Shamus Roller HJN

Shamus Roller

Executive Director | 415-432-5706

Shamus Roller has been the Executive Director of NHLP since November of 2016.  Before joining NHLP Shamus served as the Executive Director of Housing California, a statewide advocacy organization working on issues of housing and homelessness.  During his time at Housing California the organization’s advocacy led to over five billion dollars in new funding for affordable development and a host of new programs and policies.  He helped start the Residents United Network, which organizes residents in affordable developments. Previous to that he was the Executive Director of the Sacramento Housing Alliance, a regional housing and homelessness advocacy organization. He started his career running street outreach programs for people that are homeless and ran a meditation and yoga program for incarcerated youth.  He serves on the boards of the California Association of Nonprofits and Brilliant Corners.

Deborah Thrope

Deputy Director | 415-432-5724

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.

Sarah Brandon

Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellow | 415-546-7000 ext. 3130

Sarah Brandon is a Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellow at NHLP. Sarah focuses on federal, state, and local advocacy to prevent evictions, expand tenants’ rights, and break down barriers to housing access. She is a graduate of Brown University and received a concurrent law and Master of Public Policy degree from UC Berkeley. While in graduate school, she researched best practices for equitable engagement with administrative agencies and was a member of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, where she worked with community-driven coalitions to abolish fees and fines in the juvenile legal system. Sarah also participated in and co-coordinated the Tenants’ Rights Workshop at EBCLC, supporting Bay Area tenants in understanding and asserting their right to safe and secure housing.

Eric Dunn

Director of Litigation | 415-432-5702

Eric Dunn is a national expert on tenants’ rights and consumer law issues, known for high-impact advocacy on matters affecting subsidized housing tenants and families struggling to access housing because of criminal and eviction records. Prior to NHLP, Eric was an attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the Northwest Justice Project in Seattle, and the Legal Aid & Defender Association of Detroit.

Some of Eric’s most significant subsidized housing cases include Hendrix v. Seattle Housing Authority and Shepherd v. Weldon Mediation Services, Inc., which both lead to significant improvements in the administrative hearing protections for families facing termination from federally subsidized housing. Another case, Resident Action Council v. Seattle Housing Authority, vindicated the free speech rights of public housing tenants, protecting their right to post signs on their doors and windows. Downtowner Tenants Association v. Seelig stopped the owner of a HUD-subsidized building from raising rents or displacing tenants after the Rent Supplement contract expired, forcing a sale to a new owner who maintained the building as affordable housing.

On rental housing access, Eric’s most important victories include Simmons v. T.M. Associates Management, Inc., which found that a landlord may have a duty to overlook a rental applicant’s disability-related criminal conviction as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, and Arroyo v. Corelogic Rental Property Solutions, LLC, which established that consumer reporting agencies are subject to the Fair Housing Act when they engage in tenant-screening activities. In Handlin v. On-Site Manager, Inc., the court upheld a rental applicant’s right to obtain a full and complete disclosure of a tenant-screening report that a landlord obtained about the applicant. Indigo Real Estate Services v. Rousey established a right for a domestic violence survivor to have an eviction case record sealed to protect her future housing opportunities. Eric also was a lead counsel in Smith v. Wasatch Property Management, Inc., which challenged a landlord’s policy of categorically denying admission to applicants with eviction records, by alleging an unlawful discriminatory effect on African-American women. Smith, which settled in 2017, is believed to be the first fair housing case ever filed based on the discriminatory impact of eviction records.

Lila Gitesatani

Staff Attorney | 415-546-7000 ext. 3132

Lila Gitesatani is a Staff Attorney at NHLP. Lila focuses on NHLP’s California policy work, fair housing, and preservation of affordable housing. Before joining NHLP, Lila was a lead attorney with the housing team at Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc where she represented tenants facing evictions, advocated for the rights of low-income tenants, and engaged in community outreach and education. Lila holds a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and a law degree from UCLA.

James Grow

Senior Staff Attorney | 415-432-5704

James’ work at NHLP focuses on the preservation of privately-owned federally subsidized housing developments and he 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.

Aoife Maher-Ryan

Communications and Development Associate

Aoife Maher-Ryan is the Communications and Development Associate at NHLP. She is responsible for assisting in communications work and focusing on fundraising and grant writing development. Prior to joining NHLP, she worked at a tech company assisting in quality assurance and security verification and also reported on housing and homelessness at Street Sense Media. She joined NHLP because she strongly believes in the organization’s mission that everyone should have the right to fair and equitable housing and wants to advocate for those in underserved communities.

Natalie Maxwell

Managing Attorney | 415-546-7000 x.3117

Natalie N. Maxwell is the Managing Attorney at the National Housing Law Project. Natalie’s work at NHLP focuses on preserving rural housing (with a focus on USDA’s housing programs), preserving housing for low-income tenants impacted by disasters, and protecting and expanding the fair housing rights of low-income tenants and communities. 

