Michael Perles is an urban planner and organizer with an interest in permanently affordable and decommodified housing, land use equity, and environmental justice. As a Project Manager, he supports Hester Street’s efforts in capacity building, community engagement, facilitation, and public sector institutional knowledge for city and state projects. He comes to Hester Street from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), where he was most recently a policy analyst implementing local and state laws that affect the HPD portfolio of affordable housing units in New York City. Prior to HPD, he worked at WXY Studio, Philip Habib and Associates, and at the Columbia University Earth Institute. He serves on his local Community Board’s Land Use, Zoning and Housing committee and organizes to build tenant power with Housing Justice for All, NYC-DSA, and the Broome Street Tenants Alliance.
Michael holds an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University, where he researched public housing typologies in Berlin and Tokyo and completed his thesis on grassroots, climate-focused tenant organizations within the New York City Housing Authority. He also holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan, where his concentration was in Urban Systems Design, Policy and Law. He lives on the Lower East Side.