Erica SchwarzErica Schwarz

Residents arriving at Downing, Broadway

UPDATED May 6: Housing Corporation of Arlington (HCA) has announced that Erica Schwarz is its new executive director. She plans to join HCA on Wednesday, May 11.

As she comes on board, residents are beginning to occupy the Downing Square and Broadway developments.

A news release from the nonprofit says that Schwarz will be working to further affordable housing and community development in Arlington together with HCA’s board, staff, members and the community at large.

She comes to Arlington after three years and seven months as a project director for the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority

Hallett left in June

The HCA has been without an executive director since last June. Pamela Hallett, who had led the nonprofit since 2012, was "transitioned out of the role," the December HCA newsletter said. YourArlington has asked Hallett and HCA officials about why Hallett left, but all chose not to comment for publication.

The Housing Corporation of Arlington provides, and advocates for, decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and individuals in Arlington and surrounding communities, while promoting social and economic diversity.

In December, HCA held a ribbon-cutting for the completed Downing Square Broadway Initiative rental-housing development at two sites. They will provide a secure home to 48 individuals and families, including five who were formerly homeless. The Broadway project will feature a new space to fight food insecurity, partnering with the nonprofit organization Arlington EATS. 

Jeff Katz, interim executive director, was asked in April when the Downing Square and Broadway projects would begin welcoming tenants. He responded: "We are hoping to have 16 units occupied by the end of this month."

14 new residents welcomed

In its May 6 newsletter, HCA reported: "We are thrilled that we recently welcomed 14 new tenants to the buildings. We expect the buildings to be fully occupied in the very near future."

HCA owns and operates 150 affordable apartments throughout Arlington. HCA also operates a Homelessness Prevention Program, which provides funds and support to help Arlington residents at risk of becoming homeless to remain in their housing.

Schwarz's background

Schwarz has a background in community-based development. Before she was in Cambridge, she served as executive director at Southwest Boston CDC, capacity-building funder at Connecticut Local Initiatives Support Corp. and executive director at WATCH CDC in Waltham. 

She holds a master's of urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University and a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from Boston University.

Housing Corporation Board President Tom Nee said in the April 19 news release: “Erica is an ideal candidate with lots of experience that will serve us well. We feel she will further Housing Corporation’s mission in Arlington of safe, affordable housing for all.”

Schwarz added, “I’m thrilled to be joining HCA and to be applying my experience in community development and community building to advance HCA’s mission as we help to strengthen the Arlington community. I’m looking forward to connecting with the board, staff and members of HCA as well as the residents we serve, our partners, and the community at large. My door is open.”

Housing Corporation’s executive search was led by a selection committee made up of Housing Corporation board members, with support from Ann L. Silverman Consulting. Officials have been asked how many applications and finalists there were.

Learn more about the Housing Corporation of Arlington at

Dec. 7, 2021: 75 see launch of 2 HCA projects

This news announcement was published Tuesday, April 19, 2022, and updated May 6.