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This three-part case study (along with a video supplement) presents the initial problem, the thinking, the politics, and the design negotiations that produced New York City's NYC Acquisition Fund in August 2006. The case concludes with a brief round-up of performance data and commentary from the Fund's first two and a half years of operation. The NYC Acquisition Fund was created to deliver loans to small and nonprofit affordable housing developers, allowing them to compete with market-rate developers to buy property in New York City on the open market at a time of rampant speculation, rapidly rising prices, and fierce competition. It represented a groundbreaking effort to use public sector funds and authority, together with foundation capital, to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in loan capital from private lenders. In September 2008, the Fund was named a winner of the annual Innovations in American Government competition, sponsored by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, which declared it a "national model."

Learning Objective:
The case is divided in three parts in the interest of maximum teaching flexibility. Teachers may want to assign their students to read one, two, or all three parts, depending on the nature of the class. (The included video interview with New York City's then-Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan may also be assigned.) Although the case includes finance concepts and terms, they are presented clearly and simply for the benefit of lay readers.

Other Details

Case Author:
Pamela Varley
Video Producer:
Patricia Garcia-Rios
Faculty Lead:
Stephen Goldsmith
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation