Building exteriors and windows

Affordable Housing Essentials: How to Design, Develop, & Finance Properties Growing Cities Need

Gain the tools to create properties, programs, and policies that address this global challenge.

Not only is affordable housing a challenge to deliver around the world, but it is also an escalating challenge in the United States.  All growing economies or urbanizing metropolitan areas create increased effective demand for housing, pushing up prices and rents.  This makes shortages of affordable housing a chronic problem that can be addressed only by continuous policy and program innovation. 

Meanwhile, supply restrictions such as NIMBY zoning and the complexities of urban development have opened new fissures revealing the need for workforce housing, campus-based housing, and housing plus care services.  These new pressures overtax existing resources, whether these are infrastructure, buildable land, current zoning, or available subsidies.  

This program, designed for developers, financiers, investors, urban planners, architects, government officials (national, state/ provincial, or municipal/local), and real estate professionals offers a unique look into how we can overcome persistent housing affordability challenges in the US and worldwide.

What to Expect

a group working together on a design of a new property
classroom discussion featuring instructor and participant

To succeed in affordable housing today requires more than just making effective use of the obvious tools everyone covets, such as the US’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).  It requires inventing, rediscovering, or repurposing older ones such as inclusionary zoning, and unearthing or inventing new resources through the policymaking process.

Affordable housing development and financing is always peculiar in its unique place, and at the same time universal in its adaptable principles.  This course, taught by a leading innovator both nationally (47 years) and globally (23 years, including 60 countries), will show students how to survey their own individual housing ecosystems; how to inventory the available resources; how to unearth latent resources others have missed; and how to make impactful transactions happen.  Although the embedded case-study work will focus on a ‘real hypothetical’ US-based situation, students from anywhere will gain insights they can use back home.

  • Learn durable and globally applicable principles, practices, and approaches to change that apply to any urban affordable housing challenge.
  • For US practitioners, get a whole new lens through which to evaluate the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), workforce, mixed-income, and hybrid tenure models such as rent-to-own or shared appreciation.
  • Discover how to adapt principles, practices, and approaches 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 essentials 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 opportunities 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.
  • US affordable housing executives who are sure there is more to life than just the next cookie-cutter LIHTC property.
  • Global 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.
  • Session 1: Affordable housing and 21st century cities
  • Session 2: Housing’s value chains and making them work
  • Session 3: Finding the money: making private-sector economics profitable and the role of government
  • Session 4: Affordable housing now and into the future
  • 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)


Headshot of David Smith

David Smith

Founder and CEO, Affordable Housing Institute (AHI)

David Smith Introduces the Course

Participant Stories

Headshot of Tim Foote

Tim Foote

Realtor and Property Developer

Headshot of Vince Nguyen

Vince Nguyen

Business Strategist

Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development (PHCD)

Alex R. Ballina and Nathan Kogon

Affordable Housing Essentials: How to Design, Develop, & Finance Properties Growing Cities Need

February 5, 7, 10, & 12, 2025 | 11:00am – 2:00pm Eastern

Tuition:  $1,700 through December 15, $1,900
CEUs: Pending
AMDP Elective Units: 1

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Please sign up above if you would like to be notified when the next session is announced.

Discounts & Deadlines

To maximize the impact of this program, there is a social impact discount of 15% off the listed tuition that applies to many individuals who work in developing countries and organizations impacting housing affordability.

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions and to ask about group signup.

Registration Deadline: 3 hours before the start of the program.

Full Discount and Cancellation Policies