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Affordable Housing Policy and Finance


Units: 6


●       In this course students will be introduced to Affordable Housing Policy and Finance in the U.S. Context.  Approximately half of each class session will be spent describing local, state, and federal housing policies and discussing the implications (both positive and negative) of these policies in urban settings.  The students will read two books to be used as aids for class discussion.  The books are The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein and Evicted by Matthew Desmond.  Additionally, there may be one or two occasions where a guest speaker presents a specific policy issue.

●       The remaining half of each class session will be spent learning the financial computations used by practitioners of housing development.  In other words, how are new affordable housing developments financed when the developer knows that the rents will be less than what he/she could receive on the private market?  The course will cover the basic principles of both market-rate and affordable housing finance.  The instructor will also teach the fundamentals of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.  By the end of the course, the students will be expected to know how to calculate Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and use them to generate equity in affordable housing developments.

●       The course is for students who may want to work for local, state, and/or the federal government directly impacting issues related to affordable housing.  This course is also for students who would like to work for an affordable housing developer, a real estate practitioner, and/or is just interested in the topic of affordable housing.

●       There are no prerequisites for the course.

Learning Outcomes

●       Learning Objectives include:

●       Obtain an understanding of past and current U.S. Federal Policy related to affordable housing; specifically, as it relates to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

●       Understand the fundamentals of the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and how it is used as a funding mechanism to create affordable housing.

●       Be able to draft affordable housing budgets and cash flow analyses using various funding sources.

●       Understand the current local context as it relates to a shortage of affordable housing and learn how the City is trying to address this issue.

●       Learn about the historic role that public and private lenders have played in the housing market.

●       Study issues of poverty and racism by reading two policy-related books.

Prerequisites Description