2020 PHFA Housing Policy Fellow Named
Funded research will benefit policymakers and the affordable housing industry
HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has named Rachel Fawcett as its inaugural housing policy fellow. Fawcett will receive a financial stipend of up to $12,000 during 2020 to conduct research benefiting the affordable housing industry. In the process, she will gain valuable experience aiding her professional development.
“Rachel was chosen from a group of highly qualified applicants,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “She has an excellent background preparing her to undertake this research. It’s our hope that her studies as our fellow will provide important insights to help better inform our housing initiatives and will give her experience to advance her own leadership development – a true win-win.”
Fawcett’s fellowship project will focus on research into community land trusts across the country to determine their viability as a shared-equity housing model. Community land trusts have been undertaken by some communities to help meet the overwhelming demand for affordable housing. Her research will assess the concept, explore how it is currently being applied, and offer recommendations for future initiatives in Pennsylvania. At the conclusion of her fellowship, her findings will be made publicly available to benefit policymakers and the housing industry.
Fawcett has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Pennsylvania State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in professional studies, also from Penn State. Her master’s studies are focused on community and economic development.
Fawcett works as the budgets and publications coordinator at the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center at Penn State. Previously, she was the executive director of the Centre County Housing and Land Trust. Additionally, she has served as the past chair and vice chair of the Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition. Her varied housing experience and education are seen as strengths for performing her research under the fellowship.
The stipend provided through PHFA’s housing policy fellowship can be used for a variety of activities supporting Fawcett’s approved research, including interviews with experts, securing resources and study materials, and travel for attending relevant conferences.
This is the first year of PHFA’s housing policy fellowship. The expectation is that another fellow will be chosen in 2021 to conduct additional housing research.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $14.4 billion of funding for more than 177,400 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 136,215 rental units, distributed more than $109.2 million to support local housing initiatives, and saved the homes of more than 50,130 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.