The Local and Federal Impacts of COVID-19

The Local and Federal Impacts of COVID-19
Thursday June 25, 2020 | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Webcast


COVID-19 has impacted the affordable housing industry in ways that are ever evolving. The country and industry have adjusted and responded to the pandemic. HAND is excited to partner with Nixon Peabody to host The Local and Federal Impact of COVID-19. This session will provide HAND members with timely updates and insight on how to build sustainable and resilient organizations and better serve our communities in light of the pandemic.
Hear from leaders and executives representing both the local and federal perspectives and how they are responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and these uncertain times.


12:05 pm

Welcome Remarks
Monica Warren-Jones, President, HAND; Director of Capital Solutions Mid-Atlantic Market, Enterprise Community Partners

Meghan Altidor, Nixon Peabody

12:10 pm

COIVD-19 Impact at The Federal Level
Moderator: Deborah VanAmerongen, Strategic Policy Advisor, Nixon Peabody

Emily Cadik, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition
Priya Jayachandran, President, National Housing Trust
Liz Osborn, Vice President, Public Policy Advocacy, Enterprise Community Partners
Richard Roberts, Principal, Chief Business Development Officer, Redstone Equity Partners

1:00 pm


1:05 pm

COVID-19 Impact at The Local Level
Moderator Blaise Rastello, Development Director, Gilbane

Christopher Donald, Interim Executive Director, DCHFA
Artie Harris, Vice President of Real Estate & Community Development, Montgomery Housing Partnership
Brett MacLeod, Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase
Stacy Spann, Executive Director, Housing Opportunities Commission, Montgomery County

2:00 pm   

Courtney Battle,
Membership Director, HAND

Thank you to our sponsor!

Speaker Bios

Meghan Altidor
Nixon Peabody
Meghan Altidor represents nonprofit and for-profit developers in acquiring, constructing, rehabilitating and operating affordable housing developments around the country. Ms. Altidor frequently speaks about housing issues at national conferences such as IPED, IRHP and NYSAFAH. Meghan is the deputy leader of the firm’s Affordable Housing Transactional team.

Emily Cadik
Executive Director
Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition

Emily Cadik is the Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), where she leads advocacy to support affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Prior to joining the AHTCC, she was a Senior Director of Public Policy at Enterprise Community Partners, where she led policy and advocacy related to the Housing Credit and other affordable housing and community development issues. While at Enterprise she served on the board of the AHTCC, chairing the Legislative Committee, co-chairing the Marketing Committee, and serving on the Executive Committee since 2016. She also helped to lead the A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign, the nationwide coalition of more than 2,000 organizations and businesses advocating on behalf of the Housing Credit, and remains active in this nationwide advocacy effort. In 2017 she received the NHP Foundation’s inaugural Advocacy Award, and in 2016 was named one of Affordable Housing Finance’s Young Leaders.

Before joining Enterprise she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she served as a program coordinator for the Moving to Work demonstration and in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Christopher E. Donald
Interim Executive Director
DC Housing Finance Agency

Christopher Donald was appointed Interim Executive Director in January 2020.   As Interim Executive Director he is responsible for the overall supervision, coordination and strategic direction of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency.  Mr. Donald joined the Agency in October 2016 as the Senior Vice President of Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments.  He served as part of DCHFA’s senior management team. His primary responsibility  was to manage the day-to-day operations of the Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments (formerly Public Finance) department and assist the Executive Director & CEO with the development of multifamily programs, products, polices and strategic planning.

Mr. Donald has over 15 years of experience in real estate finance, community building, development, land entitlement and construction.  He’s entitled over 1MM square feet of mixed income, transit oriented, amenity rich housing.   Mr. Donald specializes in acquisitions, entitlement, community visioning and deal structuring.  He has completed over $1 billion in real estate financing over the course of his career and renovated over 1,000 multifamily units and entitled and underwritten almost 3,500 multifamily units throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.   Mr. Donald has also acquired and programmed commercial space for small local businesses and retailers.

As the Director of Development at the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Mr. Donald underwrote and structured $60MM in low-income housing tax credit transactions.  Over the last several years he has provided underwriting services to the Office of State Superintendent for Education for the District of Columbia and financed over $300 million in improvements for public charter schools using New Markets Tax Credits, Tax Exempt Bonds and other tools.  Mr. Donald began his career in finance at Lehman Brothers in the Municipal Finance Group and underwrote $200MM in revenue bonds for the District of Columbia.

