The International Housing Finance Program is part of the Samuel Zell/Robert Lurie Real Estate Center of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


  • IHFP was established in 1985 to foster excellence in housing policy and housing finance education, research, and technical advisory service, with a specific focus on developing and emerging market economies.


  • IHFP features an expert faculty from The Wharton School and professional practice. Core faculty has worked in more than 60 countries. IHFP offers annual courses at The Wharton School and special overseas programs tailored to the needs of regions or countries.


  • IHFP is an independent program and is uniquely positioned to provide objective analysis and techincal assistance in housing finance. IHFP helps build up educational infrastructure in housing finance in emerging market countries.


The faculty are recognized leaders in international housing and real estate and have extensive experience in housing finance system development in advavced and emerging economies. Instructors are faculty from the Finance and Real Estate Department of The Wharton School and other academic institutions. In addition, a number of highly qualified public and private housing specialists teach in the program.


Core teaching faculty are: Drs Marja Hoek-Smit; Dr. Jack Guttentag; Dr. Richard Herring and Dr. Todd Sinai of The Wharton School; Dr. Michael Lea of San Diego State University; Dr. Haluk Unal of the University of Maryland; and Mr. David Barbour of the law firm of Andrews Kurth LLP.


IHFP also offers international case presentations by the leaders in housing finance.

Our purpose is:


  • To provide objective and state-of the art education to housing finance industry leaders and policymakers in housing finance system development, innovative financial instrument design, risk assessment methods, and housing policy analysis.



  • To provide research and advisory services to governments and private and non-profit housing institutions on policy reform and technical and institutional issues related to housing finance.


With the increasing demand for quality housing and the worldwide innovations in financial markets, the need for objective and comparative education and analysis in housing finance is growing. As an independent program, with access to world-class teachers and practitioners in the housing finance field, the Wharton IHFP is in a unique position to provide such education and analysis.


The IHFP pools together the resources and expertise of the Wharton School Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center and industry practitioners to offer executive education and advisory services that are relevant and innovative.