Tom Bozzuto

Tom Bozzuto

Doing Housing Right

Ep. 10 - Tom Bozzuto has dedicated his career to creating sanctuary. As a man of both reflection and action, his business model has been governed by civic responsibility and the belief that true success comes to those who do things the right way. During his career, spanning almost 50 years, he has overseen and been responsible for the creation of more than 50,000 residential units. In 1988, Tom established the Bozzuto Group, a prominent leader in the multifamily industry by focusing first on its customers' needs, developing, and building vibrant communities and providing exceptional service. Before forming the Bozzuto Group, he worked for HUD, the James W Rouse Company and Oxford Development Corporation. A congressional appointee to the Millennial Housing Commission, he has served several terms as a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Housing Commission and was the chairman of the board of the National Multifamily Housing Council. Tom is and has been on numerous civic boards and is now chair of the board of trustees at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and is chair-elect of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

"We need to increase the number of vouchers and the amount available to people who are voucher holders. In some of these high-ranking communities, except when we are providing affordable units, we can accommodate voucher holders. So there needs to be a real adjustment and real funding to the program."

Tom Bozzuto was moved to dedicate his life to improving cities by the social upheaval the U.S. saw in 1968. During a career spanning over 50 years, his company has created thousands of residential units and he knows first-hand the challenges in building accessible housing for all. Bozzuto discusses his frustrations at all the roadblocks and the continual confusion policy makers have. For too long, the issue wasn’t even on the national dialogue and inaction has only worsened the crisis. Yet he is  optimistic about the new conversations amongst the current presidential candidates and the traction the issue is gaining with younger voters. Bozzuto gives his solutions to what must change to keep the crisis from deepening.

Tom was inducted into the Multifamily Executive Magazine Hall of Fame in September 2018 for his industry achievements, visionary leadership and civic responsibility. He was named the 2018 Business Leader of the Year by the Loyalo University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. In 2018, he also published his first book, Reflections of an Ordinary Man, a collection of thoughtful stories and reflections collected throughout his career.
Tom's numerous honors include ULI Washington's annual Lifetime Achievement Award, Delta Associates Private Sector TrendSetter of the Year, induction into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame and recognitition as one of the Daily Record's Most Influential Marylanders. In 2018, he was selected as an Icon Honors recipient by the Daily Record.

Listen in to learn how public policy has dragged the development of affordable housing in the last five decades. You will also learn how technology can be used to replace laborers and expensive building materials to revive the affordable housing sector in the coming years.

 

Top Takeaways:

  • How public officials create laws that make housing unaffordable for everyone else
  • How public commitment in housing has declined over the years
  • The advantage of increasing the housing supply by improving the public policy
  • The importance of having housing that is close to social amenities to make life easier for people
  • The importance of having a strong company culture that is trustworthy and provides equal opportunities

Key Moments:

He describes himself as more of a practitioner than a policymaker in the housing sector who started his career at HUD and later in the private sector building affordable housing [4:27]

The public policies that have hindered the development of affordable housing for the last 50 years [6:02]

He talks about his efforts in improving the quality of cities hence a career in housing [8:27]

The frustration of the complication of the tax credit program [10:12]

How technology is going to improve the housing sector in the next decade [13:42]

Why there’s a need for integrated housing with social amenities [15:31]

The non-regulatory ways that housing can be made more affordable by utilizing less expensive building materials and replacing human labor [24:08]

He explains how they build a strong company culture with core values that guide the company and set it apart from others [26:50]

What he hopes his book would impact the future generation [31:47]

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