David A Smith
David A. Smith is the founder and CEO of the Affordable Housing Institute. He is a much sought-after expert on affordable housing issues around the world. With 45 years of experience in affordable housing, David uniquely combines the roles of practitioner and theoretician, participant, and policymaker in the affordable housing sector. His work as an international housing finance policy advisor and program developer spans projects in more than 50 countries across 5 continents.
Stateside, David’s impressive portfolio achievements includes providing high-quality analysis to the US Congress, the Millennial Housing Commission, the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others. He was also a principal member of the 1996 Senate mark-to-market working group. David is also founder and Chairman of Recap Real Estate Advisors, a national expert in complex affordable housing transactions, including public housing revitalization via the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.
A 1975 Harvard graduate, David is also an award-winning author with more than 400 published articles in real estate, valuation, and policy periodicals, a textbook, as well as an influential blog. He has received multiple awards, including NAHRO’s Lange Award and NH&RA’s Vision Award for lifetime achievement in affordable housing. David has also authored the Marathon science fiction trilogy.
Real estate can be a vehicle to leap the African middle-class into financial prosperity. The challenges are recognizing the barriers, finding new opportunities, and enabling access. In this session, we will cover the needs for better planning, construction, and access through the lens of people involved in both the public and private spaces. We will conclude with practical guidelines for investing in affordable real estate from within and beyond the African borders at the personal and institutional level. Affordable does not mean low-quality; it means scalable and replicable for the masses. Innovators are making a difference through new construction-technologies, collaborating with government to minimize risks, and bringing unique means to connect capital for developers, buyers, and investors.