Ruoniu (Vince) Wang

Assistant Professor
Runstad Department of Real Estate

College of Built Environments
Wang Faculty page

What is your Research Focus?

Since 2010, my research has focused on evaluating affordable housing policies, models, and programs. Before joining the University of Washington faculty in 2022, I headed the Research Department of Grounded Solutions Network, a leading national non-profit organization promoting housing solutions with lasting affordability. In this role, I led the largest and most comprehensive performance evaluation of community land trusts (CLTs) and shared equity homeownership (SEH) models to date, which established evidence supporting that CLT/SEH models provide financial security and mitigate risks for homeowners facing housing market turmoil. In addition, I laid the groundwork of developing the only national dialogue of inclusionary housing (IH) policies. I co-authored the report on the first IH census and led the latest effort highlighting the positive impacts of IH policies, the only two national IH census studies that exist to date.

Building on this subject expertise and large-scale data collection experience, I currently lead a study to develop a national census of CLT models. My research experience contributes to the development of the Housing Suitability Model, a leading spatial mapping tool recognized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development assisting communities to plan affordable housing. This experience equipped me to create an opportunity framework that quantifies locational outcomes using a broad range of indicators including neighborhood safety and health measures. I further applied this framework to examine the effect of federal rental housing subsidies on addressing neighborhood inequalities. I study residential decisions and mobility for low-income households through the lens of spatial justice. In addition to maintaining an active research agenda, I take pride in grounding my research with applied tools to democratize data for low-income communities.

Wang research map

What opportunities at the UW excite you?

I joined the College of Built Environments at UW as part of the faculty cohort hire across all five departments in the college. This cohort hire reflects the college’s commitment to expanding interdisciplinary research and inclusive learning. It also reflects that the college is committed to creating a supportive structure of mentoring and collaboration for this new faculty cohort to start tenure-track careers. And it reflects that the college has doubled down on the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work guided by the Strategic Framework. These reflections resonate with me as I value DEI in my own work.