Nicole Graham

Co-CEO, San Francisco

Nicole Graham

Co-CEO, San Francisco

Municipal Advisor-Series 50 Qualification

Practice Group:

Public Housing

Areas of Expertise:

  • Affordable Housing Finance
  • Public Housing Authorities
  • Strategic Plans and Program Development
  • Bond Program Support
  • Underwriting
  • Developer Negotiations
  • Tax Credits

Nicole Graham, a Principal of CSG Advisors, offers 19 years of experience advising housing agencies on how to optimize financing for the development and operation of affordable housing. Since joining CSG in 2003, Ms. Graham has focused her practice on helping public agencies finance deeply subsidized and mixed-income housing developments and preparing long-term financial strategies to assist agencies in addressing the capital needs of large housing portfolios over many years.

Nicole’s work is guided by her philosophy that scarce public resources should be leveraged to the greatest extent feasible to ensure that clients receive maximum return on their investment, whether this is measured as available agency funding, number of housing units benefitted, or depth of subsidy attained. Toward this end, she helps guide clients through strategic decisions that can achieve their objectives through a combination of prioritizing projects, disciplined underwriting, integrating multiple programs, and challenging assumptions along the way that could undermine the client’s ability to optimize results.

Nicole has advised on over $6 billion in affordable housing financings across more than 70 transactions. She has advised on transactions as small as $5 million and as large as $900 million. In addition to affordable housing financings, which have benefited over 45,000 low-income housing units, Nicole has also advised clients on market-rate housing as well as non-residential borrowings to finance office, school, and community uses.

Individual transactions rely upon multiple partners, which may include lenders, tax credit investors, third-party developers, and issuers. Nicole believes it is critical for housing agencies to understand the value they bring to each financing and advocate for commensurate business terms that will help protect both the short- and long-term interests of her clients and the residents they serve.

Nicole has helped several clients develop comprehensive strategies to address entire agency portfolios and specific operating concerns such as those confronting public housing authorities. Nicole has helped prepare comprehensive strategies for a dozen housing authorities, including those of Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico.

Nicole’s work has focused on integrating deeply subsidized housing (including RAD, PBV, and traditional public housing) with standard LIHTC and market rate units as well as homeownership components to achieve financially feasible mixed-income developments. She is experienced with a range of HUD housing programs as well as FHA lending products and a variety of state, local, and other funding sources.

Nicole has led the firm’s work with several of the largest housing authorities in the country, including New York City, Puerto Rico, and Philadelphia and has also managed CSG’s engagements with housing agencies in Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, Tulsa, the Virgin Islands, and Washington DC.

Prior to joining CSG, Nicole worked for Economic and Planning Systems in California and Urban Partners Consulting in Pennsylvania, advising dozens of public agencies on a wide variety of affordable housing, financial feasibility, and economic impact studies and analyses. Nicole also has experience in the public sector as a policy advisor to the City Council of Oakland, CA.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University.


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