Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy

The Kreisman Initiative brings together multiple fields of inquiry – including policy, social services, business, law,  social and data sciences – to advance housing scholarship and generate new ideas about cities and housing.


The Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy began at the Law School in the fall of 2013. An expansion in 2018 established new programs aimed at building an interdisciplinary community of scholars who will grow the program’s scope and impact, and creating research opportunities for graduate students, faculty, and practitioners. The Initiative’s mission is to bring Chicago ideas to bear on policy debates, policy making, and legal and business decision making through scholarly research, external engagement, and educational programming. The Initiative includes a graduate fellowship program that accommodates as many as ten scholars each year, as well as a robust series of convenings bringing together housing thought leaders from academia, policy and industry.

The Initiative is made possible by substantial support from David Kreisman AB ‘60, JD ‘63, and his wife, Susan.


The Kreisman Initiative hosts an annual symposium that brings together leading housing academics, policy makers, and practitioners from the public, private, and innovation spheres, with an emphasis on knowledge creation, including new data and tools, and the comparative analysis of perspectives and solutions, including between domestic and international participants. To complement the Symposium, the Initiative also organizes a recurring event series with academics and practitioners that focuses on practical challenges of housing, cross-sector knowledge comparative analysis and exchange, and generating novel insights toward more effective interventions.


A fixture of the Kreisman Initiative is the Kreisman Graduate Fellows Program, which creates a cohort of University of Chicago graduate students from across fields of study who are committed to pursuing careers in housing research or practice. The Fellowship activities emphasize an inter-disciplinary and inter-sector approach to connect ideas and people in unexpected ways, and ultimately to promote a better understanding of housing opportunities and solutions. The program runs for one academic year working in collaboration with UChicago GRAD and the Office of Civic Engagement. During the academic year, Kreisman Graduate Fellows take part in a range of professional development activities, including intimate lunch-and-learn meetings, workshops, and a two-day trek to a major metropolitan area to meet with housing experts. Fellows also receive a stipend to support their professional development in the form of an internship or research project of their own design.

Applications for the 2022-2023 Kreisman Graduate Fellows Program are closed. Applications will be open again in Spring or Summer of 2023.

Program Report

Read the 2021-2022 Kreisman Graduate Fellows Report to learn about how our students worked together on the complexities of housing research and practice as well as new innovative solutions.

Affiliated Faculty

Robert J. Chaskin
Associate Professor
School of Social Service Administration

Lee Fennell
Max Pam Professor of Law

Peter Ganong
Assistant Professor
Harris School of Public Policy

Chang-Tai Hsieh
Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics
Chicago Booth

Greg Kaplan
Professor, Department of Economics

Jeff Leslie
Director of Clinical and Experiential Learning, Clinical Professor of Law, and Paul J. Tierney Director of the Housing Initiative Clinic

Jens Ludwig
McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy

Neale Mahoney
Assistant Professor of Economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow
Chicago Booth

Pascal Noel
Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Finance and Charles E. Merrill Scholar
Chicago Booth

Devin G. Pope
Associate Professor of Behavioral Science
Chicago Booth

Lior Strahilevitz
Sidley Austin Professor of Law

Amir Sufi
Bruce Lindsay Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Chicago Booth

Emily Talen
Professor, Division of the Social Sciences

Mark N. Templeton
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Abrams Environmental Law Clinic

Eric Zwick
Assistant Professor of Finance
Chicago Booth

See additional Kreisman Initiative activities through the Law School.