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Chapel Hill, N.C. — Dr. Roberta G. Quercia, professor of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named director of the UNC Center for Community Capital.

Quercia, a longtime center collaborator, succeeds Dr. Michael A. Stegman, who founded the Center in 1997. Stegman, the Duncan MacRae ’09 and Rebecca Kyle MacRae professor of public policy, planning and business, is retiring from the UNC faculty after 40 years to work full time as director of policy for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Program on Human and Community Development.

“I can think of no better person to assume the leadership of the center at this time,” said Stegman. “Roberto is an acknowledged leader in the area of home ownership finance and his presence helps position the center to continue producing important work in the areas of home ownership lending, financial services and business investment for low- and moderate-income families and communities. I look forward to seeing the future impact the center will have on both policy and practice in this area.”

The UNC Center for Community Capital’s policy research focuses on the transformational power of financial capital for low-and moderate income households and the communities in the United States. Center researchers explore ways that policymakers, advocates and the private sector can work together to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively.

Examples of the Center’s work include a seven-year study funded by the Ford Foundation of a group of low- income home buyers and renters to study the impacts, challenges and benefits of home ownership. The Center has contributed to financial services policy and practices through research on banking services for low-income households. The Center also examines the impact of investments in economic revitalization of distressed communities through private equity, tax credits, small-business finance and community development finance.

Quercia ranks 14th among 856 U.S. planning school faculty members with the greatest number of publications, according to a 2004 survey by the Journal of Planning Education and Research. He received a Wilmer Shields Bronze Award from the Fannie Mae Foundation in 1998 for the best book-length publication by a nonprofit publisher for The Sustainable Non-Profit Housing Development, co-authored with William Rohe. Quercia is president of Affordable Rentals Incorporated, member of the advisory council for NeighborWorks® Center for Homeownership Education & Counseling and a member of the editorial boards of Housing Policy Debate and Housing Studies.

He is past chairman of the advisory board of The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Program for New York Neighborhoods and has served as a researcher for such organizations as The Urban Land Institute’s Center for Public Finance and Housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Economics of Aging Program at the University of California, Berkeley, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Jerome Levy Economics Institute.

Quercia earned an architecture degree from the National University of Buenos Aires in Argentina (1980); a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, with concentrations in housing and community development, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (1983); and a PhD. in city and regional planning, with concentrations in affordable housing finance, economics and policy, from UNC (1991).

He served as assistant professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Arlington from 1992-1993 and joined the faculty of UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning in 1997.

The UNC Center for Community Capital is the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The Center’s in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit

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