Skip to main content

Subsidized Housing 2.0 - Advanced Topics in Subsidized Housing


Speaker(s): Deborah Thrope, Jessica Cassella, Jia Min Cheng
Recorded on: Feb. 28, 2017
PLI Program #: 204274

Jessie is a Staff Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). She joined NHLP as a Ralph S. Abascal Fellow in September 2015. Her work focuses on the preservation of federally subsidized affordable housing nationally, including protecting tenants’ rights under the conversion of public housing to project-based Section 8 via the Rental Assistance Demonstration. Prior to receiving the Abascal Fellowship, she clerked at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office and the National Housing Law Project, and was a City Hall Fellow at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Jessie received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. She received a B.S. in political science from Santa Clara University, where she was named valedictorian of her graduating class.

The Abascal Fellowship was endowed following the death of Ralph Santiago Abascal, a longtime UC Hastings professor who devoted his inspirational legal career to public interest law and representing low-income clients.


Jia Min Cheng is a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) in San Francisco, providing free civil legal assistance to low-income Bay Area residents.  She has served as legal director of BayLegal's Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) with the Zuckerberg San Francisco General's Children's Health Center since 2011.  Prior to her position at BayLegal with the MLP, Jia Min volunteered extensively with the National Housing Law Project, BayLegal's Housing Unit, and the San Francisco Justice & Diversity Center's Housing Negotiation Project.  She is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.


Deborah Thrope is a Supervising Attorney at the National Housing Law Project. Deborah’s work focuses on policy advocacy to preserve federally subsidized housing and tenants’ rights in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs. Deborah also collaborates with state and national policy leaders to develop strategies to address the housing needs of people exiting the criminal justice system. She provides training and technical assistance to advocates working with tenants and served as an Advisor and Editor of the 2014, 2016, and 2018 versions of NHLP’s seminal publication, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants Rights. Before she joined NHLP, Deborah was a legal services attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and represented clients with disabilities facing eviction and civil commitment.