Miriam Keller, MUP/MPP 2018
Organization: National Low Income Housing Coalition, Washington, DC
Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship
Reflecting on my Fellowship with the National Low Income Housing Coalition
“Following my summer with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), I am starting my final year of graduate training with new knowledge, sharper skills, and intensified passion for affordable housing and community development. My internship with NLIHC was an outstanding experience, and one that I will draw on years into the future.
NLIHC kept me very busy this summer, and in the best ways possible: I had a wide variety of research and writing assignments that involved legislative tracking, attendance at Congressional briefings, and even visits to the Library of Congress. These assignments provided an exciting way to apply what I’ve learned about housing at the GSD, while also building new writing skills and offering exposure to the turning gears of policy making in D.C.
The fellowship was the perfect way to build on the housing-oriented coursework I had taken at the GSD. Courses like Housing and Urbanization in the United States, Affordable and Mixed-Income Housing, and U.S. Housing Markets, Problems and Policies have provided me exposure to how federal housing policies play out at the community level. I think the appreciation I’ve developed as a planning student for the goals and interests held by stakeholders at the neighborhood level helped me understand the way those interests are represented at the federal level. This skill was essential in my work at NLIHC, especially in completing writing assignments in a way that would resonate with the different audiences of the organization. The summer’s Congressional hearings, Hill visits, memos, and legislative analysis offered a fascinating complement to that local-level exposure, and provided a wider window into the complexities and power of federal housing policy.”