It's 'All COVID-19 All the Time' for New Housing Network ED
April 3, 2020 The Regional Housing Network, a Boston- and Springfield-based coalition of nine nonprofit housing agencies that develop and preserve affordable housing, recently announced the appointment of Stefanie Coxe as executive director, who took over the job in mid-March just as the COVID-19 crisis began heating up in Massachusetts.
Coxe succeeds Maureen Fitzgerald, who stepped down last fall as executive director of Regional Housing Network of Massachusetts (RHN) after serving 21 years in the job. Bill Breitbart had been serving as interim executive director since Fitzgerald's departure.
Peter Gagliardi, board president of RHN, said, "After many years of excellent service to RHN, our prior Executive Director decided to step down. We took that opportunity to seek someone with a political and strategic planning background to ensure the one-stop regional housing entities in Massachusetts have the necessary resources to meet the demands of an ever-deepening housing crisis.
"Stefanie came on board just in time to work with us as we move forward with efforts to address the housing issues that arise as a result of COVID-19.”
Since she joined RHT, Coxe said it has been "all COVID-19 all the time."
In response to measures taken by the state to protect low-income renters and homeowners and to prevent people from becoming homeless due to reduced or lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis, Coxe, quoted in The Needham Times, noted, "Thousands of Massachusetts individuals and families face reduced hours, lost wages, and unemployment and when the dust settles, may potentially owe thousands in back rent."
MassHousing recently put $5 million into a COVID-19 Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) fund to assist families facing rent insecurity. Coxe said "we believe ultimately we will need additional resources and will be asking the administration and legislature for an additional appropriation for RAFT."
Prior to joining RHN, Coxe must recently was a principal of Nexus Werx, a consulting firm focused on political training and social entrepreneurship.
Earlier, she served as an advisor to Congressman William Keating and as a legislative aide to State Rep. Cleon Turner. She also served as interim executive director of the Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands.
Coxe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in legal education and economics from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She has served as vice president for special projects at Cape Cod Young Professionals.
RHN, established more than 30 years ago, is the largest contractor of rental assistance in Massachusetts. Its member agencies manage more than 19,000 Housing Choice vouchers, which allow low-income families and individuals to live in decent, safe, sanitary affordable housing.
RHN member agencies are Berkshire Housing Development and Berkshire Housing Services in Pittsfield, Community Teamwork in Lowell, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Turner Falls, HAP Housing in Springfield, Housing Assistance Corporation in Hyannis, Housing Solutions for Southeastern Massachusetts in Kingston, Metro Housing Boston, RCAP Solutions in Worcester, and South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham.
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