Rebecca J. Walter

Rebecca J. Walter

Assistant Professor

Rebecca J. Walter joined the University of Washington in 2017 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Real Estate. Her primary area of research is assisted housing and her focus is on expanding affordable housing opportunities for low-income households and building safer communities in distressed neighborhoods. She evaluates the policies and outcomes of the two largest federal assisted housing rental programs in the United States (the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Housing Choice Voucher program). Dr. Walter’s research also aims to bridge the gap between housing and criminal justice by addressing barriers to housing during the reentry process, examining the extent to which criminal histories predict housing success, and identifying property factors for both multifamily rental housing and commercial real estate that create the safest neighborhoods.

Dr. Walter has over ten years of experience as a practitioner in the housing field, and prior to joining academia, was the Director of Education, Research, and Grants at the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale. She also worked as a project manager at the Urban Land Institute where she coordinated policy initiatives to remove regulatory barriers restricting the production of workforce housing in three metropolitan regions. Dr. Walter received her Ph.D. in Geosciences, with a specialization in Urban Geography, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nevada – Reno. Dr. Walter is a National Development Council Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and Certified Planner (AICP).


PhD Geosciences (Urban Geography), Florida Atlantic University, 2012
Master in Urban & Regional Planning (Economic Development), Florida Atlantic University, 2008
BS Economics, University of New Hampshire, 2004
BA Psychology, University of Nevada-Reno, 2003

Current Teaching

  • Affordable Housing (MSRE)
  • Spatial Analysis of Real Estate and Housing Markets (MSRE)
  • Real Estate Data Modeling (undergraduate)


Journal Papers

“Associations between Psychopathic Traits and Readiness for Change: An Exploratory Analysis”, (with Christine Salcido, James Ray, Michael Caudy & Jill Viglione), Personality and Individual Differences, 2019, 141, 86-91.

“Low-Income Housing and Crime: The Influence of Housing Development and Neighborhood Characteristics. Crime and Delinquency”, (with Marie Skubak Tillyer), Crime and Delinquency, 2018.

“The Geographic and Sociodemographic Transformation of Multifamily Rental Housing in the Texas Triangle”, (with Ian Caine), Housing Studies, 2018.

“Understanding the Role of Life Events on Residential Mobility for Low-Income, Subsidized Households”, (with Ruoniu Wang, A. Arafat & J. Song), Urban Studies, 2018.

“Consolidating ZIP Codes for Small Area Fair Market Rents: A Method for Implementing the New Rule”, Housing Policy Debate, 2018, 28:4, 553-571.

“The Residential Segregation of San Antonio, Texas in 1910: An Analysis of Ethno-Racial and Occupational Spatial Patterns with the Colocation Quotient”, (with Hilton Cordoba & Nathan Foote), Urban Geography, 2017, 39:7, 988-1017.

“Tracking Mobility in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: A Household Level Examination in the State of Florida, USA”, (with Ruoniu Wang), Housing Studies, 2017, 33:3, 455-475.

“Examining Neighborhood Opportunity and Locational Outcomes for Housing Choice Voucher Recipients: A Comparative Study between Duval County, Florida and Bexar County, Texas”, (with Ruoniu Wang, A. Arafat, A. Naji & D. Yuesong), City & Community, 16:4, 421-446.

“A Research Note: The Housing Choice Voucher Program and Access to Opportunity in Florida’s Nonmetropolitan Areas”, (with Ruoniu Wang), Cityscape, 2017, 19:2, 239-254.

“Historic Roots of Modern Residential Segregation in a Southwestern Metropolis”, (with Nathan Foote, Hilton A. Cordoba & Corey Sparks), Urban Science, 2017, 1(2), 1-19.

“Comparing Opportunity Metrics and Locational Outcomes in the Low‐Income Housing Tax Credit Program”, (with Ruoniu Wang & Sarah Jones), Journal of Planning Education and Research, 2017, 38:4, 449-462.

“One Strike to Second Chances: Using Criminal Backgrounds in Admission Decisions for Assisted Housing”, (with Jill Viglione & Marie Skubak Tillyer), Housing Policy Debate, 2017, 27:5, 734-750.

“San Antonio 360: The Rise and Decline of the Concentric City 1890‐2010”, (with Ian Caine & Nathan Foote), Sustainability, 2017, 9:4, 1-16.

“Neighborhood and Socioeconomic Change in Emerging Megapolitan Nodes: Tracking Shifting Social Geographies in Three Rapidly Growing United States Metropolitan Areas, 1980‐2010”, (with Nathan Foote), Urban Geography, 2016, 38:8, 1203-1230.

“Measuring the Spatial Pattern of Ethnic Groups in San Antonio’s Eastside: A Spatial Analysis Approach with the Colocation Quotient”, (with Hilton Cordoba), Papers in Applied Geography, 2016, 2:2, 160‐177.

“Searching for Affordability and Opportunity: A Framework for the Housing Choice Voucher Program”, (with Ruoniu Wang), Housing Policy Debate, 2016, 6:4‐5, 670‐691.

“Revived and Discouraged: Evaluating Employment Barriers for Section 3 Residents with Criminal Records”, (with Michael Caudy & James Ray), Housing Policy Debate, 2016, 26:2, 398-415.

“Moving to Opportunity? An Examination of Housing Choice Vouchers on Urban Poverty Deconcentration in South Florida”, (with Yanmei Li & Serge Atherwood), Housing Studies, 2015, 30:7, 1064-1091.

“Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis for Vulnerable Renters: Insights from South Florida on an Affordable Housing Acquisition Tool”, (with Aaron Evans & Serge Atherwood), Housing Policy Debate, 2015, 26:1, 123-149.

“Single‐Family Housing Market Segmentation, Post‐Foreclosure Resale Duration, and Neighborhood Attributes”, (with Yanmei Li), Housing Policy Debate, 2013, 23:4, 643-665.

“Residential Selling Price Performance in and Next to Historic Districts: A Case Study of Savannah, Georgia”, (with Serge Atherwood & Russell Ivy), The Florida Geographer, 2012, 43, 48-63.

“Low‐Income Housing and Socioeconomic Change in Metropolitan America”, (with Serge Atherwood), Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 2012, 35, 90-97.