By Lea Phillips
IPED has a long-standing relationship with Fordham-Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC). For more than ten years, Coverdell Fellows in the program have worked in the development office, performing important tasks such as grant writing, financial management, and tenant outreach. The work of Coverdell Fellows helps FBHC oversee the acquisition and renovation of affordable apartment buildings in the Bronx. IPED students, therefore, are on the forefront of a city-wide initiative to increase quality housing options for low-to-middle income New Yorkers.
Currently, IPED has one Coverdell Fellow with FBHC. Having started in September 2019, Lea Phillips’ work revolves primarily around the renovation of five apartment buildings. Fallen into disrepair by negligent landlords, FBHC purchased these buildings from the city. Lea Phillips is helping the FBHC procure the funding for needed renovations and is ensuring that tenants are taken care of while the construction is taking place. From this work, Ms. Phillips has developed project management capabilities, improving her skills in accounting, grant writing, and records-management. She is excited to see this project though, hoping to employ the knowledge she’s gaining at FBHC in her career in international development. Specifically, she believes that the financial management and proposal writing skills she’s garnered will help her achieve her professional goals. Furthermore, Lea values the opportunity the fellowship provides to connect with the greater Bronx community, improving the livelihoods of those living in New York’s most impoverished borough.