Davy Sell, Regional Affordable Housing VISTA
Davy joined the TJPDC in August as part of an AmeriCorps VISTA project, a statewide intermediary project with 18 Host Sites, that all work to either expand affordable housing opportunities and/or end homelessness throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Davy’s role at the PDC will focus on the creation, refinement, and maintenance of new data-driven affordable housing tools for the region, as well as a new communications strategy to support the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership (CVRHP). These tools will establish avenues for dialogue and planning around affordable housing development.
Q: What led you to working at the TJPDC?
A: A desire to put stronger tools in the hands of those doing the work on the ground! I worked in residential mortgage lending for over 5 years and in my time there I had the opportunity to meet wonderful, highly skilled people who had a mission to get families into homes. I was able to facilitate connections for over 50 families with local, state-funded and federally-funded first-time homebuyer programs and grants. As affordability became more of a pressing issue, I started to realize that even though there were people dedicated to helping other people realize their dream of homeownership, the constraints of interest rates and inventory were overwhelming the first-time buyer market. That was around the time I decided to pursue my master’s degree in Data Analytics and Policy (with a concentration in Geospatial Analysis) from Johns Hopkins University. Through my work with TJPDC I hope to further develop my ability to identify where there is a housing-based need in a locality, assist in implementing the solutions for that need, and prepare analyses and evaluations of program outcomes.
Q: What is a fun fact that you would like to share?
A: When I was 21 I (accidentally) booked a three-week, nine country tour of Europe with only Australians and Kiwis. It clearly sparked something in me since I have now been to 21 countries, and I am trying to get to 30 by age 30. I just turned 28 so I’ve got a lot to see in the next 2 years!