All posts by David A. Smith

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The Guru Is In: The forgotten housing experiment

When, in the 1960’s, Lyndon Johnson launched the federal government into the regulated public- private partnership era of affordable housing delivery, the initiative drew on two decades of multifamily rental experience, about which until very recently I knew nothing – the benevolent insurance-company as workforce housing investor/developer.

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The Guru Is In, Shift the focus of effort

Confession time: these days I seldom go to big-tent national affordable housing conferences. Half a day’s panels of my peers discoursing in informed erudite polyphony on the latest Washington bad news past, present or possible future leaves me enervated.

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The Guru Is In, The three right answers in Social Impact Bonds

For more than half a decade now, we’ve heard unicorn tales of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), and despite a compelling common-sense soundbite case, SIB sightings are rare, volume is minimal and replicable scalability at best theoretical…because we are having trouble putting together the right ingredients, the right government counterparties and the right sponsors.

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The Guru Is In, The urban palimpsest

In 1229, Christian monks in Jerusalem, rummaging about for parchment, unbound a centuries-old codex, scraped off what was written on it, refolded the leaves in half, and wrote atop the now-smaller book, at right angles, new liturgical texts for the Holy Land’s faithful knights.

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The Guru Is In, Twelve steps to leadership development

If a true test of a company’s sustainability is its ability to transition from a founding or visionary CEO or leadership team to a next generation of both, then the affordable housing industry is in a watershed, where we are about to discover how many of today’s leading companies will still be so in half a decade.

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The Guru Is In, Which switches to flip?

So long have the Historic and Low Income Housing Tax Credits existed substantively unchanged that we take both for granted, not just in their existence but also in their particulars – procedural switches that were set one way for the Historic Credit, another for the LIHTC.

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The Guru Is In, À travers le miroir

Just to our north lies a country whose population, eight percent less than California’s, is spread out over a land two percent larger than America, a country whose dominant language is the same as ours, and whose housing challenges are a refracted mirror image of ours at home, with fragments that are like ours but assembled in configurations entirely different from ours.

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