The money

Housing Brass Tacks is an informal discussion series designed as a primer on big ideas and essential mechanics in housing policy and development.

February 27, 2017
7:00 p.m.

The production and consumption of housing requires money, needless to say. But where does the money to build and maintain affordable housing come from and who are the players in housing finance?

In our third Housing Brass Tacks discussion, Mark Willis will cover the basic structure of affordable housing finance and the economic and social reasons that government intervenes. Following up on our Affordability Toolbox discussion, Willis will focus on a few of the specific tools that influence these markets: subsidies—both direct and through the tax system, such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New York’s 421-a incentive—and the regulation and responsibilities of financial institutions, particularly through the Community Reinvestment Act.

Ample time for conversation will follow Willis’s presentation. You bring the questions, we’ll supply the experts and the wine.

Mark Willis is the Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center. Before joining the NYU Furman Center, Mark was a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation, working on research related to community development and the financial services sector. Prior to his time at Ford, he spent 19 years at JPMorgan Chase overseeing its community development program, serving as Executive Vice President and Founding President of the Chase Community Development Corporation. Mark has also held positions with the City of New York in economic development, tax policy, and housing, where he was the Deputy Commissioner for Development at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He also worked as an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mark has a B.A. in economics from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in urban economics and industrial organization from Yale University.

About Housing Brass Tacks

Understanding housing policy, finance, and regulation is daunting. One must wade through a sea of acronyms, untangle public and private interests, trace knotty financial flows, and decrypt complex bureaucracies. Making heads or tails of all this can take a lifetime, but the need to understand is urgent. We all feel New York City’s housing squeeze; increased affordable housing is a centerpiece of our mayor’s agenda; and sweeping changes in housing and community development policy may soon come at the federal level. The Architectural League is here to introduce (or refresh) our housing proficiency. Housing Brass Tacks is an informal discussion series designed as a primer on big ideas and essential mechanics in housing policy and development. We’re getting down to brass tacks: the fundamentals that structure this unwieldy topic.