Brett Theodos is a senior fellow and director the Community Economic Development Hub at the Urban Institute. His work focuses on economic and community development, neighborhood change, affordable homeownership, consumer finance, and program evaluation and learning.
HIs research includes evaluations of the Economic Development Administration, New Markets Tax Credit, Small Business Administration loan and investment programs, Opportunity Zones, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods, Community Development Block Grant, and Section 108 programs. He is studying how capital flows (or fails to flow) into communities, including the role of mission finance actors like Community Development Financial Institutions. He is leading a series of projects researching how entrepreneurs can access capital.
Theodos has conducted studies of neighborhood change and geographic mobility. He is evaluating several place-based (comprehensive community) initiatives. He has led multiple studies of affordable homeownership supports, including shared equity models, like community land trusts. In the financial capability space, he has led studies of financial coaching, financial curriculum, and rules of thumb for decisionmaking. He has explored the geography of debt.
Theodos is working to grow nonprofit capacity in performance measurement. He codirects Measure4Change, which provides technical assistance and facilitates a community of practice for nonprofits. Related to this work, he has led three RCT evaluations of youth workforce and education preparedness programs.
Theodos serves on the Board of the Douglass Community Land Trust.
Theodos received his BA from Northwestern University, MPP from Georgetown University, and PhD in public policy from the George Washington University.
Research AreasPoverty, Vulnerability, and the Safety Net Housing and Housing Finance Economic Growth and Productivity Income and Wealth Neighborhoods, Cities, and Metros Finance
Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Christopher Davis, Benny Docter, Leiha Edmonds, Jorge González, Ananya Hariharan, Brady Meixell, Alex Peffley, Nancy M. Pindus, Prasanna Rajasekaran, Daniel Teles, Brett Theodos, Mark TreskonFebruary 28, 2020
Fact Sheet Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosJanuary 14, 2020
Technical Paper Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosJanuary 9, 2020
Fact Sheet Housing and Housing FinanceDecember 4, 2019
Testimony FinanceA Tailored Opportunity Zone Incentive Could Bring Greater Benefits to Distressed Communities and Less Cost to the Federal GovernmentOctober 17, 2019
Brief FinanceSeptember 25, 2019
Building Community and Wealth in Underserved Commercial Corridors: Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity FundJuly 18, 2019
Public Comment Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosPublic Comment on U.S. Treasury's Request for Information on Data Collection and Tracking for Qualified Opportunity ZonesMay 30, 2019
Erika C. Poethig, Matt Onek, John Balbach, Nhadine Leung, Shena Ashley, Melanie Audette, Brett Theodos, Matthew EldridgeMay 30, 2019