Class of 2014
Research Associate at Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB)
Alex worked at the office of NYC’s City Council Member Helen Rosenthal upon graduation from the MA Theories of Urban Practice program. He assisted the housing constituent liaison, and conducted research on affordable housing in his district. This endeavor was crucial to making connections that led to his current job. Less than a year after graduation, he began working as a research associate at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), a non profit organization involved in promoting and preserving self-help housing, creating homeownership opportunities for low-income communities, and protecting tenants rights. Alex was hired to work on grant-funded research of the limited-equity housing cooperative sector in the United States. Besides working on this research, funded by the Ford Foundation, Alex has been doing research and supporting work for a local policy campaign to better protect affordability of the co-ops UHAB directly works with in New York City, as well as other endeavors to preserve housing cooperatives. Before joining Parsons Alex worked as geographic information systems technician for the Municipality of Cambridge, MA. “I left the GIS field because I needed to broaden my impact. Maintaining geographically referenced information for a municipality is important but it doesn’t leave that much room for designing creative solutions at the intersection of geography and social justice, something I wanted to pursue when I went to grad school. Parsons simultaneously broadened my knowledge of urban politics while it focused my interests within the urban field to housing. Parsons taught me to work collaboratively in a group, a skill I have found to be critical in the workplace. As a professional researcher at UHAB I have a lot of freedom with how to design and structure my project, and my time at Parsons better prepared me to be self-directed in that realm of my practice”.