Harvard University’s Impactful Investments in Affordable Housing

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD User publishes a series of case studies based on federal, state, and local strategies that increase affordable housing opportunities, apply sustainable features and practices, and increase access to public transportation. The projects featured in these reports have demonstrated innovation through a multitude of partnerships and initiatives. Each report outlines a project's objectives and the development strategies used to achieve them.

In 2000, Harvard University committed $20 million dollars for the next 20 years to help fund the development of affordable housing in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Three local intermediaries serve as Harvard’s partners in the initiative, leveraging their longstanding connections to the community to select the projects that receive funding, which takes the form of below-market-rate loans used to support various predevelopment activities. The fund has revolved twice in its first two decades, yielding nearly $40 million of total investment that has supported the creation or preservation of over 7,000 units of affordable housing. In 2019, Harvard renewed its commitment of $20 million for an additional 20 years under a new name: the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative.

Visit HUD User's Case Studies page to learn more about affordable homeownership and to view other promising examples of how communities across the nation are raising the bar on sustainable community development.

Posted January 27, 2021

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