Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GWorks Interviews: William C. Perkins

In GWorks Interviews: William C. Perkins, Mr Perkins discusses his work, the economic crisis and the role housing development plays in the economy.

William C. Perkins is Founder and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development (WPHD), which he founded in 1985. WPHD is a tax-exempt corporation that “expands access to affordable housing opportunities and revitalizes neighborhoods through partnerships among the public, [tax-exempt] and private sectors.” WPHD develops housing; designs and manages financing and other housing programs; provides technical assistance and consulting services; and does policy development and advocacy.

Mr. Perkins has been involved in the development of low and moderate income housing for his entire career. Before founding WPHD, Mr. Perkins was Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Housing (now the Division of Housing and Community Development),* which managed housing finance programs, provided technical assistance to community-based housing organizations and local public agencies, and developed state housing policy and new programs. Before moving to Wisconsin in 1976, Mr. Perkins co-founded the Community Resources Group, a consulting firm that worked in neighborhoods throughout New England on affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.

In December 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Mr. Perkins to the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) (now the Federal Housing Finance Agency), the federal agency created in 1989 by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 to assume the Federal Home Loan Bank Board’s oversight of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks—themselves created in 1932 to provide reliable and affordable funding for banks to make mortgage loans. Mr. Perkins served as FHFB’s first “community interest” director, a seat designated by statute to represent the interests of lower-income consumers and communities. Mr. Perkins served on FHFB until 1993.

Mr. Perkins earned a Master in City and Regional Planning with distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.