Prior to joining NHLP, Natalie worked in the Florida legal aid delivery system, where she engaged in community lawyering to support community-based groups working for social, economic, and racial justice; engaged in state and local policy advocacy; and conducted litigation on behalf of low-income individuals and communities involving housing preservation, housing discrimination, disability rights, and public benefits. She also worked as an assistant public defender in Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit representing indigent clients in felony and misdemeanor trials.  

Natalie began her legal career as a 2005 Equal Justice Works Fellow, developing and engaging in legal strategies to increase access to accessible and affordable housing for low-income Floridians with disabilities. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned her law degree from the American University, Washington College of Law.

Larry McDonough

Senior Fellow

Larry joined NHLP in October 2022 as a Senior Fellow. He has been a legal services and pro bono civil litigation attorney since 1983, working for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid as a staff and managing housing attorney, private firm Pro Bono Litigation Counsel, and housing litigator with other nonprofits. He has represented over 10,000 clients, with 250 trials, 1,000 motion hearings, and scores of appeals under his belt, along with drafting housing legislation, creating housing clinics, and law school teaching. He maintains the popular website Housing Law in Minnesota. His focus at NHLP is updating the HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights (also known as the Green Book) and other publications. When not helping tenants and their advocates, he plays jazz in the United States and France.

Noëlle Porter

Director of Government Affairs | 202-347-4703

Noëlle Porter is responsible for managing relationships with Congress and the Administration, organizational policy priority development, and strategic advocacy planning and execution. She works closely with all of NHLP’s attorneys to monitor and influence federal legislation and regulations.

Prior to joining NHLP, Noëlle managed congressional relations for the National Alliance to End Homelessness after beginning her career in health policy. While earning her Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida, Noëlle worked as a case manager for a homeless services provider in Tampa.

Haleigh Quinn

Government Affairs Fellow

Haleigh Quinn is a Government Affairs Fellow at NHLP. Haleigh assists in NHLP’s government affairs priorities through her work on federal policy advocacy, congressional strategy, and legislative record-keeping. Prior to joining NHLP, Haleigh earned a B.A. in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban and Regional Policy and a minor in African & African American Studies from Stanford University.

Upon graduating, Haleigh was awarded the prestigious John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, which provides opportunities for recent Stanford graduates to invest their talent, energy, and training in public service at a nonprofit or governmental agency of their choosing. Haleigh chose to complete her fellowship with NHLP given the organization’s exceptional record of policy advocacy in the housing space. Through her time at NHLP, Haleigh is eager to explore career avenues in congressional housing advocacy and legal aid. She is looking forward to acquiring real-world experience tackling the country’s most pressing housing equity challenges.

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Marcos Segura

Staff Attorney | 415-546-7000 ext. 3128

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.

KC Shah

David B. Bryson Fellow

KC Shah is the David B. Bryson Fellow at NHLP. KC manages the editing process for the 6th edition of HUD Housing Programs: Tenants’ Rights, also known as the “Green Book.” KC also works on NHLP’s initiatives to advance housing justice and tenants rights. KC holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a law degree from Stanford Law School. While at Stanford, KC participated in the Community Law Clinic, assisting tenants facing eviction, and was a Research Assistant at the Legal Design Lab. KC assisted the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession and the National Center for State Courts assess online legal tools to help self-represented litigants file in state court, and was also a housing policy intern at Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles, CA.

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Bridgett A. Simmons

Staff Attorney | 415-546-7000 ext. 3109

Bridgett A. Simmons’s work focuses on the preservation of HUD-subsidized multifamily housing, healthy housing, and voucher use. Bridgett joined 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.

Lisa Sitkin

Senior Staff Attorney | 415-432-5707

Lisa Sitkin provides technical assistance, training, and practice resources to attorneys representing homeowners in connection with mortgages and foreclosure. Before joining NHLP, Lisa was Managing Attorney at Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in Oakland, CA. Lisa has counseled and represented individual clients, participated in policy advocacy regarding mortgage servicing and foreclosure, and assisted with mortgage servicing, predatory and unfair lending litigation. She has conducted numerous workshops and trainings regarding mortgages, foreclosures, loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams, including programs produced by the Practicing Law Institute and the National Consumer Law Center, and has testified before the California State Legislature and other governmental bodies regarding mortgage servicing and foreclosure issues. She is one of the original drafters of the bill that ultimately became the California Homeowner Bill of Rights.

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Lauren Song

Senior Staff Attorney

Lauren D. Song is a Senior Staff Attorney working on affordable housing preservation. She joined NHLP in 2022 and helps to build campaigns to support legal and organizing partners and tenants to preserve their federally assisted housing, advance racial equity through tenant-centered advocacy, and improve housing conditions and tenant rights. Prior to NHLP, Lauren worked for over 15 years at Greater Boston Legal Services where she partnered with many grassroots community-based organizations, low-income tenant organizations, and public agencies to ensure the one-for-one redevelopment of thousands of severely distressed federal and state public housing units into inclusive mixed-finance, mixed-income communities through participatory development processes; to collaborate on anti-displacement legislative campaigns and neighborhood-specific litigation to defend BIPOC communities targeted by corporate speculators; and to leverage building-wide direct representation of post-foreclosure homeowners and tenants to stabilize and protect vulnerable communities during the foreclosure crisis.

