The Newsroom The Official Source for Auburn University News

Auburn University’s CityBuilders hosting Affordable Rental Housing Investment Forum at Truist Park in Atlanta

Published: May 09, 2022
Font Size

Article body

CityBuilders, an initiative of Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development, or MRED, program, will host its 2022 Symposium and Industry Networking Event on May 25 at Truist Park, home of the reigning World Series Champion Atlanta Braves.

The focus of this year’s event, The Future of Affordable Rental Housing and Real Estate Development—Partners, Capital and Innovation, combines insight and experience from prominent real estate business experts and community developers in the Southeast discussing opportunities for this growing market segment.

Hosts for this year’s event include Damon Duncan, a 30-year public housing professional who owns and operates Clesia Ventures LLC, an affordable housing development and consulting firm based in metro Atlanta, and Kim Kuerten, executive director of Graduate Executive Programs in Auburn’s Harbert College of Business. Other hosts include Greg Winchester, head of Industry and Alumni Relations and adjunct professor in Harbert College, and Justin Benefield, faculty director of the Auburn MRED program.

A unique opportunity  

A select group of prominent commercial real estate industry experts and community development officials will share their views surrounding the challenges and promise of affordable rental housing development in major southeastern markets. The symposium begins at 2 p.m. ET with a series of three panel discussions: “Partnerships and Industry Leaders,” “Capital and Credit Providers” and “Innovation: Developers, Contractors and Architects.”

Following the plenary sessions, an exclusive industry networking event will be held at Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos Back Porch of Truist Park. From this venue overlooking center field, attendees will watch the Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies starting at 7:20 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased through May 15 for $175. In addition to the symposium, networking event and ballgame, tickets also cover parking and food.

“This year’s event is going to benefit anyone in the affordable housing market,” Duncan said. “Navigating the challenges and opportunities of affordable rental housing development offers worthwhile advantages to businesses and communities for a host of reasons.”

The symposium delivers on the mission of CityBuilders and MRED, a joint program from Auburn’s Harbert College of Business and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, to drive thought leadership in commercial real estate development throughout the region.

“For Auburn, this event points to the legacy of success delivered by Auburn MRED leadership, faculty, partners and alumni over the past decade in serving the needs of the real estate development community,” said Kuerten.

An impressive lineup

Panelists for this year’s symposium include key contributors to the affordable housing development industry in the Southeast, including Doug Shipman, president, Atlanta City Council; Eugene Jones, CEO of Atlanta Housing; Steven Reed, mayor, City of Montgomery, Alabama; Adrianne Todman, Housing and Urban Development deputy secretary; George Guy, CEO, Fort Wayne Housing Authority; and David A. Northern Sr., CEO, Houston Housing Authority. Visit the CityBuilders website for the latest updates to sessions and panelists.

Winchester, who also is the MRED Advisory Council chair, commented on the extensive range of experience and expertise represented by this year’s program.

“Our faculty, partners and alumni have gone beyond the call of duty to help create unparalleled value for attendees at this event,” Winchester said. “More importantly, the enthusiastic participation of our hosts and lineup of expert panelists is a testament to the MRED program’s commitment to furthering the education and real-world engagement of both existing professionals and our pipeline of new real estate development graduates.”

Sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities for this year’s event remain open for companies looking to raise their visibility and support for affordable housing development. Sponsors receive multiple avenues of recognition for their support for this event and the ability to advance the continuing education and outreach initiatives of the MRED program. Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. World-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice in emerging business disciplines. The college’s alumni, friends and corporate partners actively support and engage faculty and students to integrate business theory with practical experience and instill the level of professional proficiency and personal integrity demanded by employers around the globe. Learn more at

Latest Newsroom Articles