Rachel Meltzer is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Chair of the Public and Urban Policy M.S. degree at the Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment at The New School. Her research is broadly concerned with urban economies and how market and policy forces can shape disparate outcomes across neighborhoods. She focuses on issues related to housing, land use, economic development and local public finance.
Current projects look at how market-based, natural disaster and policy “shocks” impact retail and commercial activity in urban neighborhoods. These “shocks” range from gentrification to the introduction of broadband to Superstorm Sandy. Dr. Meltzer is also interested in the private provision of public goods, and she has explored a number of questions related to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowners Associations (HOAs). In addition, she has conducted research on Inclusionary Zoning, an alternative to traditional methods of providing affordable housing, including its impact on local housing markets and the political economy behind the adoption of such policies. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Meltzer is also a Research Affiliate at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. She teaches in the core policy analysis curriculum at Milano and is the author of the textbook, Policy Analysis as Problem Solving (Routledge 2018), with Milano colleague, Alex Schwartz. Dr. Meltzer also teaches classes on quantitative methods, urban economic development and public finance. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a Mortgage Officer and Project Manager for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where she managed the financing and rehabilitation of affordable housing. Dr. Meltzer earned her doctorate in Public Policy and M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a B.A. in Psychology and Mathematics from Dartmouth College.