Gate House Partner and Vice Chairman Hunter Kurtz spoke at the the Millennial Action Project’s Future Summit 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 10, addressing the gathering of Gen Z and millennial state legislators about solutions to the nation’s affordable housing crisis.
Hunter previously served as HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, overseeing the nation’s public housing, Section 8 tenant-based programs, and affordable housing and community development programs for federally recognized tribes. He also served as a career civil servant at HUD, overseeing economic and community development programs, and as the Deputy Director of the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, where he contributed to the rebirth of a great American city.
At Future Summit, Hunter shared his perspective on what works and what doesn’t work for communities with different needs across the country. Citing an enormous shortage of affordable homes and, when it comes to public housing, waiting lists, Hunter said the affordable housing crisis “is not the same and every community and every community will need a different approach to solving their own problem …a one-size-fits-all approach to creating more sustainable, affordable housing does not work.”
“[It] will take a multitude of solutions that are tailored for each community to solve this problem,” Hunter said, and the goal for many in public housing, for example, is to help those not elderly or disabled gain a foothold on the road to self-sufficiently. Providing flexibility to localities who understand best the challenges of their community, Hunter shared, is key:
“We should give serious thought to how we can allow Cities, States and Public Housing Authorities more control of how they manage their portfolios and how to find unique ways to address their own housing needs,” he concluded. “Each community needs to be able to tailor the tools HUD and others provide to address their own unique problems.”