Thought leaders, housing experts, and homeowners will again meet in the heart of New York City for one of the largest conferences in the Northeast dedicated to affordable homeownership.

At this year’s summit, we will look to innovations from across the country as inspiration for local solutions. Sessions will touch on financial capability, coastal communities, housing counseling, mobilizing homeowners, and serving hard to reach communities.

We are excited and honored to announce that HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer will serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s summit!

Appointed in 2017 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Torres-Springer has demonstrated a holistic vision for neighborhood planning and strong support for homeownership. She joined HPD after serving as the first woman to lead the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Our plenary sessions will dive deep on community land trusts and our findings from a yearlong study of homeownership in East New York.

Our two sets of breakout sessions will explore best practices and inspire new approaches our work:

  • The Path to Sustainable and Resilient Homes: Adapting for Climate Change
  • The New Federal Policy Landscape: Local Organizing, National Concerns
  • On the Ground: Engagement Strategies for NYC’s Neighborhoods
  • Using Data to Advance Advocacy
  • Building a Foundation for Financial Stability
  • Sustaining Homeownership: Beyond Foreclosure Prevention

For full plenary panel and breakout session descriptions please see below.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here to register.

WHAT: 2017 Affordable Homeownership Summit

WHERE: New York City Bar Association, 42 W 44th St.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


9:15am: Attendee Check-in and Networking Breakfast 

9:45am: Welcome by Christie Peale, Executive Director, Center for NYC Neighborhoods 

10:00am: Keynote Address by HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer 

10:15am: Plenary Panel: Community Land Trusts for an Inclusive New York City

11:30am: Coffee Break 

11:45am: Breakout Sessions I

1:00pm: Lunch  

1:45pm: Plenary Panel: East New York at a Crossroads: Transformation in a Working Class Neighborhood

3:00pm: Break  

3:15pm: Breakout Sessions II

4:30pm – 6:00pm: Cocktail Reception 

Plenary Sessions

Community Land Trusts for an Inclusive New York City
With more urgency than ever before, the nation’s housing affordability crisis is pushing communities and governments to explore the community land trust model. In New York City, CLTs offer a pathway to a new kind of development in which housing is permanently affordable and built to reflect the interests of local residents. Through shared equity homeownership, CLTs can create opportunities for working class families to generate wealth while keeping homes and neighborhoods themselves accessible to future families of limited means. This plenary session will explore the potential for CLTs in New York City and bring in learnings gleaned from across the country.

  • New York City Council Member Donovan Richards
  • Greg Schiefelbein, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development
  • Karen Haycox, CEO, Habitat for Humanity New York City
  • Tony Hernandez, Director of Operations & Stewardship, Dudley Neighbors Inc.
  • Moderator: Colvin Grannum, President and CEO, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

East New York at a Crossroads: Transformation and Displacement in a Working Class Neighborhood
East New York has historically been one of the most affordable neighborhoods in New York City, where tens of thousands of working- and middle-class families of color own homes. But today, longtime homeowners, their tenants, and their communities face increasing uncertainty as they continue to confront the wreckage caused by the foreclosure crisis, as well as contend with new market pressures caused by rising prices and the specter of gentrification. The Center spent a year analyzing data and interviewing East New York homeowners to understand the trends. We’ll discuss our findings and present policy recommendations that can apply to working class communities undergoing rapid rises in property values.

  • New York State Assembly Member Erik M. Dilan
  • New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr.
  • Melissa Long, Deputy Director, Division of Housing and Community Development, City of Philadelphia
  • Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

Breakout Session Descriptions

Breakout Session I

Sustaining Homeownership: Beyond Foreclosure Prevention
While foreclosure prevention services can help families at immediate risk of losing their home because of mortgage problems, there are a slew of other challenges endangering the homeownership of New Yorkers with limited means, and the thousands of tenants who rent from them. This panel will explore pilot programs and policies that seek to stabilize homeowners by making home repairs, legalizing basement rental units, alleviating tax and water debts, and addressing the needs of seniors

  • Jason Fuhrman, Legislative Director, Office of the New York City Public Advocate, Letitia James
  • Rose Marie Cantanno, Associate Director, Consumer Protection Unit, New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Sarah Watson, Deputy Director, Citizens Housing & Planning Council
  • Moderator: Leo Goldberg, Senior Policy Associate, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Using Data to Advance Advocacy
Data is commonly used to describe the current state of a problem. How many homeowners are in foreclosure? Where are people most at risk of flooding? Even once a problem is identified, it can be challenging to use the same data to tell a clear and effective story to encourage people to take action.  Panelists from non-profits and private firms will discuss how they use data to advocate for specific goals using tangible examples.

