Housing Policy, Design and Development


The specialty in housing policy, design, and development includes studies of U.S., State or Local Housing Policy, the demand for mixed use and specialized housing (i.e. live/work creative communities, integrated urban agriculture, and aging populations), the integration of housing with land use and transportation policy, the provision of fair and equitable housing, the finance and demand for energy efficient buildings, the role of the financial crises and financial booms on the housing market, and comparative housing policies abroad, such as Korea and China are subjects that have been explored and studied. Students and faculty in this specialization come from the fields of real estate, urban planning, architecture, economics, and sociology.

Living Legacy of Housing Landmarks and Planned Communities

A resident of Greenbelt Architecture Professor Isabelle Gournay researches the living legacy of planned residential developments. Her work emphasizes the crosscurrents in European and American housing, such as the work of Levitt near Paris. With Mary Corbin Sies, a UMD American Studies professor and Australian colleague Robert Freestone, she is editing an international anthology on the Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities, from New Lanark to Seaside.

Housing Strategies Group at the National Center for Smart Growth

A 2011 study by Planning Professor Casey Dawkins recently analyzed the spatial distribution of low-income housing tax credit properties for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. See the Publications sections for further information.


Other ongoing research initiatives can be found at the National Center for Smart Growth

Sustainability Assessments of HOPE VI Redevelopments

HOPE VI supports demolishing large, dilapidated public housing and replacing it with smaller-scale, more appealing properties. What makes this feasible also creates conditions that challenge and can undermine long-term sustainability. Real Estate Development Professor Margaret McFarland researched the assessment need to assist private owners and public agencies in sustaining this valuable resource.

Aging-in-Place: The New Canaan Project

In the next 20 years, nearly 80 million Baby Boomers will enter retirement. The overwhelming desire and challenge for this population to successfully Age-in-Place. Commissioned by an internationally-leading development firm, 12 graduate students from the University of Maryland’s Architecture program investigated what it means to successfully age-in-place and designed solutions that would make this desired way of life more possible. Working on a site in New Canaan Connecticut, the team of students, faculty and the firm Gensler developed innovative, award-winning housing prototypes that mixes adaptable products and spaces with the comforts of home and community.


Immigration and Multi-Generational Home Building

Planning Professor Willow Lung-Amam's project looks at the intersection between immigration and national, regional, and local trends in multi-general home building. The research explores the influence of immigration on trends in multi-generational home development by comparing national trends in home building industry and those for home designed specifically for immigrants. It also looks at the changing form of the single-family home and how it is being shaped by these larger forces to accommodate more diverse populations and lifestyles. The research is intended to provide evidence of how immigration is impacting the changing suburban landscape and how the home builders might better respond to the needs and desires of an increasingly diversity suburban American public.

- Associate Professor Emerita
Affiliated Faculty - Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of American Studies
Professor Emerita - Founding Director, Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, 2008 - 2018
Professor Emeritus
Professor Emeritus
McFarland, Margaret, Martin D. Abravanel, and Diane K. Levy The Uncharted, Uncertain Future Of HOPE VI Redevelopments. The Urban Institute, 2009.