- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Housing and Community Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Leadership Transition at the Department of Housing and Community Development
Ryan Boehm, Director of Communications
BOSTON — Today, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy announced the departure of Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan, who leaves the Department for Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to join the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) as a Senior Policy Fellow. Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Maddox will serve as Acting Undersecretary, effective as of February 4, 2020.
“We are grateful for the leadership that Janelle has shown in executing on the Administration’s deep commitment to increasing the production of housing across income levels,” said Housing and Economic Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Through her collaborative efforts across state agencies and with local community partners, Janelle has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those with disabilities, alleviate the effects of benefit cliffs, and address youth homelessness.”
Undersecretary Chan oversaw five divisions with resources totaling $1.2 billion, and nearly 300 people dedicated to providing affordable housing options through housing development, rental assistance, and public housing, sheltering our most vulnerable families and residents, and empowering Massachusetts communities with planning and technical support.
“It has been a privilege to work with Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Secretary Kennealy in tackling the pressing issue of providing quality, affordable housing for the residents of Massachusetts,” said Undersecretary Chan. “As Undersecretary, I held a broad perspective on housing issues by listening to the varying challenges residents and communities face and working together to leverage their strengths. I am excited to focus on promoting equitable and sustainable development, particularly near transit, in my next role with Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) as a Senior Fellow.”
"Janelle Chan brings a unique blend of experience that will enhance MHP efforts to expand the supply of affordable housing," said Clark Ziegler, MHP's executive director. "As a former nonprofit leader, she has a great feel for what neighborhoods need and combines that with a deep knowledge of how to get things done at the state level through her work in housing and transit-oriented development. She will help us work with the Baker-Polito Administration to create innovative policy and financing solutions that result in good homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts."
During her tenure as Undersecretary, Chan prioritized increasing affordable housing production across divisions, improving access to and the interface with the Commonwealth’s housing resources, and investing in the economic mobility of the next generation. Key accomplishments under Chan’s leadership include:
- Spurred innovation and leveraged hot markets to create hundreds of new units of mixed-income housing on state-funded public housing land, while infusing new investments in current public housing units through the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities program;
- Established DHCD’s economic prosperity agenda to include new pilots such as Launch and Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (SNO Mass), which uses data-driven research to structure the appropriate support for thousands of families with vouchers so their children will be set up for success;
- Launched technology projects across the agency to better administer programs and serve clients, with millions of annual savings reinvested in housing programs. For the first time ever, the CHAMP system enables applicants for state-aided public housing to apply from anywhere in the Commonwealth through a single, transparent, electronic portal, lending guidance to the current development of the Housing Navigator – a one-stop portal to find available affordable housing across the Commonwealth;
- Expanded resources for households with extremely low incomes (ELI) by increasing the requirement for ELI units within affordable housing developments and increasing the utilization of AHVP and MRVP rental assistance programs, with the Governor’s budget proposing a 12% increase to $120M in program funding for FY21;
- Increased sustainability and resiliency of the state-supported housing portfolio by making first Comprehensive Sustainability Initiative capital grants to improve public housing, and encouraging more green features in private housing production with an updated LIHTC QAP.
Jennifer Maddox has been with the Department of Housing and Community Development for over 20 years; as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer since 2008 and as Acting Undersecretary in two other instances. Previously, Ms. Maddox was the Budget Director for DHCD and Assistant Budget Director for the MA House Ways & Means Committee. She is a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia.
The Baker-Polito Administration has shown a deep commitment to increasing the production of housing across income levels. Since 2015, the administration has invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing, resulting in the production and preservation of more than 18,000 housing units, including 16,000 affordable units. In 2018, Governor Baker signed the largest housing bond bill in Massachusetts history, committing more than $1.8 billion to the future of affordable housing production and preservation, which included more than $600 million to address capital needs in our state-aided public housing portfolio. DHCD works closely with quasi-public agencies, including MassHousing, MHP, and CEDAC, to preserve existing affordable housing and secure long-term affordability extensions. The administration has also advanced the development of more than 14,000 mixed-income housing units through the successful MassWorks Infrastructure Program, reformed the Housing Development Incentive Program, and worked with communities to implement smart-growth development and planning efforts.