Press Releases

NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates Announce Inaugural Cities Selected for Local Housing Solutions

July 17th 2019

New York, NY— The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates announced today the cities of Atlanta, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Antonio as the first cohort selected to participate in the inaugural Local Housing Solutions Institute, a program to help cities and counties refine and strengthen their housing strategies to promote housing affordability and other locally defined housing goals. Senior officials from key housing and other agencies and organizations will take part in the Institute, designed by leading housing experts. The competitive application process generated over 20 proposals to participate from cities and counties across the country.

“We have selected these four cities due to their demonstrated dedication to comprehensively addressing affordability challenges,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, Faculty Director at the NYU Furman Center. “We are delighted to be able to offer this Institute as a way for this cohort to learn from each other and lay the groundwork for productive collaboration that generates real results.”

Rising housing costs are a major threat to communities’ quality of life and economic competitiveness. To counter this growing challenge, cities, counties, and towns need to design and execute comprehensive and balanced housing strategies that leverage the full range of policy tools and agencies that play a role in shaping the supply and cost of housing. Each city selected for the Institute will receive constructive feedback on its current housing strategies from Local Housing Solutions staff and their peers in other cities. 

“The complexity of designing a comprehensive and effective housing strategy can stymie even the most innovative and thoughtful city leaders,” said Jeffrey Lubell, Director of Housing and Community Initiatives for Abt Associates. “The Local Housing Solutions Institute will provide city officials with the time and space to be thoughtful, strategic, and intentional as they tackle the increasingly pressing issue of housing affordability.”

The Local Housing Solutions Institute is an intensive program of seminars, strategic consultation, and team-building designed to help cities and counties refine and strengthen their housing strategies to meet their own affordability and other housing challenges. Leading the institute will be staff from Abt Associates and the NYU Furman Center – the co-conveners of the National Community of Practice on Local Housing Policy and the co-creators of The first Institute will be held this September, with plans for additional cohorts in future years as funds permit.

“While each of these cities has made strides to tackle housing affordability, this Institute will accelerate the process of refining their housing strategies and help strengthen bonds among the participants critical for success.” said Mark A. Willis, Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center. “We look forward to collaborating with these cities as they develop, organize, track, execute, and evaluate their plans and objectives.”

The Institute is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

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About Local Housing Solutions: Local Housing Solutions is a joint venture of the NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates to provide resources to help cities, towns, and counties develop comprehensive and balanced local housing strategies that enhance affordability, protect low-income residents from displacement, and foster inclusive neighborhoods. More information is available at

About the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation: Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to transform the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in education, parks and greenspace, youth development, community redevelopment, and the arts, and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, and West Creek Ranch. More information is available at

About Abt Associates: Abt Associates is an engine for social impact, dedicated to moving people from vulnerability to security.  Harnessing the power of data and our experts’ insights, we provide research, consulting and technical services globally in the areas of health, environmental and social policy, technology and international development. More information can be found at

About the NYU Furman Center: The NYU Furman Center advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy. Established in 1995, it is a joint center of the New York University School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. More information can be found at and @FurmanCenterNYU.