A first-generation immigrant from Korea who is proud to be the first in her family to attend college (Yale), Lauren began her legal career after Harvard Law School as a Soros Justice Fellow, committed to empowering immigrant victims of domestic violence to enforce their rights under the Violence Against Women Act. Lauren was also a PhD candidate in Human Development at the University of Chicago where she spent 10 years marveling on the diverse resiliency of high-risk, low-income teens of color.

Tanaya Srini

Research Manager | 415-546-7000, Ext. 3127

Tanaya Srini provides research for litigation and technical assistance related to eviction defense, fair housing claims, and public housing policies. Prior to joining NHLP, Tanaya spent three years as a researcher at the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing program studying affordable and public housing, disaster recovery, and inclusive economic development policies in communities across the country. She has a masters degree from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she spent two years researching nuisance and crime-free programs as part of an expert witness team for federal fair housing cases.

Deidre Swesnik

Director of Communications | 202-919-9106

Deidre Swesnik is responsible for managing communications efforts for NHLP. Deidre joined NHLP in 2019. Before joining, she worked for 20 years in the areas of housing and community development. She was a program officer at the Open Society Foundations where she managed the housing and community equity portfolios for the United States. Prior to that, she was the director of public policy and communications for the National Fair Housing Alliance and a policy associate at Rapoza Associates, where she managed the National Rural Housing Coalition and other coalitions and clients.

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Marie Claire Tran-Leung

Evictions Initiative Project Director | 415-546-7000 ext. 3112

Marie Claire Tran-Leung is the Evictions Initiative Project Director and a Senior Staff Attorney at NHLP. Her work focuses on federal, state, and local advocacy to help keep individuals and families in their homes by stopping evictions and reforming landlord/tenant laws. As a national expert on housing barriers for people with arrest and conviction records, she has also testified before Congress and authored the seminal report When Discretion Means Denial: A National Perspective on Criminal Records in Federally Subsidized Housing. Before joining NHLP in February 2022, Marie Claire led multi-state advocacy networks at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, most recently as the director of its Legal Impact Network. She was also a Soros Justice Fellow and a proud alumna of the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute.  

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Stacey Tutt

Homeowner Assistance Fund Coordinator and Senior Staff Attorney

Stacey Tutt is the Homeowner Assistance Fund Coordinator and a Senior Staff Attorney at NHLP. Her work focuses on the national implementation of the Homeowner’s Assistance Fund. She works with legal aid attorneys and housing counselors around the country and with groups representing state-level HAF administrators and mortgage servicers to develop and disseminate best practices; provide technical assistance to legal aid attorneys and housing counselors working directly with homeowners; and advocate with the Treasury Department and select HAF program administrators based on lessons learned on the ground.

Prior to joining NHLP, Stacey designed and directed the Consumer Law Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. The Consumer Law Clinic focused on keeping low-income consumers in their homes after experiencing home improvement fraud and advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations with government-imposed debt. She also developed and directed the Community Preservation Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law which provided foreclosure defense to vulnerable homeowners, developed foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state, and designed neighborhood revitalization efforts following the foreclosure crisis.

Kate Walz

Associate Director of Litigation | 415-546-7000 ext. 3129

Kate Walz is the Associate Director of Litigation at NHLP.  She is a national expert on federally assisted housing preservation, fair housing, crime-free and nuisance property ordinances, the Violence Against Women Act, and the intersection of the criminal legal system and housing access. Prior to joining NHLP, Kate was at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law for almost 20 years, leading the Center’s advocacy and litigation efforts, including its housing advocacy.

Kate has significant housing policy experience, including working on legislation related to eviction reform, housing protections for immigrants, survivors of violence and persons with criminal records, public housing preservation, the preemption of crime-free and nuisance property ordinances, affordable housing preservation, and the 2013 and 2020 re-authorizations of the Violence Against Women Act. Kate has also served as counsel in several high-impact litigation cases and HUD fair housing complaints, including Davis v. City of Joliet and Joliet v. Mid-City Nat’l Bank, CAFHA v. City of Chicago, Hayes v. Aurora Housing Authority, Jones v. HUD, Blakemore v. Housing Authority of Cook County, Jenkins v. HUD, HOPE Fair Housing v. City of Peoria, Calumet Lives Matter v. East Chicago Housing Authority, and Cook County v. Wolf.

Francis Antonio

Director of Operations and Technology | 415-432-5708

Wendy Mahoney

Publications and Databases Administrator | 415-432-5711