Baruch College Alumna Named among the First NYC Housing & Planning Fellows
November 1, 2021
Baruch College alumna Vanessa Almanzar (’19), who earned a Masters of Public Administration from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, is one of only seven individuals selected as the first cohort of fellows for the NYC Housing & Planning Fellowship, a new interagency collaboration to increase diversity and cultivate new leaders in affordable housing and community planning.
Shaping the Future of New York
Under the two-year program, Almanzar will delve into the City’s government work to advance affordable housing and community development throughout the five boroughs.
She and the other fellows will rotate between 6-month assignments at the four partner City agencies: New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Department of City Planning, and New York City Economic Development Corporation. There, they will learn about efforts to revitalize New York City’s neighborhoods through new construction; preservation; financing, including tax-exempt and taxable bonds; code enforcement; housing litigation; neighborhood planning; and property management.
At the core of this multiagency program is a shared mission: Shaping the future of New York City through affordable housing, land use and economic development policies.
Marxe School: Inspired Interest in Urban Development
“I have deep-rooted passion for affordable housing and this is something I am proud to be part of,” says Almanzar. “During my first semester at Baruch, I received an email from the Marxe Career Services office congratulating another alumnus and past fellow. Even though I was still uncertain of where my MPA journey would lead, that email sparked my interest immediately and solidified my pursuit of Urban Development. I am still in awe that I achieved this goal set for myself in 2017.”
Born and raised in the Bronx, Almanzar’s family is from the Dominican Republic where she spent part of her childhood. In New York City, she gained extensive experience working in the nonprofit sector servicing clients that were often high-needs or in crisis. Most recently, Almanzar worked as a program developer for HomeBase, a New York City Department of Social Services program and one of the City’s vital efforts to address housing instability.
“Having worked as a housing provider and experienced housing insecurity in New York City firsthand, I have a frontline view of the many issues I hope to tackle,” Almanzar states. “Being a part of this fellowship means I get to do work that is purposeful and groundbreaking, but it also means I get the opportunity to fulfill my passion.”
Almanzar adds, “This cohort is very unique. We are going to be experiencing the change in Administration come January 1, 2022 and our work over the two years will likely reflect more DEI efforts to come! This experience has been very overwhelming so far, but definitely in the best ways possible.”
# # #