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Subsidized Housing Basics 2021


Speaker(s): Bridgett Simmons, Deborah Thrope, Marcos Segura, Mariel Block, Renee Williams
Recorded on: Jun. 7, 2021
PLI Program #: 323584

Deborah Thrope is the Deputy Director of the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Deborah’s work focuses on federal, state, and local policy advocacy to preserve affordable housing and tenants’ rights. She provides training and technical assistance to advocates working with low-income tenants and serves as an advisor and editor of NHLP’s seminal publication, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants Rights. Deborah has testified before Congress about increasing economic mobility in the Housing Choice Voucher program and improving living conditions for public housing residents. Before she joined NHLP, Deborah was a Senior Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and represented clients with disabilities facing eviction and civil commitment.


Renee Williams is a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Renee focuses on fair housing and equal access to housing issues, including national origin discrimination, housing access for persons with limited English proficiency, nuisance and crime-free housing ordinances, and the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. Renee also leads NHLP’s initiative focusing on the housing rights of domestic and sexual violence survivors and the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act housing protections. During law school, Renee worked as a summer associate at Relman Colfax, PLLC (formerly Relman, Dane and 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 member of The University of Chicago Legal Forum journal.


Bridgett A. Simmons 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.


Marcos Segura focuses on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, USDA’s Rural Development program, and NHLP’s California policy work. Before joining NHLP, Marcos was a staff attorney with Central California Legal Services where he represented individuals facing eviction and represented others in both state and federal court on real estate fraud, predatory debt collection, and habitability issues. Before joining CCLS, Marcos served as a UCLA Community Economic Development Fellow at the Public Counsel Law Center where he advised nonprofit organizations and small business owners on tax and corporate governance issues.


Mariel Block is a Staff Attorney with the National Housing Law Project, where she advocates for the preservation of federally subsidized housing developments and the housing rights of survivors of domestic violence. Prior to joining NHLP, Mariel was a Hearing Examiner with the City of Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board, where she conducted Rent Board and Berkeley Housing Authority administrative hearings. Prior to working with the Rent Board, Mariel represented low-income tenants for six years as a housing legal services attorney, practicing in both LSC and non-LSC legal services agencies in Northern California. She is a 2017 alum of the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Training Institute.