urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

What Works Collaborative

what works colloborative header

Key Researchers

The Collaborative is made up of independent researchers from academia and policy think tanks. Key researchers include:

  • Vicki Been, NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
  • Eric Belsky, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • Alan Berube, Brookings Institution
  • Mary Cunningham, Urban Institute
  • Ingrid Gould Ellen, NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
  • Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution
  • Margery Austin Turner, Urban Institute

Core Research Partners

The Collaborative is a unique partnership that brings together research organizations. The core research partners include:

  • Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program
  • Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • New York University, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
  • Urban Institute, Center for Metropolitan Housing and Communities

In addition to the core research partners, the Collaborative draws on researchers from academia, policy, and practice.

Foundation Partners

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Open Society Institute
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation
The What Works Collaborative is a foundation-supported partnership that conducts timely research and analysis to help inform the implementation of an evidence-based housing and urban policy agenda. 

Our goal is to build knowledge and share solutions with policymakers at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other federal agencies.

The collaborative has undertaken more than two dozen independent research projects that focus on HUD's strategic goals.

Currently, the Collaborative is surfacing critical questions for policy research, engaging stakeholders in the field of housing policy, and working to help funders identify and conceptualize a research agenda that will help move policy and practice forward. This process has led to a series of field-building research agendas.


Field-building Research Agendas

arrow Housing as a Platform for Improving Education Outcomes among Low-income Children

arrow Housing as a Platform for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

arrow Housing as a Platform for Improving Outcomes for Older Renters

arrow Challenges Facing Housing Markets in the Next Decade

arrow Critical Housing Finance Challenges for Policymakers

arrow Building Successful Neighborhoods

arrow The Intersection of Place and the Economy 



arrow A Proposed Demonstration of a Flat Rental Subsidy for Very Low Income Households
Mary K. Cunningham, Josh Leopold, Pamela Lee

arrow Income Mixing across Scales: Rationale, Trends, Policies, Practice, and Research for More Inclusive Neighborhoods and Metropolitan Areas
Laura Tach, Rolf Pendall, Alexandra Derian

arrow Neighborhood Investment Flows
Brett Theodos, G. Thomas Kingsley, Simone Zhang

arrow What Works Collaborative Assessment Report
Kathryn W. Hexter, Edward W. Hill, Brian A. Mikelbank, Benjamin Y. Clark, Charles Post

arrow The Role of Investors in Acquiring Foreclosed Properties in Boston
Christopher E. Herbert, Lauren Lambie-Hanson, Irene Lew, Rocio Sanchez-Moyano

arrow Investors and Housing Markets in Las Vegas: A Case Study
Alan Mallach

arrow The Role of Investors in The One-To-Three Family REO Market: The Case of Cleveland
Frank Ford, April Hirsh, Kathryn Clover, Jeffrey A. Marks, Robin Dubin, Michael Schramm, Nina Lalich, Andrew Loucky, Natalia Cabrera

arrow The Role of Investors in Acquiring Foreclosed Properties in Low- and Moderate-Income Neighborhoods: A Review of Findings from Four Case Studies
Christopher E. Herbert, Irene Lew, Rocio Sanchez-Moyano

arrow Moving to Educational Opportunity: A Housing Demonstration to Improve School Outcomes
Megan Gallagher, Simone Zhang, Jennifer Comey

arrow Examining Housing as a Pathway to Successful Reentry: A Demonstration Design Process
Jocelyn Fontaine

arrow Maintenance and Investment in Small Rental Properties Findings from New York City and Baltimore
Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy

arrow Revitalizing Distressed Older Suburbs
Kathryn W. Hexter, Edward W. Hill, Brian A. Mikelbank, Benjamin Y. Clark, Charles Post

arrow Towards Evidence-Based Sustainable Communities: Report on Survey of Urban Sustainability Centers in U.S. Universities
Hilda Blanco, Genevieve Giuliano

arrow Rental Market Stresses: Impacts of the Great Recession on Affordability and Multifamily Lending
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

arrow Cutting Carbon Costs: Learning from Germany's Energy Saving Program
Anne Power, Monika Zulauf

arrow Opportunity-Rich Schools and Sustainable Communities: Seven Steps to Align High-Quality Education with Innovations in City and Metropolitan Planning and Development
Deborah L. McKoy, Jeffrey M. Vincent, and Ariel H. Bierbaum

arrow The Potential for Public-Private Partnerships: Philanthropic Leaders Housing as a Platform
M. Katherine Kraft, Rebecca R. Riley

arrow The Federal Role in Supporting Urban Manufacturing
Nisha Mistry, Joan Byron

arrow Vibrant Neighborhoods, Successful Schools: What the Federal Government Can Do to Foster Both
Margery Austin Turner, Alan Berube

arrow Long-Term Low Income Housing Tax Credit Policy Questions
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

arrow Scaling the Nationwide Energy Retrofit of Affordable Multifamily Housing: Innovations and Policy Recommendations
Lori Bamberger

arrow Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity
Vicki Been, Mary Cunningham, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Adam Gordon, Joe Parilla, Margery Austin Turner, Sheryl Verlaine Whitney, Aaron Yowell, and Ken Zimmerman

arrow Seeking Sustainable and Inclusive Communities: A King County Case Study
Sheryl Verlaine Whitney

arrow Urban Policy in the Carter Administration
G. Thomas Kingsley and Karina Fortuny

arrow Improving U.S. Housing Finance through Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Assessing the Options
Ingrid Gould Ellen, John Napier Tye, and Mark A. Willis

arrow The Disruption of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Causes, Consequences, Responses, and Proposed Correctives
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

arrow Monitoring Success in Choice Neighborhoods: A Proposed Approach to Performance Measurement
Robin E. Smith, G. Thomas Kingsley, Mary K. Cunningham, Susan J. Popkin, Kassie Dumlao, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Mark Joseph, and Deborah McKoy

arrow Reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction
Eric Toder, Margery Austin Turner, Katherine Lim, and Liza Getsinger

arrow Facing the Urban Challenge: The Federal Government and America's Older Distressed Cities
Alan Mallach

arrow Federal Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of Federal Programs
Amy Liu

arrow The Resident Choice Option: Reasons Why Residents Change from Project-Based Vouchers to Portable Housing Vouchers
Mary K. Cunningham and Molly M. Scott

arrow  Improving Neighborhood Location Outcomes in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: A Scan of Mobility Assistance Programs
Mary K. Cunningham, Molly M. Scott, Chris Narducci, Sam Hall, Alexandra Stanczyk

arrow  What Do We Know About Housing Choice Voucher Program Location Outcomes?
Martha Galvez

arrow  Challenges and Policy Options for Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing near Transit and in Other Location-Efficient Areas
Rick Haughey, Ryan Sherriff

arrow  Connecting Residents of Subsidized Housing with Mainstream Supportive Services: Challenges and Recommendations
Rebecca Cohen

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