The Planning Office for Urban Affairs has a talented and committed staff with specialties in development, finance, legal issues, design and construction, accounting and financial management, and office administration, each of whom contributes to the tremendous success of the Office.

In addition to having a focused and experienced in-house staff, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs regularly employs expert outside consultants to assist with its project financing and development work. The targeted use of consultants is an important part of POUA's business model and strategic operations, as we retain skilled professional consultants to provide value-added services that extend the capacity of the organization. To that end, we are very grateful for the help and expertise of Development Synergies LLC; Nina Schwarzchild; Kevin Leary, Esquire; Cecil Andrews; Waypoint KLA; Commercial Construction Consulting; and Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Inc.; who have consulted on a variety of POUA projects.

In accordance with federal laws and U.S. Department of the Treasury policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20220; or send an e-mail to:

William H. Grogan

William H. Grogan, President of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, has been involved in affordable housing and economic development for nearly 25 years with a particular focus on complex legal and financial deal structuring to accomplish mission objectives. Bill was appointed President in July 2019 and has been with the Planning Office since 2005.  Prior to becoming President, Bill was the Chief Operating Office & General Counsel.  He has been involved with the acquisition, financing, construction, and development of nearly 650 units of affordable and mixed-income housing, representing nearly $300 million of investment throughout the Commonwealth. He is overseeing another 300 units of housing at various stages of development. In this role, he has developed mixed-income, family and special needs housing, and housing for the homeless and vulnerable populations, as well as mixed-use developments.  Bill has also been responsible for managing the operations of the Office, including all budget, accounting and financial aspects, working with the Board of Trustees, managing all corporate entities, and serving as General Counsel on both corporate and development project matters.

Prior to joining the Planning Office, Bill was an attorney at Goulston & Storrs, P.C., a nationally known real estate firm, where he specialized in the areas of affordable housing development and finance. He has also worked with state agencies in the development of bond financing and tax credit programs. As a result, Bill is actively involved in creating innovative approaches to financing affordable and mixed-income, mixed-use developments and has extensive experience utilizing a wide range of federal, state and local sources of financing, including 4% and 9% federal low-income housing tax credits, state housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, and tax increment financing arrangements.

Previously, Bill worked in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Bill received his Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School, a Masters in Government Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College. Bill has been active in the affordable housing industry, having spoken at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. 

Michael McCaffrey

Michael McCaffrey, Chief Financial Officer of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, has over 30 years of experience developing, implementing and managing finance and operations functions in both the financial services and non-profit industries. Mr. McCaffrey joined the Planning Office in June 2018. In his capacity as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), his responsibilities include financial planning and analysis, overall management of financial controls, treasury services, property and corporate audit and tax filings, and budget development and management. Prior to joining the Planning Office, Mike was employed by CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), a public accounting firm, as a CFO in their managed outsource division. While there, he provided interim CFO services to a variety of nonprofit and for-profit organizations in multiple sates, including community action agencies and their regulatory bodies, MGL chapter 766 approved private schools and affiliated entities, charter schools and foundations, numerous community development corporations, a low income neighborhood housing service provider, a healthcare provider, and an arts and humanities organization. Mike’s accomplishments in these positions include developing and finalizing fiscal year budgets and cash flows; development, implementation, and overall management of accounting functions; year-end audit preparation, management and completion; reconciliations of merged entities into a parent organization’s balance sheet; financial and operational reviews and an ERP implementation. Prior to CLA, Mike worked as a regional CFO for the American National Red Cross. While there, his responsibilities included development, implementation and management of financial controls, treasury and audit services, development of an A-133 audit program, financial planning and analysis, budget development and management, facilities management of operational, disaster preparedness and medial training and testing locations, and management of the IT function. Prior to joining the American National Red Cross, Mike’s positions included CFO for Mercantile Bank and Mercantile Capital Corporation, Vice President IT and Strategic Planning for People’s Savings Bank and Assistant Treasurer and Comptroller for Beverly Cooperative Bank.

Amarillys Rodriguez

Amarillys Rodriguez joined POUA in July 2017 as a Kuehn Fellow for two years, and has since officially joined the office as Development and Policy Senior Project Manager. Ms. Rodriguez is involved with all aspects of the development process, including preparing funding applications, providing input on design, managing and coordinating development team members, assisting during financial closings, monitoring construction, and supporting marketing and lease-up efforts. Ms. Rodriguez arrived at POUA after graduating with a Master in City Planning degree in May 2017 from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she focused her studies on housing, community, and economic development. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Rodriguez worked in Washington, D.C., with the National Partnership for Women & Families, advocating for policies like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days at the federal, state, and local level. She also worked as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow in D.C. and Jackson, MS; as a Public Ally in her hometown of Hartford, CT; and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. These experiences allow Ms. Rodriguez to approach her work at POUA with critical insight into many of the complex issues driving the need for affordable housing, the service needs facing many residents of affordable housing developments, and the transformative potential of affordable housing to promote healthy and successful communities and address various social justice problems. Ms. Rodriguez is a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute. 

