Katie Provencher joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2018 as the Director of Operations. Katie works intently on the daily operations and strategic growth and direction of the organization. Katie has extensive experience in the affordable housing, resident services, and community development fields. Prior to HOU, Katie was the Deputy Director of Urban Edge – an affordable housing developer – where she directed multiple lines of business including: Community Engagement, Fundraising, Marketing, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Office Management.
Katie’s passionate about engaging and advocating for residents of affordable housing. She was honored with the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporation’s Ricanne Hadrian Award in 2015 and the Comcast NBC Universal National Leadership Award in 2012 for her work in community building and organizing. Katie received her Master’s in Community Organizing, Planning, Policy, and Administration at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work. Katie is also a graduate of the Neighborworks Achieving Excellence program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy’s School of Government.
Katie resides in Dedham, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
Lisa Mangum began working with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 1995 and is currently the Director of Programming. Lisa provides quality control and oversight to HOU relocation, case management, resident services, and elder services programs across New England. Lisa is well-versed in federal and state relocation regulations and a certified Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspector. She has written numerous HUD and state approved relocation plans and provided relocation training to staff and clients alike. She is also a NCHM-certified Senior Housing Specialist, providing consulting for all HOU contracts serving frail and elderly residents as well as training to HOU staff in addressing housekeeping compliance with residents. Lisa’s expertise includes assisting in community center program planning and coordination, implementing federal and local grants, and providing technical assistance to Resident Councils. Lisa has been integral to the growth and performance of HOU.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross and earned her Master of Science degree from Simmons College. She resides in Milton, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
Christopher Jones has been with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) since 2010. Chris has been involved in the successful implementation of numerous large-scale, temporary and permanent relocation efforts.
As Senior Project Director, Chris oversees a portfolio of projects in the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West and East Coast. Chris currently provides quality control for HOU sites including site-based operating standards, staff orientation, capacity building and ensuring contract deliverables are met. Chris is also a certified Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspector.
Chris received HOU Employee of the Year in 2013 due to his excellent work on his 1st project as a Relocation Coordinator in Chicago, IL. Since then, Chris has overseen relocation efforts at over twenty-six sites.
Based in Richmond VA, Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Corporate Communications from Queens University of Charlotte.
Debra Hairston has been with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) since May 2007. Prior to HOU, Ms. Hairston worked with the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s HOPE VI program as the CSS Coordinator.
During her tenure at HOU, she has held several positions: Relocation Coordinator, Program Administrator, Job Developer, and now, Project Director. Her first relocation project with HOU was the Alexander Hamilton homes in Paterson NJ, which was featured on the movie “Lean On Me.” Ms. Hairston has led and currently oversees relocation projects in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Connecticut. Debra received the HOU Employee of the Year award in 2009. She is also a certified Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspector.
Ms. Hairston is most passionate about “helping people where they are to get to where they want to be.” She has a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Community Counseling and is a licensed Minister. Debra is from Danville, Virginia.
Damian Clark began his tenure with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2005 as the Director of Resident Services in Dorchester, MA. During the ensuing years, Damian has worked on both relocation and resident services projects for HOU and is well-versed in establishing resident-centric case management services, establishing process systems to streamline efficiency, and extensive staff supervision experience.
Prior to his affiliation with HOU, Damian had an extensive career in the human services/non-profit sector where he ran group homes for youth in the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families, previously known as the Department of Social Services. Damian also ran day and employment-training programs for adults with developmental delays, worked in the property management field where he earned a Certified Professional of Occupancy (CPO) certificate, and provided intensive group, individual, and expressive therapies to adults with developmental delays, utilizing music therapy practices as a bridge to connect non-verbal individuals to their behaviors and emotions. Damian was awarded the HOU Employee of the Year award in 2007.
Damian has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Counseling from Boston University. He resides in Charlestown, MA.
Juanita Marbury Smith joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2000 as a Program Director in Baltimore, Maryland. As a Project Director she hires, trains and manages Resident Services staff while managing HOU programs that serve families and seniors in affordable housing and community development projects.
