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Citizens' Housing and Planning Association: CHAPA Staff



Brenda Clement x108
Executive Director

Brenda became Executive Director of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) in April 2012 and is responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of the agency’s work.  Established in 1967, CHAPA is a non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities in Massachusetts.  CHAPA is the only statewide group that represents all interests in the housing field including non-profit and for-profit developers; municipal officials, local housing providers and advocates, lenders, planners and other housing professionals.  In 1995, CHAPA created the New England Housing Network which coordinates federal advocacy efforts for affordable housing across the region.   

Brenda has over 20 years of experience in the housing and community development field. She previously served as Executive Director of the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island, a statewide affordable housing advocacy organization, and as Executive Director of the Housing Network, the Rhode Island trade association for community development corporations. Brenda is also a founding member of the New England Housing Network and serves on the Board of the National Low Income Housing Coalition currently as Chair. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Economics from Providence College and a Juris Doctor from Washington College of Law at American University.


Karen Wiener x107
Deputy Director

Karen began working for CHAPA in 1990 and became Deputy Director in 2007. As Deputy Director, Karen oversees the staff’s work, and focuses directly on several issue areas, including affordable housing awareness and education, planning and land use, and smart growth.  Karen previously worked as a project manager for a CDC in Berkeley and as a tenant advocate for a community action program in Malden. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs from George Washington University and a Masters in City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.


Rachel Heller x103
Director of Public Policy

Rachel joined CHAPA as the Director of Public Policy in 2012. She is responsible for directing CHAPA’s state policy advocacy agenda. Rachel previously worked as the Director of Public Policy at the Alliance for Business Leadership, served as Chief of Staff to Massachusetts State Senator Susan Tucker, and was the Senior Policy Advocate at Homes for Families, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to end family homelessness. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace Studies from the University of Connecticut.


Ann Verrilli x102
Director of Research

Ann Verrilli is the Director of Research and joined CHAPA’s staff in 2007. She tracks affordable housing production and policy trends, research and federal housing legislation. She previously worked in New York City’s budget office, for a network of regional nonprofit housing agencies and for a municipal housing department. She has an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University.


Maritza Crossen x112
Senior Program Manager

Maritza Crossen joined CHAPA as a Program Manager in 2011.  She is responsible for managing CHAPA’s MassAccess Accessible Housing Registry, the My Mass Mortgage website and CHAPA's Young Professional Group. Maritza also co-manages the AGO Community Based Homecorps Grant Program with Carol Marine.  She previously worked for New Ecology, Inc., a Boston community based sustainable development organization, as an associate green building consultant.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.


Carol Marine x114
Senior Program Manager

Carol Marine joined CHAPA as a Program Manager in 2010.  She is responsible for managing CHAPA’s Foreclosed Properties Initiative, the Welcome Home Massachusetts campaign and CHAPA's 40B Monitoring efforts.  She previously worked for Just A Start Corporation,  a community development corporation, in Cambridge.   She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tufts University and a J. D. from Boston College Law School.   She is member of both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Bars.


Elizabeth Palma-Diaz x106
Senior Program Manager

Elizabeth Palma-Diaz is a Program Manager at CHAPA and began working for the agency in 2009.  She is responsible for CHAPA’s monitoring efforts for Chapter 40B developments.  She was previously the Homeownership Program Director for the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation, where she implemented a home buying education program and counseled over 200 potential homebuyers annually. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Erin Roussinova x119
Communications & Events Manager

Erin Roussinova joined CHAPA in 2014 as the Communications and Events Manager. In the past, she worked for Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) as the Public Information and Program Assistant. Erin holds a BA from Connecticut College and a MS in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Erin serves on the Allston Brighton CDC Board of Directors.


Eric Shupin x105
Policy Associate

Eric joined CHAPA in September 2013. As part of CHAPA’s policy team, Eric advocates for state and federal policies that promote safe, healthy, and affordable homes for everyone on the Commonwealth. He also assists with CHAPA’s 40B monitoring services. Prior to CHAPA, Eric was a student-attorney at legal clinics in Washington, DC where he represented clients in Housing Court. Eric has worked with many housing and community development nonprofit organizations while serving for two years as an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps member and team leader. Eric has a B.A. and J.D. from The George Washington University and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.


Cindy Rowe x104
Director, New England Housing Network

Cindy Rowe, Esq. joined CHAPA as a consultant in 1995, and worked with housing advocacy and education organizations in our six state region to form the New England Housing Network. Cindy also works with the CHAPA Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher Committee. Cindy is the principal of a consulting practice, Rowe Resources. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff to State Representative Marc Draisen and managed his campaign for Lieutenant Governor. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College with a dual concentration in Government and English, and a law degree from Boston College Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.


Michael English
Financial Consultant

Michael English provides financial management services and oversight to CHAPA on a part-time basis. Michael is a Principal with Indigo Associates and has been providing financial management services for CHAPA since 2000. Indigo Associates is a professional services firm that provides outsourced accounting and management services to a variety of organizations both not-for profit and for-profit. Michael received his BSBA from Suffolk University in Boston, MA.


Leonarda Hall x110

Leonarda Hall is the Bookkeeper at CHAPA and began working at CHAPA in 2005. She previously worked at Citizens Bank for 33 years. Lee has an Associate Degree from Newbury College.