GPLA Announces Immersive Field Study on Social Housing in Vienna, Austria for California Housing Leaders

Vienna’s innovative housing model blends affordability, quality, and community for all.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA, April 11, 2024 / — The Global Policy Leadership Academy (GPLA), a transformative educational institution within the LeSar Portfolio of Firms, is excited to announce its summer 2024 Vienna Social Housing Field Study. This pioneering program offers an invaluable, immersive learning experience for leaders and changemakers addressing housing affordability challenges.

As the United States in general and California in particular grapple with the complex issues of housing affordability and homelessness, there is a desire among housing leaders to learn about proven models that can help solve these complex problems. Many housing leaders are beginning to look at social housing models to explore ideas that can be incorporated in the United States. Among the various models of social housing, Vienna offers great insights into a successful model that has created thriving neighborhoods with housing for all incomes.

GPLA has invested in deep research and relationships in Vienna to explore Vienna’s program. The Vienna Social Housing Field Study, in its third year, provides an immersive educational opportunity in one of the world’s most successful examples of affordable housing in the world. Participants from diverse professional backgrounds explore Vienna’s exceptional social housing model, engaging in interdisciplinary discussions on housing and affordability issues that impact communities across the United States.

During the upcoming cohort, July 14 – 20, 2024, field study participants will gain deep insight into the history and development of Vienna’s unique social housing model, exploring detailed aspects of urban planning, construction, financing, land management, and more. This will be the 5th iteration of the field study for GPLA, solidifying its reputation as a premier immersive experience provider for leaders eager to explore Vienna, engage with infrastructure specialists, and connect with communities firsthand.

Jennifer LeSar, Founder and CEO of the LeSar Portfolio of Firms, renowned for her expertise in affordable housing and homelessness solutions, emphasizes the significance of the Vienna Social Housing Field Study, stating, “It’s a transformative experience at a critical time with great potential to influence positive change in our approach to housing challenges in California.”

Key highlights of the six-day program include:

• Interdisciplinary Exploration: Participants will engage in curated courses, leveraging collective knowledge from experts in various disciplines, and understand the intersections of housing, health outcomes, and addressing the climate crisis.

• Public-Private Partnerships: delve into the role of the private, public, and philanthropic sectors working collectively to promote housing as a human right.

• Networking Opportunities: Connect with leading Viennese housing policymakers, architects, urban planners, developers, public sector leaders, and community residents, fostering meaningful connections and knowledge sharing.

• Transformative Learning: Explore Vienna’s proven model, witnessing how large-scale changes have resulted in affordable housing for all residents, including middle-income families.

The impact of the Vienna experience is highlighted by past delegation members, including Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles County Supervisor 2nd District, who attended the GPLA field study in 2023. “To truly understand social housing in Vienna, you need to be here. Experiencing it firsthand with others who share similar experiences allows for challenging assumptions and continuous learning. It’s an investment in personal growth, leadership, and embracing the idea that we don’t have all the answers,” she states.

In addressing key differences between the US and European housing ecosystems, Anu Natarajan, Managing Director of the Global Housing Practice at GPLA, highlights the power of the field study’s immersive format, stating, “Attendees gain valuable insight on everything from the role of government in social housing to practical ideas on how to create permanent housing affordability for all through intensive sessions with key influencers of Vienna’s active model. It’s the type of experience decision-makers can’t get from reading articles alone.”

Registration for the July 2024 field study closes on April 30, 2024. To register or learn more about the Vienna Housing Field Study, please visit for event details, dates, and additional information.

About Global Policy Leadership Academy (GPLA)

The Global Policy Leadership Academy (GPLA) is an educational institution that equips leaders with the knowledge and skills to tackle complex global challenges. Part of the LeSar Portfolio of Firms, GPLA fosters collaborative leadership through its educational programs and community of practice.  GPLA empowers leaders to advocate for positive change in their communities and beyond. For more information about GPLA, please visit our website,

Anji Taylor, Marketing and Communications Manager
LeSar Holdings
+1 619-517-6170
[email protected]
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