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HUD + Terner Labs Housing Technology Series: Equitable Homeownership Innovations

  • May 16, 2024
  • 5 min

On Tuesday, April 9, entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers and experts gathered in Detroit for the third event in our Housing Technology series with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This installment, “Equitable Homeownership Innovations,” explored the role of technology in addressing ongoing inequities in the housing market. HUD Regional Administrator Diane Shelley began the event by issuing a call to action for innovators in the housing world as a crucial piece of the equitable homeownership puzzle.

Terner Labs’ Michelle Boyd noted that innovation and technology have been instrumental in changing the housing landscape through digital mortgage brokers, online credit counseling, and credit scoring, but that these innovations are overlaid on an incredibly unjust system. Without thoughtful design, technological innovation could perpetuate the racial wealth gap.

With that in mind, the event’s speakers tackled two topics: credit building and underwriting, and creating alternative paths to homeownership.

Two Housing Venture Lab alumni presented: Esusu, which works to bridge the racial wealth gap by assisting families by reporting rental payments to credit bureaus to build and establish their credit scores, and CredEvolv, a current cohort member, which addresses inequities in mortgage access by connecting lenders, declined borrowers, and nonprofit financial counselors through a tech platform.

Other speakers included:

  • Alex Cabral, Grounded Solutions Network

  • Carolina Reid, Terner Center for Housing Innovation

  • Diane Shelley, HUD Regional Administrator, Region V

  • George Scott, Blackstar Stability

  • Kasey Matthews, Zest.Ai

  • Michael Neal, Urban Institute

  • Mitria Spotser, CRL

  • Sarah Edelman, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing

  • Solomon Greene, HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

  • Sonya Mays, Develop Detroit

  • Syeed Mansur, Greenlyne

  • Thomas Voutsos, LadderUp

Terner Labs' support for this series is made possible by generous support from the Howard and Irene Levine Family Foundation.