Riaz Taplin has been thinking about workforce housing for most of his professional life. Growing up in a real estate family, Riaz detoured early in his career from the family business to develop his own style by founding a design / build firm and developing over 50 ultra-luxury residences in the Bay Area. Completing his last project just before the great recession, Riaz refocused his vision to workforce housing in Oakland. Over the next decade, Riaz built a portfolio of over 1,300 units in the workforce housing category. In the process, Riaz consistently worked to innovate market-rate approaches to workforce housing, also known as naturally-occurring affordable housing. In successive projects and ventures, Riaz explored co-living, adaptive reuse micro-units, student housing, and traditional ground-up construction – all of which led to the firm’s custom workforce housing solution – the ABD Studio.
Today, Riaz leads Riaz Capital, a vertically integrated workforce housing developer and institutional-grade sponsor with a core team of over fifty professionals managing a portfolio of over 1,300 units, and with over 1,000 residences in the pipeline. Riaz is a board member of the Oakland Promise, the urban planning think tank SPUR, and co-chair of the American India Foundation SF Bay Area board. He earned a B.A. in Economic History from the London School of Economics.