Celeste Holmes

Celeste Holmes, Office Manager for the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, has more than twenty years of experience in office management and administrative support. As Office Manager, Ms. Perry is responsible for the day-to-day coordination and support of the office and its employees including all planning, management, scheduling, coordination and tracking of office activities and deadlines, and administrative support. Since joining the Planning Office in 1995, Ms. Perry has played a pivotal role in coordinating many aspects of the organization’s corporate and development project operations. Her responsibilities include handling all Planning Office and affiliate entity government filings; assisting with the preparation of funding applications; managing several aspects of corporate events (groundbreakings, dedications, Board meetings; etc.); keeping media and project information files; coordinating and keeping the Office Calendar to track project milestones, deadlines, other significant dates; providing support to the President of the corporation; and providing general support to all Planning Office staff. Celeste also manages information resources and contractual agreements that relate to office operations, and she serves as liaison for computer service providers, equipment suppliers and office equipment leasing. Prior to her work with the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Ms. Perry was a supervisor and client administrator of Shawmut Bank, where she was responsible for monitoring staff, editing bank and computer operations reports, and handling customer service. A graduate of the Katherine Gibbs School, Ms. Perry also completed Banking and Accounting Courses at the American Banking Institute. Ms. Perry is a Massachusetts Public Notary.

Lois Alksninis

Lois Alksninis joined the Planning Office for Urban Affairs as Communications and Special Projects Manager in April 2015, maintaining the role until June 2019. Ms. Alksninis worked at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN for a year as an administrative assistant, then rejoined the Planning Office as Communications and Fundraising Manager in July 2020. As Communications and Fundraising Manager, Lois is responsible for managing the POUA website and social media accounts, event planning, newsletters, writing and orchestrating applications for awards and grants, organizing project files, maintaining relationships with the media, and cultivating relationships with donors and fundraiser sponsors. Lois has experience working in the nonprofit and agency sectors of the communications field in Boston, London and Dublin, working at Mass Insight Education and FUEL Education, both in Boston. A graduate of Boston University, Lois received her Bachelor of Science in Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations.

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Deborah Hackett

Deborah Hackett, Accounting Manager for the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, has over 25 years of experience in small business and non-profit accounting and operations. Ms. Hackett is responsible for the day to day accounting of the Planning Office as well cash flow management, budgeting, and annual audit preparation in conjunction with the CFO. Before joining the Planning Office, Ms. Hackett was employed by CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), a public accounting firm, as a Controller in their managed outsource division. While there, she provided outsourced accounting and consulting services for a variety of non-profit clients including organizations that work to prevent and end homelessness, preserve historic structures and buildings, work to keep farmers on the land, develop low income housing, and inspire the use and appreciation of horticulture. As an outsourced and interim accountant, Ms. Hackett would manage the day-to-day accounting in various roles within the organizations while setting up and improving upon accounting processes, prepare for annual audits, and aid in the annual budgeting process. As a consultant, she would review current systems, make recommendations for improved efficiency, and implement her recommendations. Prior to CLA, Ms. Hackett worked as the CFO of a local community foundation in Nevada where she was responsible for the accounting and financial management of the organization as well as investment administration, risk management, human resources, facilities, and information technology management. In addition, she was a consultant and resource to local non-profits in setting up and maintaining their financial accounting systems for more efficient reporting and analysis.

Mary Wambui

Mary Wambui joined POUA in February of 2020 as the asset manager. Mary is responsible for short- and long-term stewardship of POUA’s operating affordable housing portfolio. Mary has been in the field of affordable housing asset management for more than 14 years. Mary has expertise in portfolio sustainability analysis, property, and portfolio repositioning, maximizing performance through capital planning, green and sustainable design, rehabilitation, debt restructuring and building stake holder relationships. Ms. Wambui has a master’s in public policy from Tufts University, a master’s in international economic development from Southern New Hampshire University. She is also a Certified Housing Asset Manager (CHAM). Prior to joining POUA Mary worked as the vice president for asset management at Opportunities Communities. She has also worked as the asset manager for Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation and as an associate asset manager for Nuestra CDC. Mary is also an appointee of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) a state body that directs the energy efficiency vision for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mary enjoys singing, song writing, mentoring youth, and volunteering at community events. She is originally from Nairobi, Kenya and lives by the motto “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Shaina Korman-Houston

