Rebuilding the Supply of Affordable Housing

Solving the affordable housing crisis requires new ways of thinking. Through collaboration and innovation, we can make housing safer, more accessible, and affordable. On June 11, Fannie Mae and the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT will convene faculty, industry leaders, and policy-makers to discuss disruptive technologies and innovative policy solutions. While many of the examples will focus on the issues faced here in Boston, insights will have broad applicability to many cities across the U.S.

Monday June 11, 2018

Jun 11, 2018 - 8:30 AM

Breakfast and registration

Jun 11, 2018 - 9:00 AM


Timothy J. Mayopoulos, CEO, Fannie Mae

Alan M. Berger, Co-Director, Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism

Jun 11, 2018 - 9:10 AM


Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director, MassHousing

Jun 11, 2018 - 9:30 AM

What’s behind the housing supply crisis?

In many communities, the supply of available and affordable housing is becoming more and more acute. Our panel explains the economic and demographic reasons behind this trend and some possible solutions for Boston and beyond.

John Brodrick, Senior Vice President, Director Residential Mortgage Banking, Eastern Bank (Moderator)
Soni Gupta, Director of Neighborhoods and Housing, The Boston Foundation
Bill Wheaton, Professor, MIT Center for Real Estate
Jon Lawless, Vice President for Product Development and Affordable Housing at Fannie Mae

Jun 11, 2018 - 10:15 AM


Jun 11, 2018 - 10:30 AM

Innovation’s role in housing affordability

Disruptions in how Americans shop for and finance housing are taking shape rapidly. Our panel discusses how the use of data and technology could revolutionize housing finance, making it more accessible and less costly.

Brian Brooks, General Counsel, Fannie Mae (Moderator)
Thomas Hardjono, CTO of MIT Connection Science and Engineering, and Partner, MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative
Erin Collard, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder, Blend
Thomas J. Curry, Partner, Nutter

Jun 11, 2018 - 11:15 AM

Housing tomorrow’s families

Builders and designers are exploring new ways to make home construction less expensive and more attuned to the changing needs and preferences of a changing society. Our panel explores new technologies, methods, and materials in home construction that could change how we think of home.

Tim Logan, Reporter, Boston Globe (Moderator)
Bob Simpson, VP-Multifamily, Fannie Mae
Larry Sass, Associate Professor of Architecture, MIT
Kyle Corkum, LStar, Developer of Union Point community south of Boston
Katie Swenson, VP, National Design Initiatives, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Jun 11, 2018 - 11:15 AM

Highlighting Housing Innovation

Noelle Marcus and Rachel Goor, Co-Founders, Nesterly

Jun 11, 2018 - 12:15 PM

Highlighting Housing Innovation

Debora Mesa, Founder, PoPLab at MIT and Principal, Ensamble Studio

Alan M Berger

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism

Alan M. Berger is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he teaches courses open to the entire student body. He is founding director of MIT's P-REX lab, a research lab focused on environmental problems caused by urbanization, including the design, remediation, and reuse of waste landscapes worldwide. He is also Co-Director of MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU). All of his research and work emphasizes the link between our consumption of natural resources, and the waste and destruction of landscape, to help us better understand how to proceed with redesigning around our wasteful lifestyles for more intelligent design and development outcomes. Unlike conventional practice, there are no scalar limits in his outlook or pedagogy: Projects are defined by the extent of the urban and environmental problems being addressed. He coined the term “Systemic Design” to describe the reintegration of disvalued landscapes into our urbanized territories and regional ecologies.

Berger's newly released anthology Infinite Suburbia (with Joel Kotkin, Celina Balderas Guzman) presents the global suburban expansion through the research of its 74 authors, and the coeditors' own perspectives and work. Previous award-winning books include Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America, and Reclaiming the American West, his other books include Designing the Reclaimed LandscapeThe Infrastructural Monument and Scaling Infrastructure (with Alexander D’Hooghe), Nansha Coastal City: Landscape and Urbanism in the Pearl River Delta (with Margaret Crawford), Systemic Design Can Change the World, and Landscape + Urbanism Around the Bay of Mumbai (with Rahul Mehrotra), and LCAU’s 2013 Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (with Andrew Scott).