Prior to his tenure at DCHFA, Mr. Donald served as the Principal and Co-Founder of The Leidesdorff Group.   The Leidesdorff Group (TLG) is a diversified real estate advisory firm focused on the regeneration of urban communities within the Mid-Atlantic region.  As a principal of TLG, Mr. Donald focused on distressed and disinvested urban communities.   Mr. Donald is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the Board of Directors of the African American Real Estate Professionals of DC  (AAREP-DC) and the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND).   He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Artie Harris
Vice President of Real Estate
Montgomery Housing Partnership

Artie Harris is VP of Real Estate at Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP). Founded in 1989, MHP’s mission is to preserve and expand affordable housing in Montgomery County. Artie has a broad range of development experience – land and building acquisitions, site entitlements (both new construction and rehab), senior and multi-family projects, and tax credit and conventional financing. Mr. Harris is LEED certified and has 23 years of experience developing multi-family housing and retail facilities, plus an additional nine years of managing design and construction projects for commercial high-rise and industrial buildings. Prior to joining MHP, Mr. Harris was Vice President at Bozzuto Development Company where he led teams in developing over 2,000 units in both market-rate and mixed-income communities. Artie, his wife Susy, and their two daughters are long-time residents of Takoma Park.

Priya Jayachandran
National Housing Trust

Priya Jayachandran joined the National Housing Trust (NHT) as president in early 2018. In her role, she also serves as President of the National Housing Trust Community Development Fund (NHTCDF) and NHT Communities.

Priya leads the Trust’s engagement efforts in preservation policy, affordable housing development, lending and multifamily energy efficiency and sustainability through a ‘balanced approach’ to fair housing. Under Priya’s leadership, the trust is committed to protecting, improving and maintaining existing affordable housing, while also establishing new affordable housing communities in quality neighborhoods with access to opportunities.

Priya came to NHT from Volunteers of America, where she served as the Senior Vice President of Affordable Housing Development. In this role, she managed the strategic direction and development of affordable rental housing and led the development, acquisition and/or recapitalization of housing and other real estate projects nationwide. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Multifamily Housing Programs as a Senior Policy Advisor to help FHA’s work with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. In December 2014, just four months after starting at HUD, she also assumed Acting Directorship of HUDs Multifamily front office, the Program Administration Office. In December of 2015, she stepped in to the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs.

Prior to joining HUD, Priya spent more 15 years in community development real estate banking in New York and Washington, DC. During that time, she led teams delivering debt and tax credit equity, Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits for real estate developers of affordable housing and charter schools. Under Priya’s leadership, the Mid-Atlantic market at both Citi and Bank of America were the top production offices in the country. Priya is a recognized industry expert on affordable finance deal structuring. Priya has also worked for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in La Paz, Bolivia as a consultant to women’s microcredit organizations; Credit Suisse as an investment banking analyst; and California State Treasurer Kathleen Brown as a Capital Fellow. Priya earned her B.A. from the University of California and her MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Brett MacLeod
Executive Director
JPMorgan Chase

Brett Macleod is an Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase in the Community Development Banking group, where he finances affordable housing and urban revitalization real estate projects throughout the Mid- Atlantic. Prior to joining JPMC in April 2012, he was a Banker at Citigroup in the Citi Community Capital division. Brett has originated over $1 billion of loans for a variety of deal types, including affordable rental properties, for- sale housing projects, mixed-use real estate deals and large-scale urban retail centers. Brett currently serves as a board member for Cinnaire (formerly known as Great Lakes Capital Fund) and National Housing Trust Community Development Fund and previously served as Treasurer for the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and Board Chair for Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten and Nursery School. He holds two BA’s from Williams College and earned an MBA, magna cum laude, from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College with concentrations in Finance and Global Management.

Liz Osborn
Vice President, Public Policy Advocacy
Enterprise Community Partners

Liz Osborn is the vice president of public policy advocacy at Enterprise, where she oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts. A versatile public affairs and communications professional, Liz has spent 15 years shaping policy and media strategy on Capitol Hill, in the executive branch and in the international non-profit sector. Prior to joining Enterprise’s public policy team, Liz served as the manager of external affairs and policy advisor at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, where she led the agency’s legislative affairs and media relations efforts and directed a policy portfolio that included health care and criminal justice. Liz received her bachelor’s degree in music and communications from UNC Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree in international public policy and management from NYU.


