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|Graduate Degree: MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Areas of interest: Community development through homeownership, affordable housing initiatives, rehabilitation of buildings
Mentor: Susan Tracy, The Strategy Group
Agency: Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Supervisor: Sheila Dillon, Deputy Director, Department of Neighborhood Development
Project Description: Arah Schuur worked for the Neighborhood Housing Development division of the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND). As the City of Boston’s community development agency, the DND disburses approximately $80 million in federal funds annually for projects, including the development and preservation of affordable housing. Ms. Schuur worked on a portion of the Mayor’s four-year housing strategy called Leading the Way II, which encourages benevolent landlords, primarily neighborhood community development corporations, to acquire existing rental housing in order to make it permanently affordable. Leading the Way II established a goal of making at least 300 units of existing rental housing permanently affordable by the end of 2007. Ms. Schuur researched the Boston housing market and other cities’ programs, analyzed project financing strategies, and interviewed lenders and developers in order to make financing and policy recommendations for the program to support housing acquisition projects.