One thing is certain: affordable housing is complex. The social, political and economic aspects of affordable housing make the simple human right a multi-faceted crisis in the United States. At its core, Quadel is committed to making decent affordable housing accessible to everyone.
And we aren’t alone.
For the past two years, Quadel President, Katie Goar, has interviewed those changing the affordable housing industry for the better during her podcast, ChangeMakers with Katie Goar. Goar and her team at ForbesBooksAudio are gearing up for year three of the innovative podcast and continue to be excited about the show’s growing popularity.
Goar knew there was a market for this type of podcast, and ForbesbooksAudio Producer and Host, Joe Pardavila, agrees.
“There was such an untapped market in terms of the affordable housing space because it’s not just (focused on) affordable housing practitioners,” Pardavila said. “It’s all the stuff that goes with it – whether it’s the real estate aspect of it or the social aspect of it. And, I think one of the great things is (listeners) don’t have to be an expert in affordable housing to listen to the podcast. It’s very consumable.”
Since its inception, Goar and her team have produced 64 podcast episodes to date – each centered on someone in the affordable housing space making an innovative difference. Guests have represented the largest and smallest housing authorities across the country, nonprofit and faith-based organization leaders, and research-focused individuals.
Each weekly episode consists of two 20-minute parts and is produced similarly to a live weekly radio show. Because of the ever-changing housing industry, Pardavila and Goar ensure topics and guests are relevant to current industry challenges and innovations. Goar stated the podcast’s goal is to highlight best practices, share how affordable housing programs are working, debunk myths, and explore what more can be done to improve the housing crisis.
Goar remains surprised by the nearly 250,000 listeners the show has amassed.
“The thing that has surprised me the most is how many people are listening. I’ve heard everything from how organizations require new employees to listen as part of their onboarding, to seasoned staff using it as on-the-job training, to industry experts who want to hear from colleagues,” Goar said. “I work with so many innovative people doing amazing things within the industry and knew it had to be shared on a larger scale. Industry professionals gather at national events a few times a year, but the podcast can bring real-time, innovative affordable housing practices to a more accessible audience.”
Pardavila believes the show’s popularity also has something to do with Goar herself. With no prior podcast experience before the show began, Goar learned certain podcaster and communication skills to ensure all listeners can understand the complex concepts regardless of their connection to the housing industry.
“(Katie) makes (the information) easily consumable to the non-expert. Obviously, a majority of the listeners are in the space,” Pardavila said. “But, I think for a podcast to go beyond its niche community, you have to be able to have a communicator like that running the show that can make things easy for folks who are not doing it full time.”
Goar believes year three of ChangeMakers will be the best yet. As the affordable housing crisis continues, industry outsiders such as celebrities have entered the space in the hopes of creating new solutions for the problems that persist within the industry. Both Goar and Pardavila hinted at bigger named guests, but the mission will remain the same: highlight those making a change.
“With more and more interest (in the podcast), the desire to learn more, highlight best practices, and share how struggles are being overcome is a core need for the industry. The planned guest list for 2023 has a few surprises and some industry icons, Goar said. “We’ve seen how affordable housing works, and it’s crucial to ensure we are reminded of this. Despite the obstacles, funding shortfalls, or program constraints, affordable housing works. And this podcast highlights this over and over again.”