City of Chicago - Department of Housing
Gabriella Nelson serves as a Public Policy Analyst at the Chicago Department of Housing. She manages strategic investments for vulnerable populations and crafts policy to make affordable housing accessible across all of Chicago’s 77 community areas. Her portfolio includes increasing the participation of BIPOC developers in the LIHTC program, managing the department’s housing stabilization funds including the execution of a Right to Counsel Pilot Program, setting the department’s housing strategy for returning residents, and designing economic recovery initiatives such as permanent supportive housing that have led to a more expansive definition of homelessness.
Prior to joining DOH, she served as a Public Policy Analyst at Safer Foundation, one of the nation’s largest organizations helping people with arrest and conviction records reenter society. In her role, she advanced policies and legislation that eliminate barriers and create opportunities for people with records. She managed Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice program, an effort that provides critical holistic community-based legal services and Know Your Rights information to thousands of people with records on an annual basis. Gabriella played an instrumental role in the 2019 passage of the Just Housing Amendment - an ordinance that prevents housing discrimination against millions of people with records in Cook County, Illinois. She also led Safer’s efforts to pass Illinois Public Act 101-176, which amended the Healthcare Worker Waiver Background Act and made it possible for people with records to work in the healthcare industry.
She is a 2022-2023 Chicago United for Equity Fellow and is an alumnus of the Fulbright Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in Brazil. Previously she worked in international trade policy as a Trade Officer for the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She earned her bachelor's degree in international studies and Spanish from DePaul University.