The Terner Center For Housing Innovation, a joint project of the College of Environmental Design and the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at UC Berkeley, announces funding of $2.34 million in seed capital from institutional and individual funders including foundations, real estate leaders and financial institutions. This funding is for research initiatives pursuing solutions to some of the most pressing housing challenges faced both locally and nationally.
The Center is led by Faculty Director Carol Galante. Ms. Galante brings more than 30 years of experience in housing policy, finance and development, as well as a strong network of leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Ms. Galante most recently served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Carolina Reid, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, serves as the Faculty Research Advisor. Professor Reid, with over twenty years of applied research and teaching, assists with the design and execution of the Center's research agenda and portfolio.
The Center’s research will focus on access and affordability of housing for families across the income spectrum and housing as a lever in tackling climate change and building economic opportunity. According to Ms. Galante, “The Terner Center will convene and leverage the best and the brightest from academia, business, civic organizations and the public sector to move the dial on today’s most complex issues in housing. We are particularly focused on urban communities with growing economies and shrinking housing options for working families. We will concentrate on innovative, scalable and data-driven solutions informed by an insight into what works and an ambition towards what’s possible.” The Center will be a hub for action-oriented research ensuring collaborations across sectors to identify the greatest opportunities for differential and significant impact.
Financial backing for the Center comes from an array of organizations and individuals who share the Center’s goals. Founding supporters include the Bank of America Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Michael Covarrubias of TMG Partners and Rick Holliday of Holliday Development. A number of individual philanthropists and institutions, including Citi Foundation and JP Morgan Chase Foundation, have recently joined and will be instrumental in the Center’s launch. “The breadth and depth of early support from such a diverse group of institutions is a real testament to both the tremendous confidence in the Center’s leadership and the urgency of the issues the Center is tackling,” said Center advisor and supporter Michael Covarrubias of TMG Partners and chair of the Bay Area Council.
“What we found compelling about the Terner Center is that the research will seek to influence the practice and work of real estate professionals, local, state and national government officials, and leaders in local and national non-profits,” said Fred Karnas, Senior Fellow at The Kresge Foundation. “The diversity of this audience is intentional; the viability of bringing innovation and new solutions to housing issues is dependent on collaboration and engagement with stakeholders in all of these sectors.”
With a national focus, and a home in the Bay Area, the Terner Center intends to harness the spirit of creativity and possibility ingrained in the region’s public and private sector practice. “Since it’s founding, the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley has been an incubator of new ideas and solutions to the challenges facing the built environment. Along with the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Haas School of Business, we are proud to support Carol Galante and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, and its mission of multi-sectorial research and policy-relevant innovation,” says Jennifer Wolch, Dean of the College of Environmental Design.
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation is named in honor of Don Terner, a social entrepreneur and leader in the affordable housing field. As one of the Center’s founding supporters and advisors, Rick Holliday of Holliday Development notes, “Don was a visionary. He was deeply committed to breaking down barriers and bringing innovation to affordable housing development. His profound impact on the field will be felt by generations and his legacy lives on in the important work of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.”
For more information on the Center, its research agenda, and its founding supporters visit ternercenter.berkeley.edu.