Western Insights: Regional Economic Outlook & Housing Affordability

Montage of images of Benjamin Franklin on US Currency and row house development

Wednesday, November 2, 2022
9:00-10:30 a.m. Pacific Time




Check out this video to watch the Western Insights: Regional Economic Outlook & Housing Affordability.

Brought to you by the College of Business and Economics
in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association


We continue to experience intense economic influences globally and nationally but what does it mean for our region? Join us for the next Western Insights for an economic outlook discussion that connects the dots and shares our forecasts based on our work with the Puget Sound Economic Forecaster.

Following the outlook discussion, we will take a deep dive into one of the hottest issues in our region – housing affordability. We have brought together a panel that will discuss housing issues from a variety of vantage points.

Western Insights is an online panel series created to provide the broader region, Western alumni, friends, and students with access to information on current events drawing from the University's nationally respected experts. This series is offered entirely online and is open to everyone.

Watch previous Western Insight sessions online here.

Gregg Colburn

Gregg Colburn, PhD


Gregg Colburn is an assistant professor of real estate in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. Gregg entered academia after spending the first seventeen years of his professional life in the private sector. At the University of Washington, Gregg enjoys teaching courses in housing, economics, and finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He maintains an active research agenda focused on housing policy, housing markets, housing affordability, and homelessness. Gregg is also actively engaged in a wide range of community efforts to address the acute housing crisis in the Puget Sound region.

Portrait of Ralph Black

Ralph Black


Ralph is currently the Owner of Alliance Properties 2000 a Bellingham company that has been building single and multi-family projects for over 30 years. Past project include Magnolia Hills, Parkstone, Spring Creek, Brandywine, Stonecrest, Village at King Mountain and the Fairhaven Tower. He has served on the County Affordable Housing Task Force,  Chairman of the Transfer of Developmental Rights Committee, Chairman of the Emergency Services Funding committee and other community based organizations.  Ralph as a degree from Western in Economics and Political science and has served on the Western Foundation Board.

Jennifer LaBreque

Jennifer LaBreque


Jennifer is currently the Director of Market Incentives, Land Use and Sustainability at the Seattle Office of Housing. In that role she oversees policies and programs that engage with the private sector to create affordable housing, represents affordable housing interests in local and regional planning efforts and leads initiatives to decarbonize the affordable housing sector. She has been working in the field of affordable housing and community development for over 20 years. Jennifer has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. 

Hart Hodges

Hart Hodges


Dr. Hart Hodges is Co-Director of Western's Center for Economic and Business Research. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1994 from the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at Western in the Fall of 2000. His research interests include natural resource and environmental economics, health economics, and applied business economics. Hart is currently managing several research projects and public service efforts with an emphasis on economic development.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact James McCafferty for this event. Feel free to email at  James.McCafferty@wwu.edu or call (360) 650-2414 if you have any questions or comments.
There will be auto-captions available for this event.