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Meet the Affordable Housing Team

Our dedicated team is working hard to increase access to homeownership for minority and low- and moderate-income populations. By working collectively, the CONVERGENCE team and its participating partners will create greater homeownership and affordable rental opportunities for more Americans.

Steve O'Connor, Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives

Steve O'Connor Headshot

Steve 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.

Steve leads MBA's Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and 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 Rocket Mortgage Consumer Advisory Council.

Steve joined MBA in 1996. Previously, he worked in government affairs for the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac. He also worked for Skyline Financial Services Corporation. Steve holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from Marquette University and a Master's degree in political science from American University. Contact Steve at [email protected].

Wendy Penn, Associate Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives

Wendy Penn

Wendy provides strategic leadership and management of the day-to-day execution of MBA's Affordable Housing Initiatives. She oversees the team's execution of MBA's CONVERGENCE place-based initiatives, the work of two MBA member advisory councils on affordable housing, MBA's Consumer Affairs Advisory Council, and a variety of task forces, and special projects. 

Prior to joining MBA, Wendy was with the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) for 15 years where she managed their Housing Opportunity Program. Her work focused on creating tools and resources and providing technical assistance to state and local REALTORS ® associations to help them create affordable housing initiatives. Before NAR, Wendy worked at the National Retail Federation as Director, Member Services. 

Wendy holds an MS degree in Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus and a BS in Communications from James Madison University. Contact Wendy at [email protected]

Katelynn Harris Walker, Associate Director for Affordable Housing Initiatives

Katelynn Harris

Katelynn staffs and manages MBA's Affordable Rental Housing and Homeownership Advisory Councils. With the Senior Vice President, she helps oversee and lead MBA's CONVERGENCE efforts, the place-based initiatives to working expand minority homeownership in Memphis, TN and Columbus, OH. Prior to joining MBA, Katelynn was the Policy Director for the National Association of County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) and the National Association for Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA), where she managed all governmental affairs activities and advocacy efforts for both organizations. 

Before NALHFA and NACCED, Katelynn was the Legislative and Policy Coordinator for the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCHSA), where she focused on multifamily tax issues. Prior to NCSHA, Katelynn interned with the policy and research department at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and with the administrative department at Wine to Water. Katelynn holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master of Arts degree in American Government from Appalachian State University, as well as a professional certificate in nonprofit management. Contact Katelynn at [email protected].

Jorden Hartmann, Program and Policy Specialist for Affordable Housing Initiatives

Jorden Hartmann is the Program and Policy Specialist for the Affordable Housing Initiatives team. Before joining the MBA team, Jorden served as Associate Director of Development for the Westminster Ingleside Foundation, where she provided leadership for creating strategic fund development initiatives, including major and planned giving programs, annual giving, events, and campus-based strategies.

Prior to her role with Westminster Ingleside Foundation, Jorden gained valuable community engagement and project management experience working on several state and local campaigns, managing programs for a local schoolboard foundation, and as a Congressional Fellow. In addition, Jorden stays closely connected to local housing issues in her role as a board member for Hope and a Home, whose mission is to empower low-income families with children in D.C. to create stable homes of their own and to make lasting changes in their lives. Jorden holds a BA in Politics and Law from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Contact Jorden at [email protected].