It’s tough to find someone more passionate about urban housing policy than Christina McIntyre ’16, a double major in politics and sustainability studies with a concentration in community and urban development. “We need to reform the structures that perpetuate the barriers,” she explained. “Place shouldn’t determine the opportunities someone can have. As an undergrad, she spent time in the SALT House in Harrisburg, becoming interested in local, city and state policy. “The city of Harrisburg has been a big part of my Messiah experience,” said McIntyre. “Harrisburg has all of the challenges a large metro area does, but its disparity is very evident. Lower-income communities in Harrisburg have less access to banking, which has become a function of private wealth.”
After her time in Harrisburg, she spent a summer learning about federal policy in Washington, D.C., interning at the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. While she worked with the housing and urban policy committee, she served on the affordable housing team at her church. “Access to affordable housing, quality housing—that’s what it should be about,” she said. “As Christians, that’s what we should be committed to. Your research isn’t going to matter if you’re removed from your brothers and sisters.”
McIntyre is pursuing an M.A. in political science at the University of Toronto on a Fulbright research scholarship. Her thesis will compare low-income housing policy in Canada and the U.S.