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Housing Summit Series: Peter James Elkowitz

Peter Elkowitz

The 2014 Housing Summit is one month away. Hear what Peter Elkowitz, president and CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership is looking forward to discussing with his fellow panelists on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 16. The panel will tackle the questions about how to improve access to mortgage credit for responsible borrowers. Peter also recently contributed to our expert forum about shared equity housing models. You can check out more here.

The Housing Summit will attract attendees from all segments of the housing industry. In a sentence or two, please describe what you do.

I am the president and CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP), a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to provide affordable housing opportunities to those who, through the ordinary, unaided operation of the market place, would be unable to secure a decent and safe home. LIHP furthers its mission through development, technical assistance programs, lending, education, and leadership in public advocacy. I am responsible for the overall administration, operations, program and financial management of LIHP.

When did you become interested in housing, and why?

I became interested in housing some 30 years ago. When I was in graduate school, a professor told the class to all look around the room and said probably none of you or your friends will remain here on Long Island because of the lack of affordable housing. Since I was born and raised on Long Island, I thought I needed to do something about that pressing issue so I joined the Long Island Housing Partnership 26 years ago to work towards resolving the affordable housing crisis here on Long Island. Still working at it!

What is the most critical housing issue that we should be paying attention to today?

The most critical housing issues today are the lack of funding and flexibility for housing programs throughout the nation to meet local needs.

Your session will focus on access to mortgage credit where you and your fellow panelists will tackle the question of why creditworthy borrowers are having trouble getting a mortgage. What, in particular, do you hope to see addressed in the discussion or during the Q&A period?

Why creditworthy borrowers are having trouble securing mortgages should be discussed. During the question and answer session, it would be valuable to hear how this could be resolved moving forward. It is critical for creditworthy homebuyers to have access to credit to purchase a home in order for the economy to thrive.

If you were planning a housing summit, who would be your dream keynote speaker? Why?

The president so we can hear what his vision is on the federal housing policy followed by a question and answer period with practitioners and policy makers from the audience. This is important so there could be a give and take on what the housing needs are in the neighborhoods, and a meaningful exchange so that federal policymakers understand those needs as well as what is necessary and feasible to do to address them.

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