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In the news: Danielle Johnson

In the news: Danielle Johnson
Danielle Johnson PHOTO: Michael J. Clarke

The Mayor’s Office of Housing announced today that Danielle Johnson, Esq. has been appointed the new Deputy Director of the Office of Housing Stability.  As a Deputy Director within the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Ms. Johnson will be responsible for programs to assist Bostonians in a housing crisis — whether this crisis is due to eviction, landlord-tenant disputes, rent escalations, an unplanned loss of housing, or any other rental housing emergency. In addition, the office is responsible for collecting eviction data, evaluating trends, and responding accordingly.

“Housing affordability and preserving long-term tenancies are critical to strong stable neighborhoods especially as we recover from this pandemic,” Sheila Dillon, the City of Boston’s Chief of Housing said. “We need to do everything in our power to make sure that tenants know their rights, and to make sure that we are putting policies in place to support those at risk of displacement.  I am so pleased that Danielle will be joining our team. Her broad experience and passion for this work will be an asset to the Mayor’s Office of Housing.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Housing Stability has provided programs and services to assist both renters and landlords, so they remain safely and stably housed. The OHS established the Rental Relief Fund to provide funding to landlords to pay overdue and future rent to keep Boston residents safely housed. It has established a robust court intervention program, as well as landlord mediation and virtual and walk-in legal clinics to serve tenants and landlords in the City of Boston. It has continued to work with all tenants and landlords to provide wraparound housing services.

As the Deputy Director of the Office of Housing Stability, Ms. Johnson will work on an equitable plan to help Boston residents stay stably housed, will lead research on best practices, create recommendations, and implement new and improved policies and programs to make sure Boston residents can stay in their homes.  In leading this office she will also be charged with drafting and reviewing new legislative and other public policy solutions to mitigate displacement, and will create new City programs to ensure housing stability in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Prior to joining the Office of Housing, Ms. Johnson was a staff attorney in the Housing Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) where she worked with tenants who were in danger of losing their housing by providing eviction defense. Ms. Johnson also counsels clients in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Lawyer for the Day Program, where she provides legal advice to tenants facing eviction in housing court.

Miss Johnson’s last posting at GBLS was as Managing Attorney of the Elder, Health and Disability Unit, where she worked primarily with elders ensuring that they were not displaced from their homes or could transition to alternative long-term care or assisted-living homes.

Ms. Johnson is a West Roxbury resident and is also a published author in the Boston Bar Journal and the Boston Globe. Her published work discusses the need for diversity in the legal community. Ms. Johnson holds a B.A. in Studio Art and African American Studies from the University of Maryland College Park, a Paralegal Studies degree from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law.