ideas, and make new connections. Join us as we bring to scale what works and generate new strategies for our communities.


We look forward to seeing you in Harrisburg on December 4 at the Hilton!

HWR Conference Approved for Social Work Continuing Education Units

The Housing Alliance of PA is excited to be able to offer 12.5 Continuing Education Units at this year's Homes within Reach Conference.  The Housing Alliance has been designated as a pre-approved provider of professional continuing education for social workers (Section 47.36), Marriage and Family Therapist (Section 48.36) and Professional Counselors (Section 49.36) by the PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

We will have the forms for continuing education units available at the registration table. You will be able to send the form into the Housing Alliance, to receive your certificates.

* Up to 8.5 hours of CLE credits also available *



Our Goal and Focus



The goal of the conference

is to build knowledge within the housing industry and community by increasing awareness of creative strategies
that can be replicated across PA - learning from other PA communities as well as states across the country.

Our focus includes:

  • planning for affordable housing
  • remediating blight
  • preventing and ending homelessness
  • ensuring affordable housing close to transit and good schools
  • opportunities to rebuild homeownership for low and moderate income households
  • strategies to utilize the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and other resources to develop housing for low income households

This Year's Topic Areas




Tuesday Breakfast Program


Senator Tom Killion

Senator Tom Killion was elected to represent residents of the 9th Senatorial District (parts of Chester and Delaware Counties) in a special election held on April 26, 2016. Prior to that, he served for 13 years as a State Representative for Delaware County’s 168th Legislative District. Senator Killion is a member of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.


Senator David Argall

Senator David Argall represents the 29th District in northern and western Berks County and Schuylkill Counties. As Vice Chair of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, Senator Argall has led successful battles to pass several new anti-blight laws.


Representative David Reed

Representative David Reed represents the 62nd Legislative District in Indiana County. Serving his eighth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Representative Reed was re-elected by his colleagues to be the majority leader during the 2017-18 session.


Senator Vincent Hughes

Senator Vincent Hughes was elected in 1994 to represent residents of the 7th Senatorial District, which encompasses portions of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Prior to that, he served for 7 years as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Senator Hughes serves on the Senate Appropriations as the Democratic Chair.


Representative Bob Freeman

Representative Bob Freeman. was elected in 1998 to represent the residents of Pennsylvania’s 136th Legislative District, which encompasses portions of Northampton County.

Representative Freeman has over 30 years of experience in the Pennsylvania Legislature and currently serves as the Democratic Chair on the House Local Government Committee.


Phyllis Chamberlain

Phyllis Chamberlain is the Executive Director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Chamberlain has extensive policy advocacy experience on the state and federal level. She served as the Director of Field Mobilization for the National Alliance to End Homelessness for over five years, directing federal policy initiatives to secure additional funding and policy changes for affordable housing and homeless assistance programs..

She played a key role in the building of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (now called -Virgina Housing Alliance), in Richmond, Va., between 2008 and 2014. Under her leadership, the coalition became an influential presence across Virginia. She played a role in the development of Virginia’s Housing Trust Fund, and in the state’s nationally-recognized effort to reduce veterans’ homelessness.

In Delaware, Ms. Chamberlain lead the state’s effort to respond to homelessness, including the creation of the Continuum of Care Board and bringing state and local funders together to develop a plan to leverage private funds to fill in gaps in services to people experiencing homelessness.

Tuesday Lunch Program


Maurice Jones

Maurice Jones is the President & CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (National LISC).

With deep experience in both the public and private sectors, Maurice Jones took the helm as LISC's fourth president & CEO in September 2016. Immediately prior to joining LISC, he served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he managed 13 state agencies focused on the economic needs in his native state. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing operations for the agency and its 8,900 staff members. Prior to that he was commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.

Trained as an attorney, Maurice worked during the Clinton Administration on legal, policy and program issues at the Treasury Department, where he also helped manage a then-new initiative called the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund—a federal program that has grown to be a critical supporter of nonprofits that leverage its capital to bolster their communities.

Be inspired by Mr. Jones, during Tuesday’s lunch, as he shares about his work increasing affordable housing across the country and current opportunities to further our cause.

Wednesday Breakfast Program


Fred Karnas

Fred Karnas is a senior fellow in The Kresge Foundation's Executive Office.

Fred Karnas joined The Kresge Foundation in 2013, bringing with him extensive experience working on issues at the intersection of housing, health, and human services and the needs of low-income populations. He serves as adviser to the foundation’s Human Services and Health program teams and its Social Investment Practice. He also supports the Executive Office in special initiatives and cross-program collaborations.

Prior to joining Kresge, he served as president and CEO of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, a foundation based in Phoenix. Fred has been a senior adviser to former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan in the Obama administration, serving as liaison to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues affecting homeless persons, older Americans and persons with disabilities.

At our Wednesday breakfast program, Mr. Karnas will focus on strategies to weave together the housing and health care systems, provide examples of how this is working in other communities, and make recommendations for policy changes to better align these systems and funding resources.

Wednesday Closing Program


Joseph DeFelice

Joseph DeFelice is the new Regional Administrator of the Mid-Atlantic Region for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Prior to joining HUD, he worked as an attorney in Philadelphia--often serving as legal counsel for civic and political organizations in his spare time. He is the former chairman of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee. He has held many service roles in Philadelphia to enhance the quality of life of others, ranging from chairman of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation and president of the Mayfair Civic Association to board member of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Mr. DeFelice serves as an adjunct professor of American Government at both LaSalle and Widener Universities. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from LaSalle University and earned his law degree from Widener University School of Law.