Dewar and Deng Awarded Grant Through Joint Funding Initiative From U-M Poverty Solutions and Detroit Urban Research Center


A project by Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Margaret Dewar and Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Lan Deng was chosen as one of the first investments in a partnership between Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC) and University of Michigan’s new Poverty Solutions initiative. The project’s research has focused on tax credits applied to low income housing. The U of M Poverty Solutions is a new “interdisciplinary initiative that aims to become a leader in informing, identifying and testing new strategies for the prevention and alleviation of poverty in Michigan, the nation and the world.”

Deng and Dewar’s project looks the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which provides important assistance towards affordable housing in Detroit. For the past year, the team been researching conditions and solutions to the problems resulting from the LIHTC aid. The article describes that,

“The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the nation’s largest source of financing for building or rehabilitating affordable housing. The sale of the credits provides equity to help finance the production of decent affordable housing for low-income renters who are in or near poverty, many of whom are elderly or disabled or have experienced chronic homelessness. But once projects reach 15 years of operation, investors sell their ownership, often leaving affordable housing projects in need of new sources of capital to provide much needed maintenance. In Detroit, more than 5,300 units will reach 15 years between now and 2020, so finding solutions to restructuring financing and management is an urgent need.”

The research investigates strategies to extend affordable and well-maintained housing past this critical timeframe. Dewar and Deng will produce recommendations to be used by partners in the affordable housing industry.

Four grants were awarded to collaborative teams of University of Michigan Faculty and community organizations. The other three winners include teams from the Ross School of Business, School of Public Health, and the U of M Institute for Healthcare and Innovation. The description of Deng and Dewar’s research and the other projects can be found here. Read more about the Poverty Solutions initiative at