Prior to MIT Berger was Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard-GSD, 2002-2008. He is a Prince Charitable Trusts Fellow of The American Academy in Rome. He is a Visiting Honorary Professor at Oslo School of Architecture (AHO).

John Brodrick

Eastern Bank

As Director of Mortgage Banking, John oversees operations, sales and growth strategies for Residential Mortgage Banking at Eastern Bank. Responsibilities include the management and implementation of strategic initiatives, product placement and pricing necessary to achieve financial and balance sheet objectives as well as residential CRA lending initiatives.

John is the incoming Chair of the Mass Mortgage Bankers Association and is a member of the Executive Committee. He also volunteers to provide risk management guidance for several third world micro lending initiatives.

At 200 years old and with $11 billion in assets and more than 120 locations in Massachusetts and southern and coastal New Hampshire, Eastern Bank is the largest and oldest Mutual Bank in the country.

Brian Brooks

Fannie Mae

Brian P. Brooks is Fannie Mae’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. Brooks oversees the Legal Department and Government and Industry Relations. He serves as a senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors. Before joining Fannie Mae in November 2014, Brooks was Vice Chairman of OneWest Bank, where he served as chief legal officer and oversaw the bank’s fair lending, corporate customer experience, and mortgage marketing and communications groups. Brooks has a bachelor of arts in government from Harvard University and a juris doctorate from the University of Chicago.

Erin Collard


Erin Collard is co-founder and CFO of Blend a Silicon Valley technology company propelling consumer lending into the digital age. He has over a decade of deep financial and technology experience, having served as both head trader and managing director at Clarium Capital, Peter Thiel’s global macro hedge fund, since its inception. It was during this time that he became an advisor to Palantir Technologies and met his Blend co-founders. He is a veteran angel investor and has advised many startups during his tenure in Silicon Valley, brokering deals with top tier VCs on both sides of the table. Erin attended the University of Sheffield and holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Warwick.

Kyle Corkum

LStar Ventures

Kyle is the Managing Partner and CEO of LStar Ventures. He is a National Urban Fellow, a former member of the Urban Land Institute, and a member of ULI’s Residential Gold Council. Kyle also co-founded The Flying Fish Project, a charitable organization that supports children in need and the disadvantaged. Over the past 30 years, he has been responsible for the acquisition of nearly 35,000 housing units and over 15 million square feet of commercial. The first 22 years of his career were spent in the high barrier-to-entry submarkets of the Northeast where he gained extensive experience in residential development. As co-founder of LStar, Kyle has formed a company that specializes in the acquisition and management of developable assets. He assembled senior real estate executives who collectively have more than 400 years of experience in asset management, site selection, land development, finance/accounting, market analysis, sales, marketing and real estate law. Since its formation in 2007, LStar has partnered with affiliates to acquire more than 65 developments in 15 states with the guiding principle of doing the right thing, and doing it with passion.


Thomas J. Curry


Thomas J. Curry is a partner in Nutter’s Corporate and Transactions Department and a co-leader of the firm’s Banking and Financial Services group. He advises clients in a wide range of policy, regulatory, governance, and other matters. Prior to joining Nutter, Tom served as the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency until May 2017. He most recently served as an expert consultant for the International Monetary Fund.

In 2012, Tom was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Comptroller of the Currency – the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency that charters, regulates, and supervises national banks and federal savings banks. As Comptroller, Tom served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. He was also a member of the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Tom also served as Chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) for a two-year term from April 2013 until April 2015. Before becoming Comptroller in 2012, Tom served as a member of the Board of Directors of the FDIC. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. He continued to serve on the FDIC Board until May 2017.

