Housing + Innovation Research Fellow

Remote Volunteer Position

Join the next cohort to research and pioneer innovative solutions with New Story to end global homelessness.

New Story is accepting applications for our Winter 2020/2021 cohort. Applications will close on November 22 at 9 p.m. PST. This cohort will begin on December 7, 2020 and end on March 31, 2021.

 

ABOUT NEW STORY

New Story has taken big swings at tackling the global housing crisis: we’ve built more than 2,300 homes in 26 communities across Haiti, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Mexico, created an open-source software solution shared with more than 25 organizations in four continents, and printed the first permitted 3D-printed community in history. However, we know the work to bridge the gap for the more than 1.6 billion people without access to adequate housing requires collective effort in the sector to innovate and build quicker. 

There are many proven examples across the globe, and we are aiming to study and compile a comprehensive guide to affordable and sustainable housing innovations. Our goal is to open-source the knowledge gained in building affordable housing communities to government entities and organizations in the sector to be implemented and together close the housing gap.

SUMMARY OF THE FELLOWSHIP

You’ll research innovations and best practices in the affordable housing space to contribute to New Story’s efforts to end homelessness worldwide, with a current focus on Latin America. The research contributes to the Affordable Housing Encyclopedia, a compilation of the highest leverage solutions to address inadequate housing. 

You will also have the opportunity to contribute to New Story’s current development of projects and innovations for the sector in areas of finance, data, policy, AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction), and fund. 

As part of this Fellowship, you will:

  • Be a part of ~40 interdisciplinary fellows from around the globe
  • Join coffee-chats with like-minded individuals to discuss topics related to social housing
  • Be inspired by a team of individuals that have dedicated their careers to housing innovation
  • Have the opportunity to present your ideas and expand your presentation and deliverables skills
  • Have an open space where you can continue to grow into other cohorts and leadership opportunities
  • Potentially shape research into projects or experiments with the New Story team
  • Work with task force-like projects such as the COVID-19 rent relief program

A total of 8 hours minimum weekly is required to be considered part of this fellowship. This is an unpaid, remote volunteer position. This deep dive into a specific housing typology or innovation will serve as the foundation for New Story’s long-term strategy and selection criteria for innovative projects to pursue.

 

FELLOWSHIP TEAMS

As a Research Fellow, you will analyze case studies and innovations regarding housing solutions in Latin America, in one of the following categories:

Finance

Finance fellows work directly with our Field Operations Team to research affordable housing finance schemes, programs, and solutions with the goal of unlocking housing finance on a family, developer, and government level for the base of the pyramid. Fellows will collaborate on various projects with a New Story advisor to research what’s available in the current market, as well as innovative new approaches to affordable housing finance.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in international development, fintech, housing finance, LATAM housing programs, and/or impact investing. BONUS: fluent Spanish speakers.

Data

Data fellows work directly with our Field Operations Team to help support the Impact Data Program execute its data strategy. This includes researching existing data sets from various Latin American governments, with a strong focus on Mexico, that are relevant for evaluating the affordable housing landscape. If data sets do not exist, fellows will be responsible for outreach to public and private entities to help source new data sets and create them when needed.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in international development, housing finance, LATAM housing programs, and/or Mexico housing policies, being able to read government websites, data sets, and policy memos. The ability to  conduct phone and email outreach in Spanish is a strong plus. Also, you should be able to use Excel and Google Sheets effectively. BONUS: Knowledge of web scraping methods for gathering data; SQL, Python, or R for basic analytics; data visualization skills

Policy

Policy fellows will collaborate with the Field Operations Team to outline effective strategies in government consulting. This involves: 

  1. Finding successful case studies of programs and policies that increased housing affordability for the bottom of the pyramid (BOP)
  2. Analyzing their potential transferability to the regulatory framework of Latin-American countries. 
  3. Setting up virtual meetings with experts around the world to learn from their experience. Fellows will collaborate with the Field Operations Team in the design of pilot projects that test policies’ effectiveness.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in urban planning, public policy, public administration/management, law, governance, or consulting.

