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Subsidized Housing Basics 2019

Speaker(s): Bridgett Simmons, Deborah Thrope, Kara Brodfuehrer, Renee Williams
Recorded on: Jun. 3, 2019
PLI Program #: 271098

Renee Williams is a Staff Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Renee joined NHLP as a postgraduate public interest law fellow in 2012. Renee focuses on fair housing and equal access issues, including national origin discrimination, housing access for persons with limited English proficiency, housing rights for domestic violence survivors, and the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. Renee also leads NHLP’s initiative focusing on the impact of nuisance and crime-free ordinances on domestic violence survivors and others who need emergency assistance. During law school, Renee worked as a summer associate at Relman, Dane & Colfax in Washington, D.C., and as a summer law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama. Before law school, she worked as a paralegal in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She graduated from Emory University and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a Topic Access and Comment Editor for The University of Chicago Legal Forum.

Bridgett A. Simmons is a passionate housing advocate who so happens to be an attorney. Bridgett’s work focuses on the preservation of HUD-subsidized multifamily housing, healthy housing, and voucher use. Bridgett joined National Housing Law Project (NHLP) in September 2017 as the second David B. Bryson Fellow. As the Bryson Fellow, Bridgett managed the editing process for the 5th edition of HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights, also known as the “Green Book.”

Bridgett is a 2017 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) and a 2011 graduate of Florida A&M University (FAMU). While at GULC, Bridgett participated in the Harrison Institute’s Affordable Housing Transactions clinic, assisting District residents in operating a multi-family housing property purchased via the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. Bridgett also served as a student teacher in the Street Law: High School clinic and as a Law Clerk for Community Law Center (CLC) in Baltimore, Maryland. As a student at FAMU, Bridgett actively participated in campaigns aimed at increasing student political participation.

Deborah Thrope is a Supervising Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Deborah’s work focuses on policy advocacy to preserve federally-assisted housing and tenants’ rights in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs. Deborah also collaborates with local, state, and national leaders to develop strategies that address the housing needs of people directly impacted by the criminal justice system. She recently updated "An Affordable Home on Reentry," NHLP’s signature field manual on barriers to affordable housing faced by people with criminal records and served as an Advisor and Editor 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.

Kara leads NHLP’s California-based initiatives, including providing extensive support to CA attorneys in the areas of eviction defense, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and preservation. Prior to joining NHLP, Kara was a Senior Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s Mental Health Advocacy Project representing low-income tenants in a wide variety of landlord/tenant disputes, affirmative litigation, and civil commitment hearings. Kara started her legal career at California Rural Legal Assistance Inc., where she focused on improving public infrastructure, fair representation, and promoting environmental justice in disadvantaged unincorporated communities.