You skipped to and are entering the secondary navigation menu
You skipped to and are entering the main content

Kathy A. Possinger Housing Policy Fellowship

In 2019 PHFA created the Housing Policy Fellowship to further the Agency's mission and foster the development of new leaders in the housing and community development field. In 2021, the fellowship was renamed the Kathy A. Possinger Housing Policy Fellowship in honor of PHFA board designee and affordable housing champion Kathy A. Possinger. During her two-decade career, Possinger served Pennsylvanians through her housing work in both the public and private sectors. She held a variety of positions within the housing field including Special Advisor to the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Director of the Center for Community and Housing Development, Executive Director of Tri County Community Action, and the City of Harrisburg’s Deputy Director of Housing.

The goal of this program is to support the development of new perspectives and approaches to significant unmet housing or community development needs across Pennsylvania through a self-directed research project. The program will also cultivate new housing and community development leaders.

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: Each fellow receives a stipend of $1,000 per month ($12,000 maximum), to be used for travel, conferences, technology, research tools, and/or administrative expenses.
  • Tenure: Maximum one year, beginning within six months of receipt of award letter (Spring 2023).
  • Application period is currently closed. Please return to this page in Spring 2023 for updates.

Applicant Eligibility

The Fellowship is open to anyone who meets the following criteria:

  • A legal resident of Pennsylvania
  • Over the age of 18 years

Applicants do not need to have an institutional, organizational, or governmental affiliation. Applicants could be currently enrolled students (graduate, undergraduate, full-time, or part-time), employees of a non-profit, for-profit, or unit of government, or even self-employed.

Fellowship eligibility has been left intentionally broad to ensure it is accessible to all Pennsylvanians with a relevant research project in need of financial support.

Project Eligibility

Fellowship projects must have a connection to housing and community development in Pennsylvania. The findings from and application of Fellowship research should be relevant and useful in expanding PHFA’s and other housing policy groups' knowledge of the topic of study. Projects that utilize a unique perspective or innovative solution/methodology are encouraged. Additional details on project topics can be found in the Fellowship Application.

How to Apply

The 2023 Fellowship Application period is closed. Please return to this page in Spring 2023 if you are interested in applying for the 2024 Fellowship.

Please review the Fellowship FAQ for answers to common questions regarding the Fellowship. If you have questions that are not addressed in the FAQ, please contact

Housing Policy Fellows and Projects

Current Fellow

Carolyn Ristau: Ms. Ristau's fellowship project will focus on zoning districts in the city of Pittsburgh to determine whether an exclusionary pattern exists that affects housing availability for residents. Her research will seek to better understand local conditions, how and why the zoning districts were established, and ultimately determine if there is a pattern of single-family zoning districts in some neighborhoods and multifamily zoning districts in others.

Past Fellows

Rachel Fawcett: Ms. Fawcett's fellowship project provides an overview of the community land trust model and existing literature, context, and insight into the existing CLTs in Pennsylvania, and an in-depth look into the State College Community Land Trust.