AHI’s Story

AHI is a non-profit impact consultancy dedicated to

improving affordable housing ecosystems around the world.

 – Our Mission –

Increase access to safe, secure, and healthy housing around the world.



 – Founding –

Founded in 2000 and incorporated in 2002 as a U.S. §501(c)(3) non-profit organization by CEO David A. Smith, AHI operates as a distributed team of dedicated professionals with deep knowledge of affordable housing and an enduring commitment to quality economic and social results.  Located in Boston, Massachusetts, our executives have deep practical and regional expertise with years of experience in housing finance, housing development, and housing investment; design of housing financial products, business models, and subsidy or financing programs; community development and urban upgrading; technical assistance at the level of transactions, entities, or governments; program evaluation; and both executive and graduate-level education and teaching.

We are able to work at the level of national governments; sub-sovereign governments such as states, provinces, or municipalities; and private companies, whether for-profit, non-profit, or a committed hybrid of the two.


 – Value Chain Framework – 

To assess a country’s housing market, AHI has developed a practical, rigorous, and comprehensive tool for understanding a country’s housing environment, which we call the Housing Ecosystem approach. Going beyond a classic market study, the Housing Ecosystem approach includes a detailed mapping of current stakeholders on both the supply- and demand-side value chains, identifying both current and potential roles within the ecosystem. This framework naturally leads to the development of possible interventions and affordable housing solutions.

We apply the biological concept of an ecosystem – everything interacting with everything else, and the environment arising out of the totality of those interactions – to the economic and housing markets, using the same principles. The goal is a holistic but granular understanding of a country or city’s housing ecosystem and the ways in which that ecosystem is enabling or disabling the production of affordable housing. This tool enables us to map out the overall housing development processes, identify and work with key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, identify systemic gaps or blockages, and easily compare across countries and housing environments.