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Janet Smith-Heimer, MBA

Janet founded The Housing Workshop in 2017 to provide focused housing policy consulting services to research institutions, professional organizations, and foundations.  This new firm builds on Janet’s more than 35 years in consulting, primarily as founder and President of BAE Urban Economics, a national award-winning urban economics consulting firm.  Janet managed BAE since founding the firm in 1986 through her departure in January 2017. 


Janet is a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing, economic development, and P3.  Her affordable housing work spans three decades of affordable housing policy and feasibility studies for the nation’s largest cities, including the NYC Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Market & Financial Feasibility Study (2015), and the City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Linkage Fee Nexus Study (2016).  She is currently updating her landmark Cost to Build Affordable Housing in California (1993), for the UC Terner Center for Housing Innovation.  Janet also prepared Housing Elements, Consolidated Plans, and market/financial feasibility studies on all types of affordable and market rate housing throughout the US, including numerous studies for the City of San Francisco.  She has also managed feasibility studies for developers, resulting in built projects including artist lofts, TOD, university faculty, and federal employee housing.  


Janet has also led engagements for some of the largest public-private projects in the US.  Her work includes transaction structuring and agency support for projects ranging from the redevelopment of Pier 40 in NYC, to Hotel Vitale (a flagship boutique hotel on public land at the San Francisco waterfront), to P3 deals at the Presidio of San Francisco and for the LA METRO.  To foster innovation In economic development, Janet has conducted home-based business surveys, prepared economic strategic plans to highlight place-making, structured small business start-up incubators, and helped re-orient suburban communities to modernize economic development approaches.  She has integrated high-speed broadband into local strategic plans, and advised on targeted funding sources for small retail establishments.  She has directed numerous downtown and business district revitalization strategies.  Her work has been used by cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Oakland, San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC, and throughout Silicon Valley.


Janet received her MBA with a specialization in Real Estate Development from Golden Gate University, and a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati.  She served as a lead instructor for the ULI Real Estate School for seven years, and speaks regularly at conferences and seminars.  She is past Founding Board Chair of Sustainable Agricultural Education (SAGE), and served for 9 years as an appointed Member of her hometown's Sustainability Commission.

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