Rachel G. Bratt received a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Studies from MIT and a B.A. from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She was on the Tufts faculty from 1976 to 2014; from 1995-2001 and from 2004-2007 she served as chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Her current title is Professor Emerita.
From 2013-2020 Professor Bratt was a Senior Research Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and in 2017-2018, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In that capacity, she wrote five Issue Briefs on the subject of HUD/FHA guidelines pertaining to mortgagors in end-stage default and foreclosure.
Professor Bratt’s research has focused on a range of current and historical U.S. federal and state housing policies and programs, and the role of nonprofit organizations in supplying decent, affordable housing for low-income households. She is the author or co-editor of three books including: Rebuilding a Low-Income Housing Policy (1989); Critical Perspectives on Housing (1996); and A Right to Housing: Foundation for a New Social Agenda (2006).
The author or co-author of dozens of articles, book chapters and professional reports, some of Professor Bratt’s most recent published work includes: “The Role of Nonprofits in Meeting the Housing Challenge in the U.S., Urban Research and Practice,” “Affordable Rental Housing Development in the For-Profit Sector: A Review of the Literature,” Cityscape; “Post-Foreclosure Conveyance of Occupied Homes and Preferential Sales to Nonprofits: Rationales, Policies and Underlying Conflicts.” Housing Policy Debate; “The Mortgage Crisis: Historical Context and Recent Responses” (Journal of Urban Affairs); and “Addressing Restrictive Zoning for Affordable Housing: Experiences in Four States,” Housing Policy Debate.
With colleagues from California, and as part of broader comparative effort with researchers in Australia, England, and the Netherlands, Professor Bratt and two U.S. colleagues explored the leadership and organizational issues facing nonprofit housing developers in Boston and the San Francisco Bay area. A portion of this work is discussed in: “Organizational Adaptations of Nonprofit Housing Organizations in the U.S.: Insights from the Boston and San Francisco Bay Areas.” (with Larry A. Rosenthal and Robert J. Wiener). In van Bortel, Gruis, Pluijmers, and Nieuwenhuijzen, eds. Affordable Housing Governance and Finance: Innovations, Partnerships and Comparative Perspectives.
At Tufts, Professor Bratt was instrumental in the UEP Department becoming an accredited planning program by the Planning Accreditation Board. She also has served as a site visitor for the re-accreditation of two planning programs in the U.S.
In addition to her academic activities, Professor Bratt worked as a professional planner in the City of Worcester, Massachusetts and has served on a number of local, state, and federal boards and advisory committees: the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank (1984-1986); the Multifamily Advisory Committee of MassHousing (1983-1996); the board of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (1990-2015); and the Community Development Research Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (2012-2014). In her local community, she served on the Wayland (Massachusetts) Planning Board and currently is a member of the Wayland Housing Partnership.
As a consultant, Professor Bratt has completed projects under contract to the Ford Foundation, NeighborWorks, Fannie Mae Foundation, the Family Impact Seminar, and the AHP Homeownership Center, Albany, New York. In Massachusetts, she has done consulting work for: Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure (COHIF); Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association; Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Housing Partnership Network; and the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development.
Keynote addresses have included Australia’s national housing conference; and Washington State and Arizona’s statewide housing conferences, as well as numerous other presentations for community and academic audiences, both domestic and international.
Rachel G. Bratt
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Medford, MA 02155
NOTE: The photograph at the top of this page is of Rollins Square, a 184-unit mixed-income housing development in the South End of Boston, developed by the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston. Lisa Alberghini, who was the president of that organization from 2003-2019, is a former student of Professor Bratt’s. Professor Bratt does not have any direct connection to the project, but she took the photograph!