Martha Galvez is a principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Her expertise is in housing and homelessness policy, with a focus on examining how interventions aimed at improving housing stability and choice for low-income families are implemented and how they affect individuals, families, and neighborhoods. Galvez is also interested in ways to improve access to integrated housing and social service data to understand the characteristics of families living in subsidized housing, as well as the housing and service needs of vulnerable households. She has experience in mixed-methods research and has designed and managed studies involving complex administrative, survey, and qualitative data.
Galvez joined Urban from the research and data analysis division of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, where her work revolved around developing the state’s housing research capacity. She has held positions in several state and local organizations, including the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington, the Seattle Housing Authority, the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the New York City Citizens Housing and Planning Council.
Galvez earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in urban planning and doctoral degree in public policy and administration from New York University.
People who receive vouchers or other forms of federal or local housing assistance are not protected from discrimination by federal fair housing or civil rights laws, and in most places, landlords can legally refuse to rent to voucher holders. Researchers will assess whether and under what conditions state and local protections reduce landlord discrimination and improve the rate at which voucher holders are successful at finding housing.