Press Release

Press Release Secretary Ash Names Undersecretary Housing and Community Development

For immediate release:
4/19/2018
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Housing and Community Development

Media Contact for Secretary Ash Names Undersecretary Housing and Community Development

Colleen Arons , Communications Director

BOSTONThe Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has announced Janelle Chan as Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development, effective April 23.

“I am pleased to welcome Janelle to the team,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Janelle’s leadership in housing, real estate development, and community engagement makes her uniquely qualified to take the helm of the Department of Housing and Community Development. The Baker-Polito Administration has prioritized increased housing production, particularly new affordable housing, recognizing the benefits it will bring to the Commonwealth and to ensuring Massachusetts remains a top place to live, work, and raise a family. I am confident Janelle will bring exceptional expertise and commitment to this major effort."

Chan joined the Baker-Polito administration in 2016 as the Chief of Real Estate for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). In that role, she managed real estate and asset development in line with the Open for Business initiative, which allows for transit-oriented development projects on MBTA land. The MBTA is one of the largest landowners in the state. Prior to joining the MBTA, Chan was executive director at Asian Community Development Corporation.

I am thrilled to take on this new role,” said Chan. “I started my career in Massachusetts as a community advocate and urban planner, leading the Asian Community Development Corporation and taking significant housing development projects from concept to reality, so it is a tremendous opportunity to work on housing matters at the state level. I'll also draw from my time in the Baker-Polito administration managing the MBTA's real estate portfolio.  I am honored to now play a leading role in advancing the administration’s efforts to create more affordable housing options, working across the Commonwealth to support all of our communities.”

In her new role, Chan will lead a department that works with community and business partners to provide affordable housing options, financial assistance, community services, and other support to Massachusetts communities. She will design and implement housing and community development policy for the Commonwealth, including affordable housing development, public housing, federal housing and community development programs such as Community Development Block Grant and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and the emergency assistance system for homeless families and individuals.

About Janelle Chan:

Janelle Chan joined the Baker-Polito administration in 2016 as the Chief of Real Estate for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and managed an extensive real estate and asset portfolio. Previously, Chan was executive director at Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), where she maintained a real estate portfolio of over $120M in housing and commercial real estate; oversaw the real estate development pipeline, which included the development of the One Greenway mixed-use, mixed-income development with 345 units of both affordable and market rate housing in downtown Boston; and managed the Participatory Chinatown project along with other community-capacity building programs such as housing counseling. Chan is a LEED Accredited Professional in sustainable development. She was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, earned a Master in City Planning degree from M.I.T. with a specialization in Housing, Community, and Economic Development, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Media Contact for Secretary Ash Names Undersecretary Housing and Community Development

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Housing and Community Development 

DHCD oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely.

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