Alan Razak member of city Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing subcommittee, or NOAH

I’m honored to be a member of a newly formed City subcommittee to help deal with affordable housing in Philadelphia. The Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing subcommittee, or NOAH, will help inform the Affordable Rental Housing Preservation (ARHP) Working Committee’s recommendations for preserving Philadelphia’s supply of housing to be incorporated into the City’s Housing Action Plan.


A majority of America’s affordable housing operates without subsidy and is referred to as Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH). These rental properties provide housing at rates affordable to low- and moderate-income households.  Over the past decade, Philadelphia has lost 24,000 apartments with rents of $750 or less – the city needs more safe, quality and affordable housing.


In November, an inclusionary zoning bill was introduced that got the real estate industry’s attention. As Chair of Mission Advancement for the ULI Philadelphia District Council, I joined Chair Paul Commito and Executive Director Laura Slutsky in offering the city ULI’s considerable expertise on the subject of affordable housing, gathered from years of research in communities all over the country, analyzing what works and what doesn’t in various housing markets. ULI isn’t a political or advocacy organization, so we offered to provide impartial assistance by providing a forum to analyze, understand and discuss the options for achieving the important goal of maintaining affordability of housing in the Philadelphia market. One result of this invitation is ULI’s participation in NOAH, in collaboration with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), a national community development nonprofit.


The team will review needs for best practices research, review research findings and initial recommendations, and finally present top recommendations.