Prior to joining the FDIC’s Board of Directors, Tom served five Massachusetts Governors as the Commonwealth’s Commissioner of Banks from 1995 to 2003 and
from 1990 to 1991. He was appointed by Governor William F. Weld, a Republican, in 1995 and by Governor Michael S. Dukakis, a Democrat, in 1990. Tom served as the Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors from 2000 to 2001, and served two terms on the State Liaison Committee of the FFIEC, including a term as Committee chairman.

Previously, Tom served as Acting Commissioner of Banks from February 1994 to June 1995. He previously served as First Deputy Commissioner and Assistant General Counsel within the Massachusetts Division of Banks. Tom entered state government in 1982 as an attorney with the Massachusetts’ Secretary of State’s Office. Tom was a longtime member of the NeighborWorks America Board of Directors (NWA). He twice served as Chairman of the Board of Directors, most recently from March 2014 through June 2016. NWA is a Congressionally chartered non-profit whose mission is to support affordable housing and community development.

Rachel Goor


Rachel Goor is Co-founder of Nesterly and a recent graduate of MIT’s Master’s in City Planning program. Prior to moving to Cambridge, she worked with several social justice organizations in the Bay Area, leading civic technology, fundraising, advocacy and organizing initiatives. She has been involved with housing issues at the local, state, and federal levels, and is excited about Nesterly’s potential to help solve the affordability crisis.

Soni Gupta

Boston Foundation

Soni Gupta is joining the program leadership team at the Boston Foundation as the Director of Neighborhoods & Housing. In this role, she will drive the development, implementation and evaluation of one of the Foundation’s strategic priorities: addressing the need for affordable homes for the people of Greater Boston with a special focus on affordability and “deep affordability.”

Soni comes to the Boston Foundation from Home Funders, an affordable housing collaborative where she served as Executive Director since 2011. There she worked on all aspects of its operations, including oversight of its loans and housing unit production goals, public policy and advocacy, and fundraising. Soni has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of affordable housing, with extensive knowledge of development and finance as well as first-hand experience with what it takes to successfully develop and sustain housing for very low-income families.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Sir J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai, India, and a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from MIT.

Prior to Home Funders, Soni was a consultant to several nonprofit housing producers across the state, and before that was Director of Housing at the Somerville Community Corporation, and Interim Executive Director at the AIDS Housing Corporation. She is also the President of the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) Board and currently co-chairs CHAPA’s Homelessness Committee.

Thomas Hardjono

MIT Connection Science and the MIT Trust::Data Consortium

Thomas Hardjono is the Technical Director of MIT Connection Science and the MIT Trust::Data Consortium. Passionate about the Internet infrastructure, equitable access and open source, he devoted several years at MIT running the MIT Kerberos Consortium. Prior to this he was a Distinguished Engineer at Bay Networks, Principal Scientist at VeriSign PKI, and held CTO roles at several start-ups.

With a background in cryptography, for the past two decades Thomas has been at the forefront of several identity, trust and cybersecurity initiatives in industry, ranging from network multicast security, IoT Security, trusted computing to scalable identity systems and interoperable blockchains. Having developed the notion of personal secure storage in the mid-1990s for individual privacy, he sees opportunity for the future blockchain and crypto-infrastructures to enable private computing spaces for individual and communities.

Thomas has authored several technical papers and books covering cryptography, networking, identity and blockchain security.


Chrystal Kornegay


Chrystal Kornegay’s passion for creating projects and programs that result in stronger communities for modest-income working families is evidenced throughout her 20+ years’ experience in community development. Chrystal Kornegay currently serves as the Executive Director of MassHousing. Before joining MassHousing in February 2018, Ms. Kornegay served as the Baker-Polito Administration’s Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development. Prior to that, Chrystal was Urban Edge’s President and Chief Executive Officer and an active member of MACDC. Ms. Kornegay brings to state government a deep understanding of affordable housing finance and the nuances of resident-led community development.

