Research Assistant, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Sophia Wedeen is dedicated to the goal of creating and supporting fair, affordable housing. Since 2019, she has worked as a research assistant at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, part of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At the Joint Center, she studies rental housing, affordability, and home repair and improvement markets. She is keen to understand the production and composition of housing in the United States and to supply housing leaders with the information needed to create more equitable policy. Prior to joining the Joint Center, she spent two years working for the City of Boston, where she administered the Community Preservation Act property tax exemption program. Her experiences presenting on the CPA at community meetings, listening to public testimony at city council hearings, and working directly with homeowners seeking tax exemptions revealed deep asymmetries in local political participation. She believes that expanding political participation among traditionally underrepresented groups is critical to passing better policies and getting everyone safely and affordably housed. Sophia is also a passionate advocate for mental health parity, gender equity, and LGBTQ+ rights. Since 2018, Sophia has been an enthusiastic volunteer for NAMI Mass, fundraising and advocating for the expansion of mental health services in Massachusetts. During a typical Boston Pride parade, when she isn’t celebrating, she can often be found standing in the middle of the street in an orange vest, giving directions and making sure people don’t get accidentally run over by floats. Sophia holds a BA in Political Science from Boston University (BU). Some particularly formative experiences at BU included her many urban politics and planning seminars, her work as a political science research assistant, and her tenure as vice president of the BU Statistics Club. In her free time, Sophia enjoys drawing, slowly improving at yoga, and going on walks around Greater Boston.