Margaret McFarland

Margaret McFarland

Professor Emerita
Founding Director, Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development 2008-2018


Margaret McFarland has been involved in the real estate development arena from multiple perspectives for over two decades. Ms. McFarland began her career in real estate development as an urban planner for the Toledo-Lucas County (Ohio) Planning Commissions. On completing her law degree Ms. McFarland joined O'Melveny & Myers in private practice in Washington, DC assisting clients in financing hotel, office and retail facilities, including commercial properties seeking historic preservation designation.

In 1985, Ms. McFarland was appointed counsel to Maryland's housing finance agency (CDA) and mortgage insurance fund (MHF) issuing revenue bonds for affordable housing and infrastructure projects and then expanded her responsibility as general counsel to the underwater archaeology, community development and historic preservation programs of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Ms. McFarland spent two years on special assignment to Lieutenant Governor Townsend's Task Force to establish a quasi-corporate entity and cooperative relationship between St. Mary's College and Historic St. Mary's City – an outdoor museum at Maryland's First Capital.

At the close of her tenure with the Maryland Attorney General's Office, Ms. McFarland returned to the private sector providing consulting services to clients, both public and private, looking to use tax credits and other financing mechanisms to build or redevelop new communities including affordable housing. Subsequently, she served as the Executive Director of the Housing Credit Group for the National Association of Home Builders where she developed a national reputation working with private sector bankers, builders, developers, investors, syndicators and property managers for projects financed with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

She most recently served as General Counsel to the District of Columbia Housing Authority as it expanded its mixed income housing and community redevelopment activities in the Southeast and Northeast sectors of Washington, DC. Ms. McFarland is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland bars and chair of the Practice Division of State and Local Law for the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development. She is an outside director of the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, Inc., a non-profit real estate company with properties under development and/or management in Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and Nevada. She is a Trustee of both Andrews University and Washington Adventist University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Housing and Development Law Institute and the Advisory Board of the Housing and Development Law Reporter, and the American Real Estate Society.

Juris Doctorate in Law
University of Michigan
Master of Arts in Urban Studies
University of Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in History
Andrews University