Jocelyn Harris became passionate about housing equity while studying housing and the economy in McGregor, South Africa. While she left the United States with preconceived, even stereotypical, ideas of the extreme poverty and disparate living conditions she would witness while abroad, Harris was astonished to find that many of the same inequalities in the small South African village existed in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area where she was raised.
After her experience in South Africa, Harris moved to Prince George’s County and became actively engaged in the fight for improved housing options. As the housing developer for the nonprofit Housing Initiative Partnership (www.hiphomes.org), Harris creates affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income buyers by substantially renovating vacant, distressed, or obsolete homes within the county’s inner beltway communities. Harris has presented regionally and locally at housing conferences and also government and civic meetings.
Harris is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she received a master of community planning degree with a specialization in urban design. She is a graduate of the Baltimore Washington Racial Diversity Collaborative Talent Management Program and is a current participant of the Urban Land Institute’s Regional Land Use Leadership Institute.