Will oversee the Agency's Rental Business Development operations
Cynthia Lacasse of Newton, Massachusetts has joined MassHousing as the Director of Rental Business Development where she will oversee rental lending product development, loan origination and approvals for the Agency's multi-family lending operations.
Ms. Lacasse will serve in the role previously held by Monte Stanford, who has assumed the role of Chief of Staff for MassHousing.
"Cynthia brings to this job a deep knowledge of affordable rental housing finance in both the private and public sectors," said Executive Director Tim Sullivan. "She is the ideal leader to help us meet our ambitious goals to finance the construction and preservation of thousands of units of rental housing in the next five years."
Ms. Lacasse will oversee MassHousing's efforts to develop and strengthen business relationships with multifamily developers and owners and ensure that loan proposals move seamlessly through the approval, underwriting and closing process. She will be leading a department that in recent years developed new lending executions in partnership with HUD, Ginnie Mae and the U.S. Treasury Department and also streamlined operations to be more responsive to customer's needs. A special focus will be marketing to developers and other stakeholders MassHousing's new Workforce Housing Fund, which targets the construction of new middle-income units.
"I am delighted to be back at MassHousing where I worked early in my career as a member of a leadership team that is working to confront the Commonwealth's housing challenges with renewed vigor and a focus on innovation and customer service," Lacasse said. "I look forward to working with the developer and owner community to help them meet their business objectives to build and preserve much-needed housing in the Commonwealth."
For 18 years between 1995 and 2013 Ms. Lacasse was an executive at John Hancock Financial in Boston, and served as president of John Hancock Realty Advisors, which makes investments in affordable rental housing and real estate equity. She also led the company's North American Mortgage Collateral Review team, which was responsible for providing risk surveillance and workouts of a $20 billion commercial loan portfolio.
Following John Hancock, Lacasse was an independent strategic, business and financial consultant and then served as a Senior Advisor for Boston-based Next Street, which provides advice to small and mid-market businesses, social enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies and foundations.
Lacasse worked at MassHousing from 1988 to 1992 as a Rental Lending Development Officer and Senior Development Analyst.
"Cynthia's deep experience, creativity, high energy and mission commitment make her a perfect fit for MassHousing," said Deputy Director Karen Kelleher.
Ms. Lacasse is currently Co-Chair of the Board of the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Inc. (MBHP) and a member of the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund Advisory Board. She has served on the Investment Committee of the Massachusetts Life Insurance Community Investment Initiative, and the Editorial Advisory Boards of Affordable Housing Finance magazine and the Housing and Development Reporter newsletter. She received a leadership service award from the Affordable Housing Investors Council (AHIC) in 2013 where she served as a long-standing Board Member and President.
Ms. Lacasse was a founding Board Member and Treasurer of Thrive, a Boston-based non-profit organization providing support, education and services to young women with breast cancer. She served on Dana Farber Cancer Institute's Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer Advisory Committee and the Board of Facing Cancer Together. She is currently a member of McLean Hospital's Board of Visitors.
Ms. Lacasse has a BA from Middlebury College and a Masters in City Planning from MIT.