MBA’s Affordable Housing Initiatives: Steve O’Connor


How to Reach Low Income and Minority Consumers

As senior vice president for affordable housing initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association, Steve O'Connor is rolling out affordable housing initiatives in several cities. Steve's role in the association is to build partnerships to address affordable housing and create more homeownership opportunities for low income and minority consumers.

Key Takeaways:

    • How to innovate and take responsible risks to find the hardest to reach consumers
    • The need for creating more homeownership opportunities for low income and minority consumers
    • How to have valuable public interest conversations by collaborating as different groups
    • How to make a difference in affordable housing by working together
    • Find your authentic purpose and create relationships for support to propel you


"Find your authentic purpose, which is different from your passion. Your purpose is larger than yourself. It's your why and it's going to sustain you when you hit those roadblocks in your career." -Steve O'Connor


In this episode you'll discover:

    • Steve describes his 35-year career in the public policy and affordable housing sector [1:12]
    • How he led a policy team during recession to stabilize the markets and rebuild the housing system [4:50]
    • The efforts to be taken to reach the hardest to reach consumers in housing [6:56]
    • The importance of policies that correct the long historical patterns of injustice [9:25]
    • Ways to measure risks responsibly to reach the hard-to-reach housing consumers [10:27]
    • Steve explains the mortgage role of the over a 100 years old Mortgage Bankers Association [13:36]
    • The meaning of housing affordability in the renting and homeownership space today [16:24]
    • Understanding workforce housing- creating affordable housing near jobs locations [19:11]
    • How the virtual work arrangements are likely to change housing dynamics in the future [20:53]
    • The MBA's Consumer Affairs Advisory Council role in having public interest issues dialogues [23:41]
    • Why they're specifically focusing on an affordable housing initiative in Memphis [27:11]
    • The concern of public health crisis and economic crisis caused by the pandemic [30:08]
    • The importance of engaging in authentic partnerships to solve problems in affordable housing [31:15]
    • Why we should address the inequities that have been accentuated by the pandemic [32:17]


Steve O'Connor is Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He manages MBA's efforts to support the affordable housing policy and business objectives of our members. He is also responsible for outreach to industry groups, consumer organizations, and other key stakeholders. O'Connor is a regular guest speaker on industry issues.

Previously, he worked in government affairs for the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac. He also worked for Skyline Financial Services Corporation.


Steve O'Connor leads MBA's Consumer Affairs Advisory Council. He also serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Freddie Mac's Affordable Housing Advisory Council, the National Urban League's Business Solutions Council, the Homeownership Council of America, and Quick Loans Consumer Advisory Council.


Steve holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from Marquette University and a Master's degree in political science from American University.


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