Tonight's Neighborhood Congress meeting focuses on affordable housing issues.

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COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia's Community Development Department and University Extension got together Tuesday night to discuss affordable housing issues.

The event kicked off at 4:30 p.m. with some Columbia City Council members available to give residents an opportunity to discuss personal concerns and situations.

A unique aspect to tonight's meeting was a Skype presentation with Beyond Housing C.E.O. Chris Krehmeyer. Beyond housing is a neighborhood advocacy group based out of St. Louis. Krehmeyer shared some of his own experiences with community development and ways to solve the foreclosure crisis, poverty, and other housing concerns.  When talking to the small group at the meeting, he explained how the first step is to hear from residents.

"You need to engage people in a multi-faceted way over and over again and hear their voice... it can't just be a couple of town hall meetings," said Krehmeyer. 

Mayor Bob McDavid said meetings like the Neighborhood Congress are important but he said not to expect an immediate outcome since it's a step in the process.