ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing launches three initiatives to fulfill the Institute’s global mission priority.
ULI’s decision to make housing a global mission priority promises to make 2022 among my most exciting years as a member, including my time as ULI chair in 2007 when we launched the Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing.
Over the years, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding organizations delivering a variety of housing solutions throughout the United States and around the globe. The assets that ULI brings to land use and development conversations—thought leadership, nonpartisan analysis, broad member expertise and influential networks, and hard-earned reputational capital—are exactly the kinds of resources that cities around the world need to tackle today’s most difficult housing challenges, and I am proud to be a part of it.
In the United States, the Terwilliger Center has launched three components of the Attainable Housing for All mission priority in partnership with ULI members and district councils: 1) a series of study panels addressing local housing needs in at least 10 cities over the next two years, 2) a new district council housing exchange that provides enhanced support for the Institute’s most active local housing product councils and task forces, and 3) a virtual housing development hub bringing together the most timely and relevant information and publications from ULI and beyond addressing barriers to and opportunities in housing.
Among the most effective tools that ULI offers to cities facing development challenges are study panels: Advisory Services and technical assistance panels. Leveraging the deep experience and expertise of ULI members, study panels offer opportunities to convene national experts and local stakeholders to assist cities in answering critical land use, policy, and development questions.
The Terwilliger Center is working closely with numerous ULI district councils to design study panels focused on a variety of issues related to advancing housing production, attainability, and equity. Potential focus areas include developing and amending city housing affordability plans, creating plans to address housing at risk from climate-related flooding, enabling housing production and economic development without displacement, and redeveloping aging commercial corridors to incorporate more uses and enhanced livability, including adding mixed-income housing.
District councils are where the rubber meets the road in ULI housing conversations. Most housing development policies and decisions are made locally, and local ULI housing product councils, committees, task forces, and so on are already deeply involved in local housing planning, policy, and development efforts.
The Institute’s new district council housing exchange will connect these local ULI groups so that they can more effectively share information and advice on an ongoing basis, will provide enhanced support from the Terwilliger Center team, and will provide quarterly opportunities for groups to present their work and receive feedback from larger, curated ULI audiences.
On the thought leadership side, the Institute has produced an enormous amount of housing-related content in just the last decade. In addition to the many Terwilliger Center reports that are in circulation, district councils have produced housing research and publications with relevance far beyond their local context. The Terwilliger Center is working to collect this work and present it in a new housing development resource hub that will enhance users’ ability to identify the high-quality information most relevant to their needs. In addition, the hub will point users to well-respected, non-ULI housing resources that focus on important issue areas that are not fully addressed in ULI materials.
ULI is pursuing exciting work outside the United States as well. I am particularly looking forward to the Institute’s launch of a new Asia Pacific housing center in the coming months, as well as the first Asia Pacific edition of ULI’s Home Attainability Index that the Terwilliger Center originally launched in the United States in 2020. The difficult housing challenges that cities face today are both global and local, and ULI’s footprint and membership uniquely position the Institute to assist in meeting these challenges. I am both proud and grateful that the Terwilliger Center and I will play vital roles in this effort.
RON TERWILLIGER is a ULI Key Leader and chairman of Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Properties.