Blaise Rastello
Development Director, Affordable Housing
Gilbane Development Company

Blaise Rastello joined Gilbane Development Company in 2015 as Development Director, and has nearly 20 years of valuable real estate development and financing experience. Mr. Rastello has led developments for non-profit housing companies, served as development consultant performing feasibility analysis and development plans, and has been involved in underwriting over $150 million in equity investment into affordable housing projects in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Rastello holds a BS in Regional Development and a BA in Natural Science and Mathematics from the University of Arizona, and an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from Milano The New School of International Affairs Management and Urban Policy in New York.

Richard Roberts
Housing Director
Redstone Equity Partners

Richard Roberts is Principal and Chief Business Development Officer for Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC assisting in the origination and management of developer relationships in the Northeast and the development of new business strategies for the firm. Richard has extensive experience in affordable housing and urban market investments having worked in these areas for over 25 years. Prior to joining Red Stone, he worked in the government, for profit and nonprofit sectors including serving as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one of the largest allocators of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the country. He was responsible for the investment of more than $1 billion into New York City’s neighborhoods and the creation of over 30,000 units of affordable housing. He is also the founding Managing Director of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group where he devised and led a creative strategy responsible for the establishment of the firm’s community development investment platform.

Richard is active on a number of civic, philanthropic and industry organizations and serves on the boards of Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council (Chair), the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (Executive Vice Chair), The Community Preservation Corporation, Breaking Ground, and the Supportive Housing Network of New York.

Richard holds both a BA and JD from Yale University.

Stacy Spann
Executive Director
Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County

Stacy Spann is the Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission. Mr. Spann joined the Commission in February 2012.Prior to joining HOC, Mr. Spann was the Executive Director of Howard County Housing (which includes the housing commission and the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development.) Mr. Spann drafted and implemented the county’s Affordable Housing Strategic Plan, doubled the size of the housing unit portfolio and engineered the county’s first mixed income development. In addition to overseeing the Department of Housing and Community Development and Housing Commission in Howard County, Mr. Spann’s background includes serving as the assistant commissioner of development finance in Baltimore from 2004 – 2006, where he managed and oversaw five offices, including Community Development Block Grant, the Office of Home Ownership, and Office of Project Finance. Mr. Spann was named in October 2010 as Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s “Young Leader” award recipient.

Mr. Spann is currently an adjunct professor of the Capstone Course Masters Program in Real Estate at the University of Maryland at College Park in the School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. He also is a member of the Professional Development Faculty at the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Organizations (NAHRO), where he teaches “Introduction to Mixed Finance for Public Housing Authorities,” a course he designed for housing authorities, non-profits and local and federal governmental entities throughout the U.S. 

Mr. Spann holds a BA degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College and a Masters of Public Administration in Advanced Management and Finance from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


Deborah VanAmerongen
Strategic Policy Advisor
Nixon Peabody

Deborah VanAmerongen is a strategic policy advisor in Nixon Peabody’s Affordable Housing practice group. She works with attorneys in the firm and clients, including developers, owners, managers, and funders to craft creative solutions to issues relative to affordable housing development and preservation.

Monica Warren-JonesMonica Warren-Jones
President, HAND;
Director of Capital Solutions, Mid-Atlantic Market, Enterprise Community Partners


Ms. Warren-Jones serves as the Director of Capital Solutions for the Enterprise DC Local Office.  With 15 years’ experience in real estate finance and development she supports nonprofit and for- profit partners by providing strategic solutions using Enterprise products and services including including debt, equity and new markets tax credits for development and preservation of sustainable housing and community facilities.

Ms. Warren-Jones has participated in or led presentations, testified at public hearings, led panel discussions and webinars on multifamily finance and community development finance on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Department Insurance Corporation, and myriad local government housing officials in effort to share best practices.

Through her work at Enterprise, she has generated more than $300 million of investment activity for the creation and preservation of more than 1200 units of housing.  As Senior Lender, she managed the administration of a $28 million preservation loan portfolio sourced via public and private funds.

Prior to Enterprise, Ms. Warren-Jones served as a Vice-President of a non-profit community development firm and prior, as a Senior Account Manager with Fannie Mae where she evaluated real estate investments for large scale, residential projects utilizing low income housing tax credits, conventional debt and/or bond financing. She has also worked professionally with housing nonprofit organizations in Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts.

Ms. Warren-Jones holds an MPA from Harvard University, an MBA from Boston College, and an undergraduate degree from Howard University.  She previously served as an elected member of the DC State Board of Education and she is a Notary Public in the District of Columbia. She is a Washington DC resident with two children in DC Public Schools. Monica enjoys reading, independent films, and cooking and consuming international cuisines and learning through others.