Since entering pubic service, Ms. Kornegay has used her experience, expertise and tenacity to advance several important priorities. Since FY 2015, the Baker Administration has increased state capital dollars for affordable housing by almost 18 percent and worked with the legislature to increase rental subsidies for low income families by 42%. Ms. Kornegay has worked collaboratively to launch a $100 million workforce housing initiative; collaborated with partners in state government and the non-profit sector to dramatically reduce the number of homeless families in motels; launched the Community Scale Housing Initiative; partnered with the Mel King Institute to provide leadership training to resident board commissioners serving on local housing authorities; and worked to streamline and grow the Community Investment Tax Credit program.

Ms. Kornegay is a graduate of the Achieving Excellence Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College.

Jonathan Lawless

Fannie Mae

Jonathan Lawless is Fannie Mae Vice President of Single-Family Product Development and Affordable Housing, and is responsible for driving innovation in the mortgage industry to expand access to credit and affordable housing across the country ultimately through programs designed to benefit renters, homebuyers, and the industry. Lawless leads development of test and learn initiatives to address changing market needs as well as developing other creative solutions to support lenders and servicers so they can better serve their borrowers.

Tim Logan

Boston Globe

Tim Logan writes about real estate, urban development and housing at the Boston Globe, where he has worked since 2015. Prior to joining the Globe he covered housing at the Los Angeles Times, economic development (and, sometimes, the beer business) at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and a variety of beats at newspapers in New York and Indiana. He grew up in Boston, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned a masters degree in urban affairs at St. Louis University. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two sons.

Noelle Marcus


Noelle Marcus is Co-Founder of Nesterly and a recent graduate of M.I.T’s Master’s in City Planning. She has a background in public policy, strategy and economic development. Over the past decade, she has worked within and for cities around the world including Kampala, Bogota, Athens, Oakland, Kansas City, Detroit, New York and Mexico City. As an urban strategy consultant, Noelle spent 3 years at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, providing City Hall with thought leadership on the sharing economy, local hiring initiatives, public open data, and the creative sector.

Timothy J. Mayopoulos

Fannie Mae

Timothy J. Mayopoulos has been Fannie Mae's President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the company's Board of Directors since 2012. Mr. Mayopoulos has played an integral role in the successful recovery of the company since the financial crisis. He joined Fannie Mae in 2009 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, and in 2010 he was named Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Mr. Mayopoulos was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Bank of America Corporation. Previously, he served in senior roles at Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law. Mr. Mayopoulos serves on the Board of Directors of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a technology and engineering company headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and on the Board of Directors of Lending Club, a peer-to-peer marketplace lending company based in San Francisco, California.

Debora Mesa

Ensamble Studio

Débora Mesa Molina , (Madrid, 1981) is European Licensed Architect and principal of Ensamble Studio, a cross-functional team, based in Madrid and Boston, that balances education, research and practice. Their work transcends methodological, technological and disciplinary conventions to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house. One of their latest built works, Cyclopean House, in Brookline, MA, prototypes a lightweight construction system fabricated off-site that is now being developed for larger housing projects in the US; tackling issues of affordability, architectural quality and work integration. Beside her professional career, Debora keeps an active research and academic agenda: most recently she has been visiting professor at Pratt Institute in 2018 and The Cooper Union in 2017 and has served as Research Scientist at MIT since 2013 after co-founding with her partner Anton Garcia-Abril, the POPlab (Prototypes of Prefabrication Research Laboratory).

