All posts by David A. Smith

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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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The Guru Is In: Changing the cost conversation

When the conversation turns to high cost, we wish it would go away. We are defensive, hesitant, technical and long-winded; modes of argument that make the industry look like complacent apologists for the status quo. Though our mode of argument hasn’t cost us yet, if we allow others to frame the debate, inevitably it will.

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The Guru Is In: RAD and the preference cascade

The voluntary public housing revolution has yet to cost HUD a dollar: in fact, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) has leveraged $8.90 for every dollar of public housing funds deployed, generating $3.9 billion of construction investment on the 59,000 apartments that have closed, with another 126,000 on deck, which together are liberating 185,000 apartments from the 1.3 million home public housing inventory and awakening the hitherto squelched or sublimated entre- preneurial capacity of public housing authorities, many of whom may never have known they had it in them.

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