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Tech & Housing Online Symposium
October 13, 2021 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Deputy Commerce Sec. Don Graves
Panel: Innovations in Production
This panel explored innovations in housing production, including traditional homebuilding, manufactured housing and emerging green technologies as well as commercial credit availability. Panelists spoke to the issue of supply in the affordable housing market and methods of addressing supply and demand mismatches that drive up housing costs. The group offered strategies for increasing affordable housing supply through innovative approaches to subsidization, production and financing.
|Ramsey Cohen is Director of Industry and Community Affairs at Clayton Homes. In his nearly 15 years at Clayton, he has taken on many roles, including selling land nationwide, marketing and advertising. In his current job, Ramsey serves as a passionate advocate for expanded access to affordable housing and a champion for the benefits manufactured housing can have on local communities.
|Dan Letendre is responsible for managing the bank’s lending and investing activities with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Bank of America currently has over $1.8 billion of loans and investments to more than 256 community-based intermediaries that provide financing for affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities providing health care, education, childcare and other needed social services. Mr. Letendre also manages the bank’s Blended Finance Catalyst Pool – investments to stimulate more sustainable development and contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
|Abigail Suarez is Vice President of Community Development within the Office of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global leader in corporate philanthropy with more than $300 million invested in communities annually. She is responsible for helping establish and execute the firm’s global philanthropic strategies on affordable housing and community development.
|Doug Bibby is President of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), a national organization of more than 1,400 member firms involved in the nearly $3 trillion multifamily housing industry. Under his leadership NMHC represents the industry on Capitol Hill and before the regulatory agencies, promotes research and the exchange of information, and advocates for rental housing across a broad spectrum of issues.
|Scott Hoekman is president of Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, LLC, Enterprise’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit syndication business. He oversees the acquisition, underwriting and placement of $1 billion annually in Housing Credit transactions as well as the asset management of Enterprise’s $12.4 billion Housing Credit portfolio.
Panel: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Housing Equity
It is more important than ever to leverage available technology in order to address inherent biases that have been built into our credit systems. This panel examined new technologies in AI and their relationship to housing equity. AI has the capability to address these biases or add to them. The panel examined how AI can be applied to better serve all families in the housing market.
|Dr. Michael Akinwumi leads NFHA’s Tech Equity Initiative (TEI), a multi-faceted effort launched by NFHA to increase the fairness of and re-shape the design of algorithmic systems in the housing and financial services industries. Conducting research to advance the AI fairness field is a cornerstone of the TEI. Dr. Akinwumi coordinates stakeholder activities involving identifying, testing, validating, and publicizing AI-centric underwriting and pricing methodologies which responsibly advance fair lending and fair housing. He is responsible for acquiring and managing data and technologies for the Initiative while managing cross-functional relationships to ensure that solutions that result from the Initiative meet needs across NFHA and of other stakeholders.
|Sheree Garner currently serves as Regulatory Counsel, Government Affairs for Rocket Mortgage. In this role, she provides legal counsel and oversees analysis of legislation, regulations, and other policy developments at the local, state, and federal levels in support of the Rock Central Government Affairs Team and the Rock Family of Companies.
|Teddy Flo is Zest AI’s Chief Legal Officer. He leads legal, policy, and compliance teams to serve every stakeholder of our mission-driven company–employees, customers, regulators, shareholders, and business partners. He handles partnership deals, M&A transactions, contracting, employment issues, litigation, regulatory exams, as well as engagement with external stakeholders at regulators, trades, advocacy groups, and on Capitol Hill.
|Phil Bracken is the Managing Director of VantageScore Solutions where he has responsibility for the Mortgage Marketplace and Government & Industry Relations with the primary responsibility of advancing VantageScore in the mortgage industry. He is also Chairman and Founder of the America’s Homeowner Alliance – the advocacy and member benefits alliance for the 75 million existing (and all aspiring) Homeowners of America. For the past 13 years, Mr. Bracken has been Co-Chairman of the Consumer / Lender Roundtable in Washington, DC which includes the most influential Consumer Groups and many of the largest Lenders in America. Additionally, Mr. Bracken serves on the Advisory Board of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and on the Board of Directors of the largest African American owned housing counseling organization in the US – HomeFree USA.
|Ethan Dornhelm is a Vice President in the Scores and Predictive Analytics unit at FICO. He is currently responsible for the analytic development of FICO® Scores globally, as well as the research and development of new products and services within the Scores organization. Ethan has spent much of his 20 years at FICO supporting the technical redevelopment, maintenance and analytic support of FICO® Scores in North America. He was one of the original analysts overseeing the development of the company’s consumer credit education portal myFICO.com.
Panel: Expanding Broadband Access
This panel discussed expanding broadband access in the United States with a focus on underserved communities and the benefits of supplying broadband to low-income families. Panelists explored the challenges and opportunities of providing broadband to such communities, including building up overall broadband infrastructure and the role of broadband as a utility. The panel further established relevant connections between housing policy and broadband access as a tool for community development and economic resilience.
|Paul Robinson is a founding member and partner with Sepia Transformation Partners, a niche company primarily focused on repositioning rural small/mid-size public housing authority assets via the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration Program and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Before forming Sepia Transformation, Paul has worked in the affordable housing industry for the past 23 years in the roles of an acquisition officer with a national tax credit syndication firm and as a developer with a regional and a national company. Paul is currently a board member of the Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition and co-chairperson of the Atlanta Progressive Alliance Working Group.
|Myles Kamisher-Koch is a member of the broadband team at the Center for Rural Innovation, where he actively engages with public and private stakeholders in the development of broadband solutions to serve rural communities across the country. Prior to joining the organization, he worked as a project manager in the design and construction industry, and has a professional background in worlds food, agriculture, and sustainability.
|Christa Vinson has a diverse background in community, workforce, and economic development. She joined Rural LISC most recently from NC Broadband Matters, an education and advocacy platform she co-founded promoting fast and reliable broadband for rural and marginalized communities in North Carolina. Christa currently leads the Broadband & Infrastructure pillar at Rural LISC, a multi-pronged strategy to increase the digital support available in the social safety net and to deliver the economic opportunity, employment and placemaking benefits of broadband Internet infrastructure to Rural America.
|Riordan Frost is a Research Analyst at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, where he researches residential mobility, homelessness, utilities, and wealth inequality. Prior to joining the Center, he focused on urban sustainability through his work at Smart Growth America and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and examined the intersection of infrastructure and state policy at the think tank Minnesota 2020.