Evidence Matters (Fall 2023): Office to Residential Conversions

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New on HUD User, the Fall 2023 issue of Evidence Matters: Transforming Knowledge into Housing and Community Development Policy introduces another approach for increasing housing supply — converting underutilized office buildings into residential spaces, particularly in areas with high housing demand and proximity to job centers. Office-to-residential conversions not only address housing shortages but also revitalize downtown areas affected by COVID-related office vacancies. This issue highlights successful examples, such as Chicago’s LaSalle Reimagined initiative and Pittsburgh’s Downtown Conversion Program, that encourage conversions focusing on affordable housing. Additionally, it presents case studies from Baltimore and Kansas City that explore the financing aspects of such conversions, emphasizing the importance of partnerships between local developers and governments in these efforts.


  • Interest in office-to-residential adaptive reuse has grown as office vacancies have increased and housing remains in short supply in many parts of the country.
  • Various zoning, logistical, and financial challenges make office-to-residential conversions difficult, but policy changes, architectural innovations, and financial incentives can increase the likelihood of such adaptive reuse.
  • Office-to-residential conversions alone will not fix the many problems that downtown areas face, but they can contribute to broader investments and strategies to revitalize downtown economies.

Read or download the full issue and subscribe to Evidence Matters here on HUD User. 

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