Student and Alumni Spotlights

Ian Salzman MCRP '25

Shaping Communities Though Urban Development and Affordable Housing

Ian Salzman

Master of City and Regional Planning, Class of 2025

Omaha, Nebraska
Specializations: Housing & Community Development concentration, Real Estate Development & Redevelopment Certificate 
Personal interests: online chess, training for a half-marathon, cartoon drawing.

Ian’s first exposure to urban development was a summer internship in college, working with a community development corporation and local stakeholders to develop affordable housing.  

When he returned to school, a course in Urban Politics exposed him to the history of American cities and their current challenges. “This motivated me to do a senior thesis studying the policies of mayors in Newark, San Antonio, and South Bend. After graduating I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the city of South Bend, where I worked with neighborhood associations and local developers to support their projects.” 

A few years later he moved to Newark, NJ, where he served at New Jersey Community Capital as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps program. There, he helped New Jersey tenants who had fallen behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic apply for rental assistance from the state. 

“I worked at New Jersey Community Capital during the pandemic alongside many Bloustein School graduates. I loved my work there and admired the mission, passion, kindness, and leadership of the Bloustein alumni I met,” Ian said.  

“When researching graduate schools, look closely at the concentrations, classes, and professors to see whether they have the resources you are looking for,” he said. Interested in real estate development, particularly in the affordable housing realm, Ian has found that the Bloustein urban planning program’s Real Estate Development & Redevelopment Certificate has provided solid foundations in policy and finance. “This will give me the flexibility to pursue jobs in either the public or private sectors,” he said. 

“My favorite class so far has been Survey of Planning Law. I enjoy learning about U.S. history and law, and the course introduced legal cases and concepts that had profound national consequences for racial equality, affordable housing, property rights, and more. I also enjoyed the practical application of each of the court cases.” 

More recently, Ian—who is an identical twin—worked as a Project Management Assistant at Restrepo & Associates. A New Jersey-based affordable housing development consultant group, he worked with other Bloustein students to assist neighborhood organizations across the state navigate the process of building affordable housing from concept through construction.  

He continued, “I’m still deciding what part of the United States or the world I want to work in after I finish my degree. Bloustein’s career center is a helpful resource in planning these career goals.”