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Staff Members of the National Housing Law Project

Gideon Anders, Senior Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3103

Gideon has worked for NHLP for more than 30 years. He was formerly the Executive Director of NHLP from 1997 to 2008 and currently remains on staff at NHLP as a part-time senior staff attorney. Gideon’s area of expertise is the housing programs of the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service. He leads NHLP’s efforts related to rural affordable housing and provides legal and technical assistance on the preservation of rural rental housing and housing rights of homeowners within the USDA Rural Housing Services and Rural Development programs. Gideon has co-authored NHLP’s HUD Housing Programs: Tenants Rights, FmHA Housing Programs: Tenants’ and Purchasers’ Rights, and RD/RHS Homeowner’s Programs: Owners’ and Purchasers’ Rights.

In addition to his experience with NHLP, Gideon served as a Senior Project Manager for the Ecumenical Association for Housing and as an Assistant Director for Field Services for the Housing Assistance Council (HAC). He currently serves on the boards of the Housing Assistance Council, and the National Rural Housing Coalition.

Francis Antonio, Development and Technology Manager | (415) 546-7000 ext. 3108

Jessica Cassella, Ralph Abascal Fellow/Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 ext. 3116

Jessie joined NHLP in 2015 as a Ralph S. Abascal Fellow. Her fellowship project focuses on protecting tenant rights under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) on a local and national level. Prior to receiving the Abascal Fellowship, she clerked at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office and at NHLP, 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 in honor of Ralph Santiago Abascal, a UC Hastings professor and longtime attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance who devoted his inspirational legal career to public interest law and representing farmworkers and other low-income individuals.

James R. Grow, Senior Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3104

James’ work at NHLP focuses on the preservation of privately-owned federally subsidized housing developments and is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on the subject. He has participated in many significant cases that have established or further defined preservation laws and rights of tenants in threatened properties and regularly provides assistance to legislators, housing attorneys, advocates and organizations. He is also an expert on low income housing tax credits and utility and energy issues.

James has co-authored the following publications on tenants’ rights in affordable housing: NHLP’s HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights, Public Housing in Peril, FmHA Housing Programs: Tenants’ and Purchasers’ Rights, the Subsidized Housing Handbook: How to Provide, Preserve and Manage Housing for Lower-Income People, and for the ACLU Handbook series, The Rights of Tenants.

Outside of his experience with NHLP, James was a lecturer at Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California in Berkeley and has served as Assistant Attorney for the City of Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board.

Stella Liu, Fellow | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3102

Stella joined NHLP in 2015 as a fellow. She focuses on housing issues impacting survivors of domestic violence and fair housing matters, with a particular focus on HUD’s affirmatively furthering fair housing regulations and related tools provided by the agency. Prior to receiving the fellowship, she was a law clerk for the Chief Administrative Judge Ronnie A. Yoder of the Department of Transportation, and worked at several US- and China-based firms on real estate matters. Stella received her law degree with honors from the George Washington University, where she was a staff member of the Public Contract Law Journal and a student attorney of the Health Rights Law Clinic. She is also certified to practice law in China.

Stephen Knight, Interim Co-Director [Deputy Director] | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3107

Stephen joined NHLP as Supervising Attorney in 2014. He brings two decades of social justice, legal and policy advocacy experience. Stephen was founding Coordinating Attorney with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law, where he provided technical assistance to attorneys, engaged in federal appellate litigation and supervised clinical students. As Political Director with Save the Bay, Stephen played a key role in the creation of the SF Bay Restoration Authority and led the fight against Cargill's controversial Bay Area salt pond development. A native San Franciscan, Stephen is a graduate of Yale and Hastings.

Wendy Mahoney, Administrative Team Leader | (415) 546-7000 ext. 3111

Karlo Ng, Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3117

Karlo joined NHLP as the organization’s first David B. Bryson Fellow in 2011 and served as the lead editor and managing attorney of the 4th edition of NHLP’s seminal publication, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights. She joined the staff full-time after her fellowship and expanded the scope of her work to include housing issues impacting survivors of domestic violence; fair housing and civil rights, with a focus on the special needs and housing issues of immigrants and people with limited English proficiency.

Before joining NHLP, Karlo was a George N. Lindsay Fellow and associate counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington D.C. where she litigated fair housing cases and worked on national campaigns, including Election Protection. She also clerked for Magistrate Judge Adriana Arce-Flores at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Laredo. Karlo graduated from Wellesley College magna cum laude, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

Kent Qian, Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3112

Kent spearheads NHLP’s national efforts to protect the rights of tenants in foreclosed properties, and to advise attorneys nationally on foreclosure recovery legislation, related lending and homeowner legislation, and the rights of tenants and homeowners overall in foreclosed properties. Kent leads NHLP’s statewide initiative, contracted by the Office of the California Attorney General, to implement the state’s landmark Homeowner Bill of Rights. He served as a key resource to policymakers in the development of the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

Kent began at NHLP as a Skadden Fellow in 2009 to work on a project that focused on foreclosure issues in three highly-distressed counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kent previously served as a law clerk at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Roger Baldwin Foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Southern Center for Human Rights.

Kent is the current Board Chair of the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) and also serves on the San Francisco Rent Board as an alternate Commissioner for one of the tenant positions on the Board. He received a B.S. in physics from Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.S. in physics from Ohio State University. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Michaeljit Sandhu, Volunteer | (415) 546-7000

Michaeljit is a graduate student, pursuing a PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD at Harvard Law School. Prior to his work at NHLP, Michaeljit volunteered and worked for five years for affordable housing organizations in Chicago, including the Chicago Housing Initiative, where he was involved in local and national efforts to reform the Moving to Work demonstration program. He has also conducted research on mixed-income housing, rent policies, and reduced federal funding of housing programs.
Susan Stern, Interim Co-Director [Deputy Director for Administration] | (415) 546-7000 ext. 3110

Deborah Thrope, Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3124

Deborah Thrope joined NHLP in June 2013 as a staff attorney. With extensive experience working at the various intersections of federally assisted housing, mental health, people with disabilities, and homelessness, Deborah works on NHLP’s initiatives on reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, preservation, sequestration impacts, and California-based affordable housing and tenants' rights issues. She also leads our initiatives related to the voucher program and public housing. Deborah served as Editor of the 2014 Supplement to NHLP’s seminal publication, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights and most recently, she collaborated with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in research related to potential benefits and state law barriers related to regionalization of housing provider agencies.

Deborah previously worked at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley's Mental Health Advocacy Project and has clerked at Bay Area Legal Aid, Public Advocates, Inc, and for Judge Susan Illston at the U.S. District Court of Northern California. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northeastern University School of Law.

Renee Williams, Staff Attorney | (415) 546-7000 Ext. 3121

Renee joined NHLP as a Public Interest Law Fellow in 2012. During her fellowship, she concentrated on fair housing issues, with a particular focus on language access for those with limited English proficiency (LEP) and national origin discrimination. Renee’s current focus areas are language access, fair housing, and domestic violence. In 2014, Renee coordinated national comments submitted from members of NHLP’s Housing Justice Network on HUD’s new rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

During law school, Renee interned at the civil rights firm Relman, Dane, & Colfax and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama. Before law school, Renee worked as a paralegal at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

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