MORE TO EXPLORE: Housing

Combating Gentrification and Financing Affordable Housing in Tanzania

Client
United Nations Capital Development Fund
Faculty
Paul Smoke
Team
Ying Huang, Shayan Malik, Meredith McNair
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency, aimed at promoting investment in the public and private sectors through banks and local governments, to scale up innovative financing mechanisms for the world’s poorest people. UNCDF enlisted a Capstone team to conduct extensive research on gentrification and the lack of affordable housing in Mwanza, Tanzania. The team traveled to Mwanza where they collected quantitative data and interviewed several stakeholders, including representatives from the central and local governments, NGOs, and low-income residents. The team researched affordable housing finance models and anti-displacement strategies from around the world. The research culminated in a report that analyzed the problem of gentrification in Mwanza and the stakeholders involved, and recommended international affordable housing strategies that could be applied effectively in Mwanza.
Capstone Year

The Interplay Between Low-Income Housing and Air Pollution in Urban india

Client
World Bank
Faculty
Natasha Iskander
Team
Sasha Massey, Whitley Richards, Melissa Serrano, Jingyi Wu
The World Bank, an international financial institution, aims to end extreme poverty and foster income growth by providing financial assistance and support to various countries. The World Bank’s New Delhi office engaged a Capstone team to investigate the relationship between air pollution and affordable housing construction in India. Air pollution in India’s urban areas has reached emergency levels with thick fog reducing visibility and posing adverse health effects. The team focused on analyzing the construction methodologies used for low-income housing and the correlation between the construction of affordable housing and air pollution. The team evaluated existing research to uncover relevant stakeholders, standard affordable housing approaches, best practices from other countries, and steps that can minimize future air pollution caused by construction. The team provided World Bank with a report detailing an innovative and eco-friendly brick development methodology and policy recommendations to promote affordable housing approaches that will minimize carbon dioxide emissions.
Capstone Year

Developing a Model of Adaptive Reuse in Jackson, Mississippi

Client
Mississippi Center for Justice
Faculty
Alan Cohn
Team
Shengdi Chen, Joanna Farley, Xin Ge, Emily Riquelme
The Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) is a nonprofit, public interest law firm that collaborates with communities to promote justice in the areas of housing, health, education, economic security, and disaster recovery. MCJ engaged a Capstone team in addressing issues surrounding "blighted" properties—vacant and abandoned properties that have a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhoods—in the Jackson and Mississippi Delta regions. The team conducted a literature review, case studies, and in-depth interviews with stakeholders to identify barriers and opportunities and establish a model that will mitigate the negative impact of blighted properties on communities, while simultaneously addressing the need in low- and middle-income housing areas. The team presented a set of strategies for overcoming barriers and maximizing opportunities for adaptive reuse and presented a final report containing recommendations for a structure and system that can guide MCJ’s efforts.
Capstone Year

Improving Health Outcomes Via Affordable Housing Provision

Client
New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Enterprise Community Partners
Faculty
Rona Affoumado
Team
Cristian Ariza, Sabina Braverman, Nadia Chait, Olga Deschenko, Mary Nadolny
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) is dedicated to building and protecting affordable housing and increasing home ownership statewide. Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with partners nationwide to finance, build, and advocate for affordable housing. In Brooklyn, HCR and Enterprise partner with developers and several hospitals to provide affordable housing that also improves health outcomes. HCR and Enterprise jointly engaged a Capstone team in developing recommendations for building affordable housing that improves health outcomes of residents and informing their evaluation of housing proposals. The team first completed a literature review and a case study of housing and health. The team then researched population health challenges and resources in the targeted communities. Finally, the team provided a summary of project ideas for the developers, an overall report on the population health challenges in Central Brooklyn with recommendations for housing interventions, and a customized version of Enterprise’s Health Action Plan for Central Brooklyn.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Investigating the Implications of Establishing of a Community Land Trust

Client
We Stay/Nos Quedamos
Faculty
Alan Cohn
Team
Monica Flores, Joyce Li, Yixin Li, Karlo Ludwig, Stephan Petryczka
We Stay/Nos Quedamos (NQ), a New York-based nonprofit community development corporation, is committed to promoting healthy and sustainable growth. NQ is pursuing the establishment of a community land trust to address the lack of affordable housing in the South Bronx and create a more intentional and equitable community fabric in the area. NQ engaged a Capstone team to aid in the establishment of the land trust by assessing the formation’s logistical, legal, and societal implications. The team conducted a literature review of land trust formation legal and financial frameworks and completed a series of case studies from around the country. The team recommended which geographic clusters of vacant lots NQ should target for its initial affordable housing developments, how to form strategic external partnerships, and best practices in developing a governance structure for the prospective land trust.
Capstone Year