Can You Afford to Live Where You Choose?

Dr David Rosen

Co-presented with the Future Cities Collaborative at the US Studies Centre the University of Sydney

4 March, 2015

The delivery of housing to first homebuyers, renters, key workers and the disadvantaged poses a significant issue across the state of NSW. or local government there are currently very few meaningful ways to respond to this challenge to deliver both housing that is affordable relative to household incomes and financially assisted 'affordable housing'.

The social dislocation and economic disadvantage caused by the inability to deliver housing of the form and price of that required by key parts of our communities is likely to continue to worsen unless meaningful and urgent measures are not taken. The net migration out of an area for 18-34 year olds, leaving family, friends and networks, to move to areas of a lower price point and areas with strong job opportunities and an affordable rental market in continuing. Similarly, many cannot afford to live in the community they work, leading to longer commutes, congestion, lost productivity, and social impacts on families and relationships.

The United States cities also face these issues and are addressing housing affordability and affordable housing through a number of levers created at a local, state and federal government level including the provision of tax incentives for corporations to assist in affordable housing projects, affordable housing targets, inclusionary zoning, and increased diversity of housing products (e.g. decoupling car parking requirements).

David Rosen, a recognised authority in the field of US affordable housing finance will share his thoughts on how these levers may apply to the Australian context.


Dr David Rosen

David Rosen is a recognised authority in the fields of affordable housing finance, inclusionary housing, redevelopment, real estate economics, and renewable energy in the US. He is an expert in affordable housing deal structuring, value capture analysis, capital markets and asset management. His company, DRA Principals, has advised on more than $9.0 billion in development finance. Dr Rosen has represented public and private sector clients in more than 220 jurisdictions. Clients include FHA, Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Bank System and others.

Dr Rosen led a national research effort funded by the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations to conduct a government-wide review of $7 trillion in federal finance, tax, lending, spending and regulatory programs and policies as they affect real estate investment and smart growth. He has been invited on numerous occasions to provide briefings to the White House and senior Administration officials in half a dozen agencies, presenting DRA’s policy recommendations to the Obama Administration.

Dr Rosen has advised US state agencies, for profit and nonprofit development corporations, agricultural enterprises and financial institutions on energy efficiency and renewable energy finance and development. He is a widely published author and frequent national speaker on affordable housing and energy finance policy and practice.

Dr Rosen earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University and his Doctorate in Public Policy from the Union Institute.