Chad WakefieldPMP, SR/WA, R/W-RAC, R/W-NAC, Director, Western Region & Emerging Markets at OPC, addressed The Pacific Northwest Regional Council Chapter of National Association of Housing and Relocation Officials (NAHRO) at its Annual Conference in Portland, OR, April 28 and April 29. The conference, titled Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers – leading the way to create, expand and improve affordable housing” was held at The Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. Wakefield’s session, “Putting People First in Public Housing Transformations” discussed Section 8 and the importance of identifying and addressing the unique needs of public housing households as housing stock ages and becomes antiquated. Transforming these properties is not easy and dramatically impacts the lives of the people it is designed to serve. Often their needs become secondary to financial feasibility and political will. Wakefield’s session explored a better way of handling these transformations and putting people first. Wakefield and a panel of housing experts also reviewed programs like Choice Neighborhood, RAD, Section 18 Conversions, and other tools including strategic planning, staffing needs’ assessments, resident case management, and best relocation practices. The event encouraged great dialogue and attracted a standing-room-only crowd of over thirty affordable housing leaders from the region, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho housing authorities.