Social Innovation Summit: Housing Stability

Moderated by Ann Owens, Price Center Associate Director, housing stability is one of the most critical policy issues of our time, and traditional policy levers have failed to catalyze the change needed to provide safe, affordable housing for all populations. Further, racial discrimination remains deeply entrenched within housing systems in the United States, building upon decades of racist and exclusionary policies. This panel will examine how social innovation can expand housing stability for vulnerable populations, and more specifically, correct some of the housing injustices and neighborhood inequities that have disproportionately affected BIPOC communities.


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Dr. Gary Painter, Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, Homelessness Policy Research Institute

Gary Painter is a Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. He recently published a co-authored book entitled, “Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based Payment Systems in the UK and US.” He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter is a leading figure in the field of social innovation. In addition to his recent book, he works extensively with a variety of social innovation organizations and collective impact networks to address some of the grand challenges that society faces. His current research focuses on how to activate the social innovation process. Professor Painter also has extensive expertise in housing, urban economics, and education policy, which shapes his research on how the social innovation process can identify new models of social change within these complex policy areas.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thornton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America.

Dr. Ann Owens, Associate Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation; Associate Professor of Sociology, Public Policy and Spatial Sciences

Ann Owens is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at USC. Her research interests include neighborhood poverty, neighborhood change, racial and economic school and neighborhood segregation, educational inequalities, affordable housing, and social policy. Previously, Ann received a PhD in Sociology & Social Policy from Harvard University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford.







Diane Yentel, President & CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Diane is the President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a membership organization dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. Diane is a policy expert and advocate with over two decades of experience on affordable housing and community development issues. Among other roles, she previously served as Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Enterprise Community Partners and Director of the Public Housing Management and Occupancy Division at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.







Gustavo Velasquez, Director, CA Dept of Housing and Community Development

In May of 2020, Gustavo Velasquez was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. In this leadership role, Velasquez leads California’s housing policy agenda and administers a wide range of programs that produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing and communities of opportunity across the state.

Velasquez was a senior director at the Urban Institute, a renowned national research organization working to provide data analysis and insights to policymakers and practitioners in ways both relevant and actionable. Velasquez served for nearly three years as assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He served on behalf of the president as the strategic lead of the fair housing and inclusive community agenda for the Obama administration. During his tenure, HUD achieved groundbreaking enforcement victories in fair lending and in major housing discrimination cases. Velasquez led efforts to promulgate the landmark Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a key tool for cities, states, and other HUD funding recipients to reduce inequality and disparities in access to opportunity.

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