We’re in the midst of a housing affordability crisis that will worsen if increases in housing supply remain anemic while demand increases as expected.

Brian Brooks, chief legal officer at the cryptocurrency company Coinbase (and former Fannie Mae general counsel), outlined the housing sector’s basic supply and demand mismatch during his keynote speech at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center’s sixth annual housing symposium.

Brooks offered a hopeful vision of four ways technology companies are stepping up to help address this crisis: reducing the cost of supplying new housing, expanding access to capital, improving our risk-prediction methods, and easing the costs and hassles of loan administration.

  1. Reducing the cost of supplying new housing Technology can make it cheaper to generate new units. Homebuilding has benefitted from 3D printing and modular housing construction by companies like Blokable, which builds the parts of a house in a factory and then ships the parts to the site for assembly.
  2. Expanding access to capital Companies like EasyKnock and NerdWallet make shopping for the best mortgage easier by taking on and automating most of a borrower’s work, even filling out the application, and delivering competitive options that fit a borrower’s unique situation.
  3. Improving risk predictions methods Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology can help us better predict risk by allowing us to create more accurate models and by delivering more data to plug into these models.
  4. Reducing the cost of loan administration Blockchain technology can reduce the costs of loan administration by automating more of the process. Provenance offers an electronic mortgage application process that creates a fully electronic mortgage note recorded on blockchain, without the need to register the note with an analog registry platform.

Read the full article about how technology can address affordable housing crisis by Sarita Williams and Sheryl Pardo at Urban Institute.