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Job Title : Social Impact Fellowship on Affordable Housing (Robin Hood - Blue Ridge Labs)
Date Posted : February 19, 2019
Type :

Description :

Blue Ridge Labs is currently looking for people with deep knowledge of the issues surrounding affordable housing, whether through personal lived experience, organizing work, or professional experience in research, policy advocacy, urban planning and/or social services.

Who We Are

Blue Ridge Labs ( is a place where communities and technologists work together to explore and build new solutions for New Yorkers. We provide space, funding, and resources to help launch and grow tech platforms that address economic inequality in NYC. We are an operating initiative of Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization.

The Fellowship

Each year, we run a Fellowship program that helps talented individuals work alongside communities to find new technology solutions around a given theme.

Our alums have built Fresh EBT, an app that helps more than 2 million families manage their food stamps;, a platform for tenants to hold their landlords accountable; and Good Call, a free 24/7 hotline that connects people who are arrested with a free lawyer and their loved ones.

This year, we’ll be exploring how technology can play a role in tackling challenges low-income New Yorkers face in finding, acquiring, and retaining high-quality, affordable housing.

This paid Fellowship runs from June-early October 2019. It is an intensive, full-time, 4-month program. Two-month Fellowships are available for select applicants on a case-by-case basis. 

Apply by March 1st. 

What We Provide:

  • Funding. A full-time stipend, health insurance reimbursement, and research budget
  • Co-founders. A cohort of talented peers with complementary skills
  • Access. The chance to connect with hundreds of users and experts through our Design Insight Group and community partners
  • Community. Office space and an ecosystem of high-impact startups and mentors

Who We’re Looking For: Expert Fellows

We’re looking for candidates with lived and/or professional experience in the issues surrounding access to affordable housing. Candidates should have a perspective on where opportunities may lie and a strong desire to share their expertise with others. Within a team, they’ll often be responsible for framing the research agenda, identifying resources, and building networks and partnerships. We’re looking for:

  • Community leaders and tenant organizers
  • Affordable housing policy advocates
  • Urban planners
  • Frontline social service providers and case workers
  • Researchers and academics who specialize in housing issues
  • Housing lawyers and legal experts
  • Professionals with relevant experience in related fields (real estate, finance, construction, urban economics, design, architecture, etc.)

This list is just a beginning! We think the group benefits from a wide range of backgrounds, and past Expert Fellows have included everything from community organizers and social workers to journalists, nurses and lawyers. This is a great and unique opportunity for individuals who are passionate about supporting marginalized communities in New York City and interested in learning more about developing new technologies for social good. Regardless of your background, we encourage you to apply if you:

  • Have built skills and now want to use them to make a difference
  • Are ruthlessly people- and community-focused 
  • Thrive in fast-paced, collaborative environments 
  • Seek out opportunities to challenge your assumptions, and 
  • Have a track record of action on issues you're passionate about

Our Approach

Our work is rooted in principles of community-centered design and the idea that those closest to the issues are also closest to the solutions. We collaborate closely with community members through our Design Insight Group (DIG), a network of hundreds of New Yorkers who provide feedback and participate in one-on-one interviews, focus groups, product testing sessions and surveys, as well as through partnerships with experts, nonprofit organizations, community-based groups and city agencies.

To Apply:

Fill out an online application


Applications are due March 1st and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To learn more, please visit or reach out to with any questions.


We are committed to fostering a community that values diverse perspectives and experiences, particularly from those who we aim to serve. We actively seek applicants from, or who have worked closely with, historically marginalized groups including but not limited to: people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, first- or second-generation immigrants and people from low-income families.

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