Governor Patrick appointed Aaron Gornstein to serve as the Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development in December 2011, and he started his new position on January 31, 2012. Mr. Gornstein oversees the Department of Housing and Community Development, which administers nearly $1 billion in state and federal funds for a variety of programs for affordable housing production, community development, municipal assistance, local and regional planning, energy conservation, rental assistance, public housing, and others. He also serves as the chief housing policy advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and to the Governor, and serves as Chairman of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, which provides technical and financial assistance to non-profit developers of affordable housing.
Prior to his recent appointment, Aaron served as the Executive Director of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) from 1990 to January 2012. CHAPA is a private, non-profit research and advocacy organization working on affordable housing and community development issues in Massachusetts. During his tenure, CHAPA spearheaded the passage of major state and federal legislation and program reforms, conducted important research studies, sponsored hundreds of training's for practitioners, organized new coalitions that connect affordable housing to other policy areas, and launched programs to increase home-ownership and rental opportunities for low and moderate income residents.
Prior to becoming Executive Director of CHAPA, Aaron was a neighborhood planner for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the director of housing for the Tri-City Community Action Program, a community agency in Malden, Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and his graduate degree from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy.
He has received nearly 20 local and national awards and fellowships for his work in advancing affordable housing and community development initiatives and has served on numerous local and national advisory boards and commissions.