2021 Webinar Series

Six Housing Innovations You Need on Your Radar

Four people in virtual webinar boxes

Join us for 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, we’ll 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.

Innovation Throughout Forterra’s Forest-to-Home Model
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

 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. 

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. 

Register today to hear from an outstanding panel of speakers, featuring:

  • Michelle Connor, President and CEO, Forterra
  • Jerry Franklin, Professor of Ecosystem Analysis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington
  • Tobias Levey, VP of Real Estate Transactions, Forterra
  • Stephan Zaugg, CEO, Zaugg AG Rohrbach, a leading Swiss-base timber construction and manufacturing company


Attracting Health Care Payors to Housing Investment
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

Featuring Breakthrough Challenge grantee Gulf Coast Housing Partnership and their winning idea, Health + Housing.


Justice Housing: Coming Home to Community
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

First in our six-part Housing Innovations series, 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
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

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
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

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
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. (ET)

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