Six Housing Innovations You Need on Your Radar

2021 Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge Webinar Series by Enterprise

A series of six conversations with each of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge winners and other leading voices from the housing sector and beyond. Together in dialogue, delve into the research, policies and practices that inform and drive each of these six innovations in their respective communities and nationwide.

From carbon-saving construction to unique investment strategies and trauma-informed resident services, these innovations are collectively and actively advancing racial equity, integrating technology and promoting sustainable practices to address climate challenges.

Truly sustainable and equitable homes must meet a higher standard that accounts for both consumer and environmental costs. In Forterra’s “forest-to-home” model, the supply chain begins with local, sustainably harvested trees and ends with beautiful, affordable homes for people who make less than the area median income. The forest-to-home strategy is built on a foundation of cross laminated timber (CLT). It has the potential to yield triple-bottom-line results with environmental, economic and social benefits.

Filling the Capital Stack: How Health Care Payors Can Help Fill the Affordable Housing Gap
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

It’s no secret developers across the United States struggle to identify the resources needed to construct affordable housing. Most are left with a financing gap, even with Low-Income Housing Tax Credit awards. 

Gulf Coast Housing Partnership – a Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge winner – is developing an innovative financing model designed to bridge that gap. The Health + Housing model creates the opportunity for health care payors to provide gap-filling capital that aligns with payors’ needs. These unique partnerships promote housing stability – and promise to improve the health and well-being of residents and their surrounding community.

Register today and find out how Gulf Coast Housing Partnership is approaching new financing structures where affordable housing developers and health care payors can partner to create housing and accessible, effective health care.


  • Mary Elizabeth Evans (moderator), Gulf Coast Housing Partnership
  • Mississippi State Senator John Horhn, Mississippi Legislature
  • Kevin Krejci, Gulf Coast Housing Partnership
  • Primus Wheeler, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation
  • David Kulick, The Focus Group 


Innovation Throughout Forterra’s Forest-to-Home Model

Join us to explore how the model is propelled through cross laminated timber (CLT), innovative technology, responsible forestry, community-driven design and rural job creation. Panelists will include Forterra President and CEO Michelle Connor and Stephan Zaugg, CEO of Zaugg AG Rohrbach, a leading Swiss-based timber construction and manufacturing company.


Justice Housing: Coming Home to Community

This webinar featured Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge grantee Impact Justice and their winning idea, The Homecoming Project.


Christi Smith, Enterprise Community Partners (Host)
Erika Anthony, Ohio Transformation Fund (Moderator)
Alex Busansky, Impact Justice
Tanisha Hines, Enterprise Community Partners
Terah Lawyer, Impact Justice
Julio Medina, Exodus Transitional Community


Pride, Power and Belonging: Homeownership in Rural and Tribal Communities

Homeownership remains the epitome of the proverbial American Dream. Yet the path to homeownership is uneven across the United States – with particular challenges in rural and tribal communities and other places where poverty persists. Often, homes are built incrementally as time and money allow, using low-quality materials that can lead to hazardous, unaffordable and sometimes crowded conditions. Join this interactive forum and learn about MiCASiTA, a homeownership innovation developed by Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge winner cdcb | come dream. come build. We’ll explore what makes this model uniquely sustainable – and what it will take to change the landscape for future homeowners in rural and tribal markets.


Christi Smith, Enterprise Community Partners (Host)
Jerry Romero, Wells Fargo (Moderator)
Dustin Baird, Enterprise Community Partners
Chrystel Cornelius, Oweesta
Benje Feehan, bcWORKSHOP
Nick Mitchell-Bennett, cdcb


Rethinking Fintech and Housing Counseling to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Homeownership has an important role to play in decreasing the racial wealth gap. Panelists in this webinar will identify and discuss efforts to dismantle inequities in the current underwriting system, and explore how Underwriting for Good, the winning breakthrough idea under development by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, is among a growing number of innovations seeking to create equity and access. As we pull back the curtain on how to disrupt existing barriers to homeownership, we will learn how Underwriting for Good will play a role in creating an equitable path forward by reimagining technology and institutions.


Joshua Devine, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Rod McGinniss, Homeownership Preservation Foundation and GreenPath Financial Wellness
Joseph Sant, Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Christi Smith, Enterprise (host)
Joe Weisbord (moderator), JRW Strategies
Chi Chi Wu, National Consumer Law Center


Reimagining Affordable Housing Through the Lens of Trauma-Resiliency

While trauma is a leading health and equity concern in the United States, adopting a trauma-informed approach is still relatively new to the affordable housing industry. This panel will feature cross-cutting voices from design, behavioral health, community development and affordable housing in conversation about the future of a person-centered approach to affordable housing management, services and physical space. Register today and plan to join us as we explore how Breakthrough Challenge winner Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is leading an interdisciplinary team to transform an industry often shaped by tight margins and heavy regulation. Panelists will both discuss and model techniques for reimagining affordable housing that are grounded in creativity, equity and resilience.


Caitlin Behle, Design Impact (moderator)
Alejandra Cervantes, MASS Design Group
Julianna Stuart, Preservation of Affordable Housing
Daphney Thomas, POAH Communities
Kreasha Williams, Truman Medical Centers, Center for Trauma Informed Innovation