About the CHA

Commitment To Innovation

Established under state law on December 9, 1935, Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance to more than 5,500+ low-income families, elders and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs.

CHA invests in Cambridge families and provides enhanced support to almost 10% of the city population. By tailoring its approach to focus on policy innovation and family economic opportunities, CHA is able to meet its mission to develop and manage safe, good quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner which promotes citizenship, community and self-reliance in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.


CHA is governed by its five-member Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners appoints an Executive Director to oversee the daily operation of the housing authority, and ensure that the Board's policies are implemented.

Board Of Commissioners

The five-member CHA Board oversees the Agency's overall direction.  Board members approve all significant contract awards, budget decisions, formal submissions to state and federal funding agencies, planning and reporting documents, all major policy decisions and many other important matters.

Executive Staff

Michael J. Johnston, Esq
Executive Director

Brenda Snowden Downing
Deputy Executive Director

Susan C. Cohen
General Counsel

Margaret Donnelly Moran
Director of Planning & Development

Kevin Braga
Director of Public Housing Operations

Hannah Bolcome
Director of Leased Housing

John Lindamood
Director of Resident Services

John Filip
Chief Financial Officer

Robert Kelsey
Director of Human Resources

Jay Leslie
Director of Business Systems and Technology Integration


CHA has over 160 employees and operates with an annual budget over $70M. For more information about CHA’s different departments, follow the link here.

Moving To Work

CHA is one of 39 housing agencies chosen to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work (MTW) Deregulation Demonstration program. Since 1996, the demonstration program has granted regulatory flexibility to a select group of agencies, allowing them to develop and implement innovative, market-based solutions. CHA has relied on MTW flexibility to preserve and expand affordable housing, adding over 300 units to its portfolio since 2001 and executing an unprecedented $180 million dollars in expansion and renovation work.