Michael Lens is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, and Associate Faculty Director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. Professor Lens’s research and teaching explore the potential of public policy to address housing market inequities that lead to negative outcomes for low-income families and communities of color. This research involves housing interventions such as subsidies, tenant protections, and production. Professor Lens regularly publishes this work in leading academic journals and his research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.
In ongoing research, Professor Lens is studying the neighborhood context of eviction, the role of charter schools in neighborhood change, and is engaged in multiple projects (with Mike Manville and Paavo Monkkonen) concerning housing supply in California. Lens is also working on a book project that examines fifty years of neighborhood change in Black neighborhoods following the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
Professor Lens’s research has received funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the Arnold Foundation, and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, among other sources.
Professor Lens teaches courses on quantitative analysis, poverty and inequality, community development, housing policy, and research methods.