Juanita’s work prior to HOU has given her expertise in the development of social service programs in low income communities and grant writing and the securing of funds for youth programs. She developed protocols and training curriculums for case management services and the coordination of professional multi-disciplinary teams for various organizations including the University of Pittsburgh. She is knowledgeable in the use of a wide range of community development strategies including community mapping, resource development, collaboration and mediation. Juanita was recognized as HOU Employee of the Year in 2015.
Juanita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Pittsburgh native and Steeler fan that resides Washington metropolitan area.
Kyrah Rodriguez started with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2009 as a Relocation Coordinator at multiple sites in Boston. Today, Kyrah is a Project Director and leads various sites in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas. She has extensive experience with temporary relocation as well as a past of working and volunteering with diverse communities.
Prior to HOU, Kyrah had the honor of providing emergency assistance to military members and their families for the American Red Cross of the Greater Miami Chapter. She was honored with an Award for Excellent Service to the Community. Above all, Kyrah loves working with people. She received her education from Barry University and is also a graduate from Boston University with a Degree in Music.
Kyrah currently lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston.
Cynthia McCleod joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2014 as Director of Resident Services in Pittsburgh, PA. She is currently a Project Director, overseeing comprehensive resident service programs and relocation services in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut and Shreveport. Cynthia has over thirty years of experience in the human services field, with twenty years working in public and supportive housing.
Prior to HOU, Cynthia was a Senior Contract & Grant Administrator for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. There she received several awards for Team Leadership and Performance Excellence. Cynthia is a certified Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspector, certified in Property Management, and Self Sufficiency Services Coordination. Cynthia was awarded HOU Employee of the Year in 2017.
Cynthia completed a Master’s Series Program at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently studying Leadership Development at Northwestern University. She resides in the Blackridge Community in Pittsburgh with her husband Larry McCleod.
Bonnie Lowe has been with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) since 2004. Ms. Lowe has over twenty-five years of accounting experience. She undertakes bank account and general ledger account reconciliation, monitors site balances and budgets, conducts month-end close, and is responsible for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable activity for over fifty sites. Ms. Lowe provides Staff Accountant Services for all HOU contracts. Bonnie uses her skills and expertise to contribute to the overall mission of HOU and maintain our clients’ budget needs.
Bonnie received a Bachelor of Science from Bryant University. She resides in Rhode Island and loves to quilt in her spare time.
Gisel Pena joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2018 as the Senior Accountant. Gisel supports the day to day work of HOU’s Finance Department. This includes focusing on accounts payables, invoicing, financial statement production, and other Finance Department duties. Prior to HOU, Gisel was the Senior Account at Urban Edge Housing Corporation – an affordable housing developer in Boston, MA. Gisel also has experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Santander Bank.
Gisel has a degree in Information Systems, Audit, and Control from Bentley University. She is also a graduate of the STRENGTH Matters Boot Camp on Financial Reporting for Rental Housing Nonprofit Enterprises.
Gisel enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Cradles to Crayons. She resides in Dorchester, Massachusetts with her daughter and family.
Nikaury Villar, also known as Nikki, joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2009 as a Community Outreach Worker in Charlestown, MA. Shortly after working on another project in Dorchester Nikki moved to HOU’s central office. Nikaury is responsible for developing and processing of all HOU’s accounts payable, payroll, and employee benefits programs. In addition, she also monitors the business insurances for all its locations.
Nikaury was awarded HOU’s Employee of the Year Award in 2016 and resides in Needham with her two teenage daughters and husband. She’s also a licensed Cosmetologist.
Rose Billeci joined Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) in 2016. She works in Human Resources with a focus on compliance in regards to employment laws, handbook policies, candidate screening, on-boarding, and 401k. Prior to joining HOU, Rose worked as an attorney in Michigan before moving to Massachusetts.
Rose received her B.S. in Medical Technology from Michigan State University and her J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Rose lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She enjoys volunteering in her community and at her children’s school.