Affordable Housing Fundamentals and Frontiers

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  • Affordable Housing Fundamentals and Frontiers
    Globally Applicable Principles for Changing Markets

    February 14 – 18, 2022

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Dates: February 14, 15, 17 & 18, 2022
Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Location: ONLINE
AMDP Elective Units: 1
Tuition: $1,800
Program size is limited and early registration is recommended.
Please review our cancellation and discount policies prior to registering.

This immersive course presents affordable housing as a distinctive real estate asset class, applicable in every country in the world, that rewards specialist entrepreneurship by people and entities that can truly deliver a double-bottom-line value proposition: better living situations for deserving households alongside economically profitable and sustainable properties.  At the same time, it puts students to work applying these principles in an immersive multi-part case exercise drawn from a real property in a real setting.

Though affordable housing has existed as an asset class for half a century, over the last two decades it has risen globally in importance, urgency, and public resources, and is emerging as more important than ever. And as stakeholders demand rapid innovation to tackle urgent housing challenges, in country after country affordable housing now has its biggest change-opportunity window in recent times.


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Unlike traditional real estate development, where lack of capital can be a barrier to entry, affordable housing is a growing and rapidly evolving business where opportunities can be created, and resources identified and captured, by those who bring ideas, expertise, and energy. Additionally, many markets (both globally and in the US) have a shortage of capable locally-knowledgeable affordable housing specialist developers, lenders, investors, and policymakers – which creates opportunity for new entrants.

All around the world, housing is economic infrastructure, because it is where jobs go to sleep at night. Affordable housing is foundational economic infrastructure, because that is where essential urban jobs go to sleep at night. Globally, informal housing is where informal jobs go to sleep at night, resulting in the rapid growth of informal neighborhoods and potentially slums. This makes housing both a driver of a growing, sustainable urban economy and a casualty of that same success: the more the economy grows, the more affordable housing is needed, and yet the less naturally does the market produce it. That paradox creates a policy opportunity: sooner or later, every level of government realizes that without affordable housing, the city will become unaffordable and unsustainable, and that it is up to government to create the enabling environment, and provide the critical legal and financial resources, to foster growth of affordable housing.

In turn, that policy response creates business opportunity, because government needs real estate entrepreneurs to turn laws and money (subsidy) into desirable homes and community outcomes. Add to this the world’s emergence into an evolving health-aware built environment and the challenges, and the profitable opportunities, abound – for people and companies that know where to find them, and how to grow them from ideas into transactions.

This course is not focused on the specifics of affordable housing in any specific market, including the United States. Powered by the instructors’ decades of experience in hundreds of projects in 50+ countries around the world, this course enables participants to zoom out and see the context of their cities’ housing markets, so that they may best understand how to improve it.


Founder and CEO, Affordable Housing Institute (AHI)
Full Bio  >>

Course - Instructor - Margaux Morenas

Senior Analyst, Affordable Housing Institute
Full Bio  >>

Course - Learning Objectives - AH

Learning Objectives

  • Learn durable and globally applicable principles, practices, and approaches to change that apply to any urban affordable housing challenge.
  • Discover how to adapt them to individual contexts.
  • Draw lessons from dozens of countries around the world, developed and emerging.
  • Use a real-life, multi-part case study that demonstrates the universal aspects of affordable housing, and the crucial details of its local application
  • Master the universal fundamentals of affordable housing, and understand how they can be adapted by place, policy, and laws – enabling participants to analyze the housing models needed in their changing cities
  • Frame affordable housing for external stakeholders as an imperative where they should act to help. Understand the pathways by which political or market desires can be converted into successful housing developments.
  • Recognize development and redevelopment opportunity in an urban context. Identify financial and subsidy resources that, if tapped, turn uneconomic eyesores into profitable development opportunities.
  • Decide whether and how to enter or expand your company’s or agency’s involvement with affordable housing.

Course - Who Should Attend - AH

Who Should Attend

  • Executives from anywhere in the world whose work connects to housing and urbanization.
  • Developers, financiers, investors, urban planners, government officials (national, state/ provincial, or municipal/local), and real estate professionals (e.g., attorneys, accountants, appraisers) working in these fields.
  • Domain experts in health, municipal development, insurance, or economic development who have discovered that affordable housing is essential to what they do and who need to understand how to approach incumbents without being trapped in jargon or old, static ways that are not addressing current challenges.
  • Housing organization board members, executives leading regional housing commitments at large companies, and executives leading shelter networks seeking to transition from relief to redevelopment or revitalization.

David Smith on Global Housing

David Smith on the Challenges of Redevelopment


Program Structure

Module Schedule

  • Feb 14: Affordable housing and 21st century cities
  • Feb 15: Housing's value chains and making them work
    • Feb 16: Office Hours (optional)
  • Feb 17: Finding the money: making private-sector economics profitable
  • Feb 18: Leading in the Post-COVID environment
    • Feb 21: Office Hours (optional)


Module Structure

  • Lecture (orientation)
  • Case work (building layers of understanding)
  • Report-out (pros and cons, tensions, decisions for case purposes)
  • Way forward (what comes next, what to think about beforehand)

Participant Stories

Who has taken this course before? And what impact has this program had on participants? See participant stories here.


[ONLINE] Affordable Housing Fundamentals and Frontiers:
Globally Applicable Principles for Changing Markets
Dates: February 14, 15, 17 & 18, 2022
Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Location: ONLINE
AMDP Elective Units: 1
Tuition: $1,800


Program size is limited and early registration is recommended.
Please review our cancellation and discount policies prior to registering.