Planning for the Future – Building Resilience into Housing

Friday, March 22, 2013 — 9:15 a.m.–10:30 a.m.   

Planning for the Future: Building Resilience into Housing
With the accelerating rise of sea levels and intensifying weather events, where housing is located and how it is designed to meet changing conditions are becoming essential questions. What can be done with existing housing to make it more resilient to new conditions? Where should housing not be located? What changes in basic building codes are important to consider? Hear a discussion about recent lessons learned from those affected by recent hurricanes and the growing commitment to resiliency and long-term planning in the Gulf Coast area.

Watch the Session
Below is a YouTube playlist of five short videos recorded during the session. Watch all five videos or advance using the Playlist feature.

Speaker Biographies

John K. McIlwain, ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing (moderator)
John McIlwain is the senior resident fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. An author, speaker, and former lawyer, McIlwain brings more than 35 years of experience in the fields of housing, housing investment, and the development of sustainable housing. His responsibilities include helping to develop ULI’s research efforts to seek and promote affordable housing solutions in the United States and other nations, including development and housing patterns designed to create sustainable future environments for urban areas.

Prior to joining the ULI staff, McIlwain founded and served as senior managing director of the American Communities Fund for Fannie Mae in Washington. The American Communities Fund is a venture fund founded by Fannie Mae dedicated to investing in hard-to-finance affordable housing. In this capacity, he was responsible for structuring, underwriting, and closing equity investments in more than $700 million worth of residential and neighborhood retail developments in lower-income communities around the country. Before taking that position, he was president and chief executive officer of the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Before he joined Fannie Mae, McIlwain was the managing partner of the Washington law offices of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer, and Murphy, where he represented a broad range of clients in the single-family and multifamily housing areas. McIlwain also served as executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He began his career in housing as assistant director for finance and administration, and deputy director of the Maine State Housing Authority.

McIlwain is the immediate past chairman of the Center for Housing Policy and serves on the board of directors of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, the advisory board of the Greenline Community Development Fund, and the editorial board of the TOD Line – the NY & CT Transit-Oriented Development Newsletter. McIlwain is a past president of the National Housing Conference, an umbrella organization in Washington for low-income and affordable housing issues. He is also a past president of the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association.

McIlwain received a law degree from New York University, where he worked for the NYU Law Review and was a John Norton Pomeroy Scholar. He received a BA, cum laude, from Princeton University.

Betty Massey, Mary Moody Northen Endowment
Betty Massey works as the executive director of the Mary Moody Northen Endowment, a private foundation based in Galveston, Texas, that does charitable work in both Texas and Virginia. Prior to joining the foundation in September 2000, Massey worked for the Galveston Historical Foundation for close to 17 years, the last 11 of which she served as executive director.

With three decades of involvement in the Galveston Island community, during the last few years Massey has served as chair of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, vice chair of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, campaign chair of the United Way, chair of the city of Galveston’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, chair of the city’s Hurricane Ike Recovery Committee, cofounder and chair of the Galveston County Recovery Fund, and chair of the board of commissioners of the Galveston Housing Authority. Currently, she serves as chair of Artist Boat, and has returned to the board of the public school district educational foundation, which she cofounded in 2003. She also serves as vice chair of the community liaison board for Galveston National Laboratory located on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Massey is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Richard Roberts, Red Stone Equity Partners LLC
Richard Roberts is director of business development for Red Stone Equity Partners LLC, assisting in the origination and management of developer relationships in the Northeast and the development of new business strategies for the firm.

Roberts has extensive experience in affordable housing and urban market investments, having worked in these areas for more than 18 years. Prior to joining Red Stone, he worked in the government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors, including serving as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one of the largest allocators of low-income housing tax credits in the country, where he was responsible for the investment of more than $1 billion into New York City’s neighborhoods and the creation of 30,000-plus units of affordable housing. Roberts is also the founding managing director of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, where he devised and led a creative strategy responsible for the establishment of the firm’s community development investment platform.

Roberts is active on a number of civic, philanthropic, and industry organizations and serves on the boards of NYSAFAH and the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council (executive committee). He also is cochair of the ULI New York Housing Council.

Roberts holds both a BA and JD from Yale University.

Steven W. Sachs, Willis
As executive vice president and director of the Real Estate and Hotel Practice at Willis, Steven Sachs has more than 30 years of experience in the real estate development field as both a risk manager and an insurance broker. He developed the risk management function at the Rouse Company and was employed as the firm’s risk manager as an employee and on a contractual basis for over 31 years.

Sachs uses a wide range of insurance market relationships to develop and implement innovative risk transfer products for real estate clients. He is a frequent speaker at the Risk and Insurance Management Society National Conference on disaster planning, managing large losses, and loss forecasting and cofounded the Real Estate Industry Group. He served on the board of the Self-Insurance Education Foundation from 1992 to 2000 and the board of the Self-Insurance Institute of America from 1996 to 1999.

Sachs has developed the following programs for real estate clients:

  • Alternative risk financing funding techniques for windstorm and earthquake deductibles.
  • Risk management performance programs for a large office and shopping center developer (the Rouse Company) that reduced per-square-foot liability costs by 43 percent over a ten-year period.
  • Disaster recovery plans.

Moreover, Sachs was involved, as a team member, in the successful recovery of property during the Northridge earthquake, during Hurricane Andrew, and from the ship that struck the Hilton Hotel and Riverwalk Shopping Center.

Sachs served on the board of directors of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce from 1996 to 2002. He has been involved in his local community, having served on the board of the Howard Community College from 1987 to 1999, acting as chairman for a two-year term. Sachs was selected by the county executive as chairman of the Howard County Spending Affordability Committee in 1996 and 1997 and currently serves on the boards of the Columbia Festival of Arts, A Taste of Home, and the Howard Bank. He was selected as Business Person of the Year (2005/2006) by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and was selected for the Legacy Leadership Award by Leadership Howard County in 2011.

In 2006, Risk and Insurance Magazine awarded Sachs its Power Broker designation, an award given to 100 insurance professionals recognizing their dedication to their clients and their commitment to excellence.

Sachs has a BA in history from Duke University and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins.


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