CAMBRIDGE, MA - Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and David T. Ellwood, Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, announced today that Eric S. Belsky has been appointed Managing Director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, effective July 1, 2010.  In making this announcement, the Deans noted that Belsky is a nationally recognized scholar with great depth of experience in housing research, teaching, and public policy. 

 “We are pleased that Eric has agreed to take on the leadership of the Center as it marks its 50th anniversary,” noted Mostafavi. “Eric’s expertise in shaping a rigorous research agenda that is widely accessible to policymakers and practitioners will foster the Center’s ability to advance knowledge and inform public dialogue on the importance of housing in the context of 21st century challenges including urbanism, globalism, sustainability, and affordability."
Belsky has served as Executive Director of the Joint Center for 12 years and has held teaching appointments in Urban Design and Public Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard Kennedy School.  Prior to his Harvard appointments, Belsky led the Housing Finance and Credit Analysis Group at Price Waterhouse LLP and held the positions of Director of Housing Finance Research at Fannie Mae and Senior Economist at the National Association of Home Builders.  In 2001 and 2002, Belsky also served as Research Director for the bipartisan Millennial Housing Commission established by the United States Congress. He received his BA, master’s degree, and PhD from Clark University.

Belsky’s research and writing has focused on housing markets, housing finance, and housing policy.  He has published numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals.  He has co-edited four books: “Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal” (2002); “Building Assets, Building Credit: Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities” (2005); “Revisiting Rental Housing: Policies, Programs, and Priorities” (2008); and “Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited” (2008). Belsky currently serves on the editorial boards of Housing Policy Debate and the Journal of Housing Research.     

“Eric’s experience working with a broad cross-section of public and private sector leaders will be a valuable asset to the Center and its constituents, both here at Harvard and externally, where research and policy meet public debate and practice,” said Ellwood. “Eric’s leadership in working to improve affordability and in demonstrating the importance of housing and access to credit in building healthy, sustainable cities and neighborhoods will guide the Center’s research and program agenda.”

Established in 1959, the Joint Center for Housing Studies is Harvard University’s center for information and research on housing in the United States. For five decades, the Joint Center has informed and convened university researchers, government officials and industry leaders in an effort to exchange ideas and open new avenues for policy research on cities, communities, and housing.   Affiliated with the Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Kennedy School, JCHS reaches into diverse academic venues at Harvard and draws upon the expertise of faculty and researchers from a wide variety of relevant fields to produce research and programs that increase awareness of the importance of housing, inspire students, and illuminate solutions.  Nicolas P. Retsinas, who has led the Joint Center since 1998, will continue to be affiliated, as Director Emeritus, and will join the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses in housing finance and real estate in emerging markets.

Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies

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