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Michela Zonta

Senior Policy Analyst, Housing Finance and Policy

Expertise: Housing policy, affordable housing, ethnic-owned banks, mortgage lending, urban poverty and community development, residential segregation and fair housing, jobs-housing imbalance, race and ethnicity, social housing, neighborhood indicators

Michela Zonta is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Housing Finance and Policy team at American Progress. She has extensive research, teaching, and consulting experience in housing and community development. She has published work on the mortgage-lending practices of ethnic-owned banks in immigrant communities, jobs-housing imbalance in minority communities, residential segregation, and poverty and housing affordability. Prior to joining American Progress, Zonta taught urban and regional planning in the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she delivered several graduate courses on housing policy, community development, geographic information systems, British housing policy, and race and gender. While at VCU, she also provided technical assistance and research support to a variety of government, think tank, and nonprofit organizations engaged in the development, provision, and/or evaluation of programs and services targeted to low-income, homeless, and minority populations. In addition, she engaged in international collaborations revolving around planning for sustainability. Zonta previously worked at the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, RAND Corporation, and the University of Southern California.

Her publications include:

“Applying for Mortgage Loans in Immigrant Communities: The Case of Asian Enclaves in Los Angeles,” Environment & Planning A 44 (1) (2012): 89–110.

“The Continuing Significance of Ethnic Resources: Korean-Owned Banks in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C.,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38 (3) (2012): 463–484.

“From the Homeownership Trap to Alternative Forms of Tenure and Financing,” Progressive Planning 182 (2010): 2–5.

Zonta holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Milan, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in urban planning, both from the University of California, Los Angeles.