Carolina Reid

Research Expertise and Interest

Affordable housing, homelessness, access to credit, community development, the Community Reinvestment Act, neighborhood change, homeownership and mortgage finance (with a focus on low-income and minority households)

Research Description

Carolina K. Reid is the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley.  She also serves as the Faculty Research Advisor for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, where she oversees the design and execution of the Center’s research agenda and portfolio. Carolina specializes in housing and community development, with a specific focus on access to credit, housing and mortgage markets, urban poverty, and racial inequality. Her current research projects include an assessment of strategies to address homelessness in California, the role that subsidized housing plays in promoting economic mobility among low-income families, and the impact of discrimination in mortgage lending on the racial wealth gap.

Carolina’s work seeks to inform state and federal policy, and she has consulted on projects for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center for Community Capital, Abt Associates, and community development nonprofits. Her scholarship has been covered in national and international media, including the New York Timesthe Wall Street JournalNational Public Radio, and local outlets such as the Mercury NewsCalMatters, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Carolina brings nearly two decades of applied work experience to her research and teaching. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, Carolina worked at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she undertook policy analyses on how provisions in Dodd-Frank could affect future access to credit for lower-income and minority households. Carolina also served as the Research Manager for the Community Development Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for six years. At the SF Fed, Carolina published numerous journal and policy articles on topics related to housing and community development, and helped to build the capacity of local stakeholders — including banks, nonprofits, and local governments — to undertake community development activities, especially in the areas of affordable housing, early childcare education, asset building, and neighborhood revitalization.

Carolina has also held positions with the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., where she worked on urban environmental issues and the environmental impacts on health; the Environmental Health and Social Policy Center in Seattle, where she contributed to the evaluation of Jobs-Plus, a welfare-to-work demonstration targeted to residents living in public housing developments; and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment based out of Penang, Malaysia, where she managed an effort to understand how indigenous knowledge about environmental change could be integrated into international environmental decision-making processes. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MA and PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle.

In the News

Expand State-Funded Housing Opportunities to Combat Homelessness

Our latest research paper, California’s Homekey Program: Unlocking Housing Opportunities for People Experiencing Homelessness, focuses on the lessons learned from Homekey, one of the most significant programs through which the state has stepped up its investments in addressing homelessness.

Are renters — and the U.S. economy — hurtling toward an ‘eviction cliff’?

Schools and businesses are reopening, diners are returning to restaurants, and fans are returning to sports stadiums, but a new crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic may be just weeks away: the possible eviction of millions of Americans who have fallen behind in their rent. When massive job losses and other pandemic-driven economic pressures left many renters unable to pay and accumulating debt to their landlords, the federal government and some states set moratoria that blocked evictions. Now the U.S. ban is set to expire on June 30, and UC Berkeley housing experts are warning of a potential surge of evictions and homelessness, along with damaging economic shock waves.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
October 26, 2020
Jeff Collins
A conversation with UC Berkeley associate professor Carolina Reid, faculty research advisor for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, author of a new study reporting on coronavirus and housing insecurity. One out of five California households are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. "The data show that Californians are struggling to pay their rent and their mortgage. I do think that without significant intervention by the federal government, we will see heightened evictions and foreclosures next year. I think it will have profound implications not only for the housing market in California but also for the broader economic recovery."
April 9, 2020
Liam Dillon, Ben Poston, Julia Barajas
It's more expensive to build government-subsidized apartment complexes for low-income residents in California than anywhere else in the U.S., and yet job losses connected with the coronavirus pandemic will likely send demand for affordable housing soaring. According to associate city and regional planning professor Carolina Reid, faculty research advisor for Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation and the author of a new study on the topic, the economic impact of the crisis is also likely to significantly lower government tax revenue, in turn reducing the amount of money available to fund new construction. It will also increase the need to overhaul how low-income housing is built in the state. "If you look at how we build affordable housing, every single one of the actors in it, from cities to developers to construction workers, is going to face stress from the coronavirus for years," she says. "This public health crisis adds more urgency to making the reforms we had already needed." Link to Professor Reid's study at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation. A story about the data collection for this story also appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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