AEC

The main focus of the AEC group is decreasing construction costs and increasing efficiency. The fellows would conduct research and produce drawings, sketches, and any other visual key they might find helpful in explaining the different ways we can achieve the main focus. Examples of ways to achieve this would be through incremental design techniques and density housing typologies to maximize the use and impact of the resources in the built environment.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in the build environment (architecture, engineer, construction, urban planning, etc.) who can produce plans, sketches, diagrams, and, most importantly, enjoy doing them.

Fund

Fund fellows will work to scout and vet ventures the team is seeking to invest in. We are seeking to invest in disruptive technology in architecture, engineering, construction that reduces the cost and/or increases the speed of building with the end goal to improve housing affordability. Fellows will be able to source early-stage start-ups, collaborate directly with founders for the diligence process, and engage in the evaluation process.

This category is for you if you have background and experience in VC / investing / finance background and/or more than two experiences in the AEC industry or working towards a higher education degree in the area (architecture, engineering, construction, robotics, manufacturing, supply chain management, etc.)

YOU’LL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR…

  1. Consistent communication with the New Story team, your research group’s team leaders, and Research Fellow peers via the Slack platform, our primary means of communication. If you haven’t used Slack before, we can recommend tutorials to get you started!
  2. Creating bi-weekly deliverables summarizing the status of your research, findings, and major trends. The research deliverables will depend on your research topic and larger research group, but typically include:
    • Documentation of case studies relevant to your research topic
    • Trends within your research topic, supported by case studies you’ve found
    • Identifying ventures pursuing innovations in this space
    • Informational interviews of experts in the topic
  1. Attending approximately 2-4 video calls per month, including check-ins with your research group and “lean coffee chats,” where we share findings and learnings across the fellowship (similar to a “lunch-and-learn” with active discussion!).
  2. A final research deliverable summarizing your research. This could include a report on top innovations, best practices, and common downfalls, or more. It will be clearly defined throughout your fellowship, and you’ll spend the last 2-3 weeks of your fellowship creating it.

YOU MUST HAVE…

  • Minimum 3 years of university or college studies
  • Professional fluency in English (required) and Spanish (preferred)
  • Sophisticated communication, organization, research, creativity, and interpersonal skills
Our Culture

Culture is #1 for us. We invest significant time, focus, and resources to building the best environment possible. Why? Over the course of the year we spend a large chunk of our time at work. So at New Story, we want our team to find fulfillment, autonomy, mastery, and joy at work. A workplace where you can bring your whole self.

At New Story, you can expect to find a culture that reflects our values:

  • Humble Pursuit of Excellence. A combination of personal humility and intense professional will.
  • Express Gratitude and Empathy. How would you like to be treated? That’s how we strive to treat others. Always go above and beyond to do for others what you’d like them to do for you.
  • Improve Through Learning and Feedback. Learn why something worked or didn’t work, then implement the learning into future actions.
  • Team of Founders. An extreme ownership mindset where you see a problem, take action, and go above and beyond to help the team.
  • Think Big, Breakdown, and Execute. Set big measurable goals, formulate a plan, then execute the plan with relentless focus.
  • Simplify. Do more with less. This applies to everything: marketing, design, team meetings, writing, operations, and beyond.
Welcoming Workplace For All

We know we will only succeed if we have a team who brings a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds. Our team grew up around the world, from Turkey to Chicago to Georgia to Venezuela, and we welcome all applicants, regardless of background, to apply. We work hard to create a welcoming culture of shared values and radical candor. New Story is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applicants to apply for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

Imposter Syndrome

If you’re feeling like you aren’t perfectly qualified for this role, don’t count yourself out. We want you to still apply. We used to (and still do sometimes) feel like imposters. It’s natural, but don’t let that stop you from giving this role a shot.

Join us!

Carve out 20 minutes and apply here.