Shaina Korman-Houston joins us as Real Estate Director. Shaina has more than 15 years of experience in the development, financing, and asset management of housing for low-income families and senior citizens. In her capacity as Real Estate Director, Shaina will be responsible for actively developing the project pipeline and coordinating projects through all functions of development, including feasibility analyses, financial modeling, assembling tax credit and other financing, managing project development teams, and assembling permitting and regulatory review applications. Prior to joining the Planning Office, Shaina served as Deputy Director at Metro West Collaborative Development where she superintended a period of growth in the organization’s real estate development. She has also worked on the real estate development teams at Urban Edge and Somerville Community Corporation, executing both new development and preservation projects including 4% and 9% LIHTC, NMTC, and historic tax credits. She has been involved in the development or preservation of nearly 325 units of affordable housing, representing nearly $130 million of investment throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Before moving to Boston, Shaina worked as an Asset Manager for Victory Housing, the nonprofit housing development arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, and as a grant writer for DC Habitat for Humanity. Shaina received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Jewish Studies from American University and her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Philip Crean

Philip Crean joined POUA in March 2023 as Project Manager. Phil’s work supports development efforts through assembling funding applications, obtaining permits and local approvals, construction administration, and supporting lease-up through permanent loan conversion. Prior to joining the Planning Office, Phil worked as an Acquisition Associate for a national tax credit syndication firm where he was responsible for the underwriting and closing of affordable housing projects across the country. Phil has also held project management roles in the City of Somerville and Beacon Communities, working on new construction and rehabilitation properties using LIHTCs, federal and state historic tax credits, and state subsidies. Phil began his career as a Program Assistant for the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a quasi-state public agency committed to increasing and preserving affordable housing across the Commonwealth. Phil holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Brown University and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. Phil is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Congress for New Urbanism. He also honorably served in the United States Marine Corps.

Cindy Quach

Cindy Quach joined the Planning Office for Urban Affairs as a Kuehn Fellow in July 2023 and has been providing aid in several projects. She is involved in different phases of the development process including predevelopment, construction, and lease-up/occupancy. Cindy supports development efforts through preparing funding applications, managing construction period and permanent financing activities, and assisting with financing and identifying limited capital improvements. Prior to joining the Planning Office, Cindy worked as an analyst at a Massachusetts-based consulting firm that provided compliance monitoring services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of City Planning from Boston University.


Joshua Weissman LaFrance

Joshua Weissman LaFrance joined POUA in March 2021 as Project Manager. Josh is involved with several projects, working to assemble funding applications; obtain permitting; monitor construction; support lease-up efforts; and more. Through his work, Josh is focused on creating dignified, sustainable housing that prioritizes walkable, bikeable, people-first places to live. Josh comes to POUA by way of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) where, as part of the Housing Development division, he administered the federal and state low-income housing tax credits and other subsidy programs. Josh also assisted sponsors preparing funding applications, helping to address barriers to development and stabilization. Josh holds a Master of Public Administration from Suffolk University, where he focused on a community-based model of strategic planning. At this time, he was also a graduate intern at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, where he contributed to an array of urban and regional planning projects, including a corridor study and several municipal master plans. He also holds an MS in Political Science, during which time he studied development aid as a trainee at the European Parliament in Brussels. Josh currently serves on the board of the American Society for Public Administration’s Massachusetts Chapter (MassASPA). He has been named an Emerging Leader in Affordable Housing by the National Housing Conference in Washington, D.C. He is constantly looking for ways to translate his experiences to his work with POUA, and apply them in the realization of more accessible, people-focused places. Josh is also an avid bicycler, and his goal for the 2020s is to cycle across the Americas, from Alaska to Argentina.

Nyssa Lilovich

Nyssa Lilovich joined POUA as the Communications and Fundraising Manager in August 2019, and is currently assisting with communications work on a part-time basis. Ms. Lilovich assists with media relations, social media management, event planning, and cultivating donor relationships and corporate partnerships. Ms. Lilovich received a dual degree (B.A.) in Anthropology and Communications from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Prior to joining POUA, Ms. Lilovich was the Communications Director for NICHES Land Trust, a nonprofit that manages over 4,000 acres of conservation land in west central Indiana.  In her work at NICHES, Nyssa promoted conservation by communicating via social media channels, news platforms, and community relationships; increasing the overall awareness and donor base for the organization. Prior to NICHES, Nyssa worked as the Social Media Coordinator for a National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center, heavily advocating for the women in STEM and diversity in STEM initiatives. She plans to revitalize POUA's current communications strategy to promote the need for more affordable housing and initiate public dialogue about critical issues and challenges in the housing industry.