Senior Associate, Home Financing

Location US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 4 months ago(12/15/2020 1:13 PM)
Job ID
2020-6404
Department
Program-Government Performance
Company
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Overview

The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, DC, our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.
 
Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven initiatives to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.
 
The Government Performance Portfolio within Program 
Pew’s government performance work identifies and advances effective approaches to help solve complex challenges at all levels of government in the United States. 
 
The portfolio’s work can be traced back to our founders’ early efforts to improve the lives of Americans by supporting efforts that promoted health, civic engagement, and democratic ideals. Today, we conduct research on emerging topics, develop data-driven reports, and highlight innovative, non-partisan approaches in addressing complex problems at the federal, state, and local levels as well as the interplay that can occur between jurisdictions. Current initiatives focus on health, fiscal and economic policy, and safety and justice, and take into account significant trends such as evolving technologies, and the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the United States population.
 
Our teams explore and advance effective, evidence-based policies using credible, timely, and accessible research, assessing public support for change, identifying approaches that have proved successful elsewhere, and bringing together diverse perspectives to find common ground. We work in collaboration with organizations that share our commitment to rigorous research, measurable results, and public service, and we focus on developing durable policy change. In addition, our teams use strategic outreach and dissemination to ensure that good information is widely communicated to decision-makers, media, influential stakeholders, and the public.
 
Home Financing 
The home financing project conducts research on the financial arrangements people use to purchase homes and examines the hurdles lenders face to offering small mortgages. Today, millions of families use alternative financing arrangements such as contracts-for-deed or rent-to-own to purchase a home, but these options often cost more and offer fewer protections than mortgages. This project aims to help inform policymakers and other stakeholders about market practices, evaluate borrower experiences and the efficacy of consumer protections, and promote access to safe, affordable home loans. To learn more about the home financing project, please visit the project’s webpage.
 
Specifically, the project will:
  • Produce credible, independent, and nonpartisan research to help answer questions about consumers’ experiences and opinions, the contract provisions of alternative home financing arrangements and how they vary across states, the federal and state laws that govern these arrangements, and potential solutions to documented problems;
  • Promote findings through educational outreach and national and local media; 
  • Engage policy and business audiences about these issues; and
  • Provide customized technical assistance informed by research.
Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative
The Philadelphia research and policy initiative enables policymakers to identify and enact policies that improve city government and the well-being of the city's residents. Central to this work is the production of timely, well-documented reports for the benefit of policymakers, the news media and the public at large. Working directly with stakeholders, the initiative conducts in-depth research, looking beyond the city and region for relevant information from comparable cities. Our approach includes researching important policy topics and solutions, benchmarking demographic data and polling to measure progress, holding policy-oriented convenings, and engaging extensively with policymakers to increase the impact of our work. The goal is to strengthen housing quality and stability for Philadelphia residents, with a particular focus on informing efforts to innovate, modernize, and expand programs that finance home purchases and repairs. To learn more about the Philadelphia research and policy initiative, please visit the project’s webpage.
 
The two projects collaborate by bringing to bear findings from Pew’s home financing project with a focus on implications for local governments, specifically the city of Philadelphia. 
 
Position Overview 
The senior associate will support the home financing project based in Washington, D.C., and the Philadelphia research and policy initiative based in Philadelphia. 
 
The senior associate will help conceptualize, conduct, and review research and analysis with a focus on producing material intended to convey complex information clearly for stakeholders, media, and policymakers in service of both projects’ goals. Depending on project needs, products may include issue briefs, visual data representations, revenue models, or other works of analysis in addition to full-length research reports.
 
The senior associate will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of research on financial arrangements for home purchases and home repair. The position collaborates closely with peers overseeing other components of the home loans research plan as well as policy analysts, government and community group liaisons, communications professionals, and other team members to help achieve both projects’ goals. 
 
The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., office, reports to the manager, research, consumer finance. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support. 

Responsibilities

  • Compile and maintain datasets from various sources that may be used in research projects; perform first-level analysis of data; and conduct general background research on renters, home repair loans, small mortgages and alternative home financing arrangements, and other home financing-related issues, including literature reviews and media scans.
  • Identify datasets that may reveal fresh angles or insights. Generate ideas for publications from the project and its partners that are consistent with the initiative’s scope and goals.
  • Develop and identify key findings and present them clearly and concisely. Write original drafts of findings and present polished deliverables to colleagues.
  • Examine issues at the local, state, and federal levels, with specific attention to Philadelphia and its peer cities as appropriate.
  • Conduct analysis on access to home purchase and repair loans in Philadelphia.
  • Work with senior researchers to organize and write reports, briefs, and web analyses. When appropriate, take the lead on producing research.
  • Develop strategies for monitoring relevant developments on local state and federal laws and identifying key emerging trends in policy and business practices.
  • Work with Pew’s senior researchers and external experts to ensure all research products are methodologically sound and factually accurate.
  • Support outreach efforts by ensuring all external communications are factually accurate and reflect the findings of our analyses. Represent the project at events as directed.
  • Assist in efforts to maintain contact with policymakers to ascertain their priorities and to increase their awareness of and input into Pew’s work.
  • Help colleagues draft, review, and shepherd project funding agreements and contracts, contract amendments, and renewals, through the administrative and review process.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required, advanced degree in public policy, business administration, social science, journalism, or another related field preferred.
  • At least four years of applicable experience conducting mid-to long-term research or consulting projects with quantitative components. Experience in urban or public policy, the public sector, university research, mortgages, consumer finance, housing, market research, or data management and analysis preferred. 
  • Demonstrated skills in researching and analyzing complex issues, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
  • Strong systems skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Experience with statistical analysis tools (R, SPSS, Stata, or SAS), and online research applications a plus.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information into executive briefings or key recommendations. Demonstrated clear and effective writing style and attention to detail.
  • Experience with Lexis-Nexis or other news and legal research tools and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data or other real estate datasets preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Proven track record of working collegially and effectively as a member of a team and individually to meet goals. Ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally with a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, remain attentive to details, and exercise sound judgment in problem-solving. Capacity to use these skills proactively to move complex projects forward while working collegially toward common goals. 
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high-level of organization. Ability to establish a systematic course of action to ensure project completion. 
  • Ability to view an issue or question in a non-partisan manner and critically evaluate data to shed light on problems and solutions.
Travel 
The position is based in Washington, D.C., and is anticipated to require at least quarterly travel to Pew’s offices in Philadelphia, PA as well as anticipated occasional domestic travel for meetings and conferences as needed.
 
Total Rewards
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.
 
The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. 

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