Kent W. Colton (born November 21, 1943) is a Senior Scholar at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. He is also the President of The Colton Housing Group, a housing research and consulting company engaged in a wide range of housing and housing-finance activities. Colton has more than 30 years of experience as a housing scholar and expert in the field of mortgage finance and housing policy. Colton has been described by the Harvard University Center for Textile and Apparel Research as an expert in mortgage finance and housing policy.
Kent Colton is a 1967 graduate of Utah State University. He received an M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT in 1973. In 1974, he was chosen as a White House Fellow and served as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Colton is also an author who has focused on the topics of housing finance and policies.
Since 1999 Colton has been engaged in a range of consulting and entrepreneurial activities related to housing as President of K Colton, LLC and now The Colton Housing Group.
Colton is the former Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, a position he left in May 1999 after service as the CEO for 15 years. During his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer, NAHB grew from 120,000 to a membership of 199,000 and implemented a wide range of new programs. Colton was responsible for managing a staff of more than 330 and overseeing an annual budget of $55 million. He also implemented a long-range planning process to outline the major business and policy challenges facing the housing industry in the future.
Colton moved to NAHB in April 1984 from Freddie Mac where he served as executive vice president of policy, planning and economic research from 1982–1984. During this period he was responsible for the corporations strategic and corporate planning, corporate product development and economic, housing finance and policy research.
In June 1981, Colton was appointed staff director of the President’s Commission on Housing. Ten months later, the Commission sent its 275-page report to then-President Ronald Reagan with more than 100 major policy recommendations on housing and the nation’s housing finance system.
Kent Colton served as a professor of public management and finance at Brigham Young University’s Graduate School of Management from 1978–1981. He also served as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1972–1978, and as an Associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of MIT and Harvard University during much of this period.
He was also a member of the Millennial Housing Commission which was established by the US Congress and reported to Congress on May 30, 2002.
Kent Colton currently serves as Chairman of the Center for Housing Policy Washington, DC. He also serves on the board of Southern Virginia University and the National Housing Endowment.
He is a member of the Board of Apple REIT Seven, Apple REIT Eight, and Apple REIT Ten (private Real Estate Investment Trusts headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.) The REITs are focused on hotels, with each REIT having over a billion dollars worth of hotel assets around the country.
He served as the Chairman and member of the Board of the National Building Museum for a number of years, and on the Board of the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council.
He is currently a member of the Romney Institute Advisory Board at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.
- Colton, Kent W. (2003). "Housing in the 21st Century: Achieving Common Ground". Harvard University Wertheim Publications Committee. Retrieved June 27, 2012. ISBN 0674010930
- Colton, Kent W. (2002). "Housing finance in the United States: the transformation of the U.S. housing finance system". Marriott School, Brigham Young University. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
- Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better: Lessons from the Harvard Home Builders Study (Dec 9, 2011). Lexington Books, Co-authored with Frederick Abernathy, Kermit Baker, ad David Weil.
- Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America’s Cities and States (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2007). Co-authored with Henry G. Cisneros, Jack F. Kemp, and Nicolas P. Retsinas.
- Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, October, 2004). Co-authored with Henry G. Cisneros, Jack F. Kemp, and Nicolas P. Retsinas.
- Computers and Banking, Electronic Funds Transfer Systems and Public Policy (Plenum Press, 1980). Edited by Kent W. Colton and Kenneth L. Kraemer.
- Police Computer Technology (Lexington Books, 1978).
- Housing finance in the United States: The transformation of the U.S. housing finance system (Working paper series/Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, 2002).
Colton has also written numerous articles on housing finance, the secondary mortgage market, housing policy, and a range of management issues.
Colton served a three-year assignment as president of the Florida Tampa Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2007–10).