Brett Theodos directs the Community Economic Development Hub at the Urban Institute, where he is a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. His work focuses on economic and community development, neighborhood change, affordable homeownership, consumer finance, and program evaluation and learning. Examples of his economic and community development research include evaluations of the Economic Development Administration, the New Markets Tax Credit program, small business loan and investment programs, Opportunity Zones, and HUD’s Community Development Block Grant and Section 108 programs. He is studying how capital flows (or fails to flow) into communities and the roles of mission finance actors like CDFIs.
Theodos has conducted multiple research studies of neighborhood change and the role of geographic mobility. He is investigating the effects of several large place-based initiatives. He has led several studies of affordable homeownership supports, including shared equity models like community land trusts, along with research on down payment assistance and alternative financing structures. In the financial services and capability space, he has led multiple studies of financial coaching, financial education curriculum, and rules of thumb for financial decisionmaking. He has explored the geography of debt in America and the use of high-cost tax refund products.
Theodos is also working to grow nonprofit capacity in evaluation and performance measurement. He codirects Measure4Change, which provides technical assistance and facilitates a community of practice for nonprofits. Related to this work, he has led three randomized controlled trial evaluations of locally based youth workforce and education preparedness programs.
Theodos received his BA from Northwestern University and his MPP from Georgetown University.