  • Dan Kass, Executive Director,
  • Elizabeth Lynch, Supervising Attorney, Mobilization for Justice, Inc.
  • Caroline Nagy, Deputy Director of Policy and Research, Center for NYC Neighborhoods
  • Peter Olson, Director and Creative Technologist, IDEO
  • Moderator: John Baker, Data Manager, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Building Financial Stability for Homeowners
Working- and middle-class homeowners can face financial challenges that threaten their ability to retain ownership of their homes. Financial shocks such as job loss, an unexpected medical emergency, or an unplanned housing repair make it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments and other expenses. Financial planning can also be difficult for workers who face fluctuating income and expenses. This session’s panelists have developed innovative solutions to these financial challenges that can help us think more broadly about addressing the underlying financial instability that may undermine affordable homeownership in New York City.

  • Brigid Brannigan, Director of Programs, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
  • Beth Brockland, Center for Financial Services Innovation, Managing Director
  • Parker Cohen, Prosperity Now, Associate Director, Savings & Financial Capability
  • Cathy Kim, Enterprise Community Partners, Program Director, Vulnerable Populations
    Moderator: Amelia Erwitt, Managing Director, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

Breakout Session II

The New Federal Policy Landscape: Local Organizing, National Concerns
With the change in presidential administration, the outlook for financial reform and continued federal funding for housing and consumer financial protection is unclear. In New York State, advocates are leading the charge to defend the CFPB, rally the New York Congressional delegation against budget cuts, and ensure continued financial transparency. A panel of local organizers and national policy leaders will discuss current priorities, what could be on the horizon, and how New Yorkers can get involved.

  • Sarah Edelman, Director of Housing Policy, Center for American Progress
  • Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference
  • Ali Naini, Staff Attorney, Mobilization for Justice, Inc.
  • Brian Simmonds Marshall, Policy Counsel, Americans for Financial Reform
  • Moderator: Caroline Nagy, Deputy Director of Policy and Research, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

The Path to Sustainable and Resilient Homes: Adapting for Climate Change
This panel will explore how homeowners are uniquely positioned to drive strategies to adapt to a planet experiencing more extreme weather. Homeowners can now take advantage of advances in energy efficiency and flood mitigation retrofits, and can convert their homes to renewable energy. Panelists will discuss the government programs and policies that make these possible, as well as propose new strategies to educate homeowners about resiliency and sustainability.

  • New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca
  • Kara Allen, Senior Advisor, NYSERDA
  • Chris Gorman, Deputy Director, NY Rising Community Reconstruction, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR)
  • Rebekah Morris, Residential Retrofits Program Manager, Pratt Center
  • Moderator: Rachel Eve Stein, Deputy Director, Sustainability and Resiliency, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

On the Ground: Engagement Strategies for NYC’s Neighborhoods
The complexity and diversity of New York City neighborhoods can make it challenging to engage New Yorkers on issues that can impact their communities.  Come learn from leaders of nonprofits and faith-based organizations that have developed effective strategies to facilitate engaged community participation. Panelists will share their experiences and propose solutions.

  • Peter Cavadini, Chief of Staff, NYDIS
  • Yvonne Chen, Manager, Anti-Trafficking Initiative Outreach, Sanctuary for Families
  • Shanti Matthew, Strategy Director, Public Policy Lab
  • Moderator: Cristian Salazar, Deputy Director for Communications, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

For conference sponsorship opportunities contact [email protected].

Thank You to Our Lead Sponsors:


Thank you to the following organizations for their additional support:

BTQ Financial
Bridgehampton National Bank
Fannie Mae
Goldman Sachs
Habitat for Humanity New York City Community Fund
M&T Bank
Mr. Cooper