All posts by David A. Smith

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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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The Guru Is In: Bringing School Home

Because the cycle of poverty is generational, to break it we must adopt a generational approach, enlisting the whole family so that those who are older can help those who are younger aspire to, and achieve, more than their parents did.

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The Guru Is In, The Sky Isn’t Falling

Among those destabilized by the aftershocks from our recent presidential election are many of my colleagues and friends, for whom the conjoining of ‘tax reform’ and ‘Trump’ have had an effect on their check-writing hands similar to a crowbar whacking their ulnar nerves.

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The Guru Is In, The asset class under our noses

In early October, the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing and the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL) co-hosted a day-long symposium/roundtable on what we decided by the end of the day just might be an emerging asset class whose preservation is integral to the success of America’s cities and the urban economy.

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