Providing land or capital for affordable housing projects among solutions highlighted by white paper
WASHINGTON — The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area today released a special report that analyzes the ways higher education institutions could help relieve the affordable housing needs in the Washington, DC region.
The white paper, “Building Affordable Housing: Initiatives from Institutions of Higher Education,” was researched and written by the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship at the George Mason University School of Business in partnership with the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance. The study was made possible by the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. To access the full study, click here.
Severe housing shortages plague cities across the nation, including the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region, which has resulted in unsustainable rent burdens and few affordable options for those who want to purchase a home. For colleges and universities, lack of affordable housing affects their ability to attract students, faculty, and staff.
“Our colleges and universities are deeply concerned with housing as an issue of equity and access,” said Andrew Flagel, President and CEO of the Consortium. “As the largest collective non-Federal employers in the region, and serving hundreds of thousands of students, it is imperative that we seek innovative, collaborative new approaches to increasing affordable housing.”
The special report examines the housing crisis, and the direct roles colleges and universities can play in the production of affordable housing by providing land or capital. The report provides examples of successful precedents across the country that prove these approaches as viable solutions.
“The problem of housing affordability has grown to a point where institutions that anchor the well-being of communities have to be part of the solution, even if they have not traditionally played a role in the housing market,” said Eric Maribojoc, Executive Director at the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship at the George Mason University School of Business, and one of the study authors. “Everyone needs to contribute to producing more affordable housing in our high-cost and land-constrained area. Adequate housing for all income levels, and particularly for lower-income households, provides a stable foundation for people to pursue social and economic opportunities, including through higher education.”
The study covers how institutions can provide direct debt financing as well as through institutional-grade intermediaries and social impact funds. It also suggests the possibilities of building more affordable housing on campus land, co-location with new student housing or other campus facilities, leasing or contributing owned land, community land trusts, and other potential strategies.
“As anchor institutions, higher education has an important role to play to support affordable housing production,” said Michelle Krocker, immediate past Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, and one of the study authors. “Their investments benefit neighboring communities, and support faculty retention and students struggling with rising housing costs. These non-traditional stakeholders are vital partners in our region’s housing and community development work.”
About the Consortium of Universities of Metropolitan Washington Area
The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area was founded to foster collaboration for higher education and cultural institutions across the National Capital Region. The Consortium is a powerful unifying voice and collaboration tool for our members, and a force for access and equitable economic and workforce development.
About the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, School of Business, George Mason University
Bridging the gap between academia and practice, the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship addresses the issues affecting the real estate industry and the future of the built environment. Working in partnership with leading real estate developers, professionals, academics, and organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, the Center develops relevant content for the business and education communities
About the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA)
The Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance promotes healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities that meet the diverse housing needs of Northern Virginia residents. We accomplish our work through advocacy, collaboration, and action around system-level changes that are needed to increase the supply of affordable housing in the region.
Contact: Sheena Pegarido
(202) 559-4431, firstname.lastname@example.org