Larry Sass

MIT Department of Architecture

Larry Sass is an architectural designer and researcher exploring digital design and fabrication across scales. As an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT, Larry has taught courses specifically in digital fabrication and design computing since 2002. He earned his PhD ‘00 and SMArchS ’94 at MIT, and has a BArch from Pratt Institute in NYC. Larry has published widely, and has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Larry’s research focused on digital delivery of housing for low income families. Main ideas are centered on discovery and development of new design tools that automated the production of design models and and aid in fabrication of finished construction. He believes that hand crafted, hand operated construction will soon be a thing of the past, and that in the future, buildings will be printed with machines run by computers. Today in the age of manufacturing with information and and new forms of machine intelligence more than ever designers will need new tools to produce their ideas. His latest obsession is development of fabrication based software that helps designers and builders physical produce ideas from 3D computer models.

Bob Simpson

Fannie Mae

Bob Simpson is Fannie Mae Vice President of the Affordable Mission Business platform, responsible for Fannie Mae’s affordable debt, equity, and green financing businesses as well as the implementation of Multifamily’s Duty to Serve regulatory plan. He has worked on affordable housing initiatives at Fannie Mae since 2000. He is currently assistant chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Affordable & Workforce Housing Council. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Simpson was a Special Assistant and Economic Development Director for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

Katherine W. Swenson

Enterprise Community Partners

Katherine W. Swenson is a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer, and educator.  She is the Vice President of Design & Sustainability at Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit organization that invests over $1 billion annually in community development. Her work investigates how critical design practice can and should promote economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities. A member of the second class of the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, Swenson has led the program since 2007 and nurtured a diverse network of design leaders fostering community revitalization and affordable housing development and supporting the healing of communities scarred by structural violence. The Enterprise Rose Fellowship has been showcased at Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Center for Architecture and the National Building Museum and recognized by the American Institute of Architects for its groundbreaking work.
Katie has 20 years of experience in the theoretical and practical application of design thinking and is a talented global public speaker and thought leader.  She co-authored the book Growing Urban Habitats and is a contributing author to Activist Architecture: Philosophy and Practice of Community Design and Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. Swenson founded the Charlottesville Community Design Center and has received numerous design and social innovation awards. She is on the Board of MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture collaborative and winner of the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from The University of Virginia.

Bill Wheaton

MIT Center for Real Estate, MIT Department of Economics

 A member of the MIT faculty since 1972, Professor Wheaton helped to develop the field of urban economics by pioneering the theory of how land, location, and housing markets jointly operate. He also specializes in the problems of urban infrastructure and local government finance. He has written numerous articles in scholarly journals throughout the world, and is a co-author of Urban Economics and Real Estate Markets, the first textbook to cover both real estate applications and economics. William Wheaton is a Professor holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Economics and Center for Real Estate. An authority on regional economics, Professor Wheaton is a principal in a consulting firm that provides market analyses for development companies active in the market for commercial space. In the last few years, Professor Wheaton has been actively applying economic research to the real estate industry. He helped organize the MIT Center for Real Estate, and teaches the program’s core course in Real Estate Economics. He was the first economist to apply econometric methods to the forecasting of real estate markets, and is a principal in Torto Wheaton Research, a globally-recognized real estate consulting firm that works with the real estate industry to better understand the fluctuations and trends of the market. Professor Wheaton received a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years he has worked with many US governmental agencies, as well as the World Bank and the United Nations. Closer to home, he has been a member of the planning commissions in each of the several towns where he has lived.

2018 Affordable Housing

Registration has now closed, we are currently taking a waitlist. If you wish to be added to the list, please email Sasha Silcox ( 


Housing + will take place on the 6th floor of the Media Lab (E14). The Media Lab is located on the corner of Amherst Street and Ames Street. 

Media Lab (Map)
Building E14, 75 Amherst Street,
Cambridge, MA. 02139-4307 USA


Getting to the MIT Media Lab (Building E14): If you are coming from Kendall Square: walk down Carleton St., turn right on Amherst St. The closest subway station to campus is Kendall Square on the Red Line. Public transportation fares and schedules may be found at the MBTA website. The campus map has directions for getting to MIT from the airport, via public transportation, and by car.


Boston Cambridge Marriott
50 Broadway
Camrbidge, MA 02142