Rod assists public housing authorities (PHAs) and their partners across the nation as they use public housing, Section 8 project-based and tenant-based vouchers, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other federal, state and local affordable housing programs to preserve, improve and expand affordable housing in their communities.

Rod has over twenty years’ experience at Hawkins and thirty years’ experience at all levels of government, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Program and Legislative Initiatives or equivalent positions in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, Deputy Executive Director/chief operating officer and Acting Executive Director of the Atlanta Housing Authority, General Counsel, redevelopment director and in other key positions of the Boston Housing Authority and Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr.

At Hawkins, Rod has helped PHAs including those in Minneapolis, San Diego, Santa Clara/San Jose, Columbus (OH), Cook County (IL), King County (WA), Boulder (CO), Salt Lake City and others of all sizes, to reposition their public housing portfolios with substantial additional resources made available through full use of available HUD programs.  He has helped lead some of the most far-reaching RAD and disposition/replacement portfolio overhauls. These include San Francisco (the largest by dollar volume--$1.4 billion), Cambridge (MA) and many others, and several nationally significant initiatives to replace aging public housing fully with new mixed-income communities.  Rod also has extensive experience with the Moving to Work (MTW) program that he administered at HUD for its first five years.  He represents MTW agencies on various issues, helped several agencies be selected for MTW, assisted MTW agencies as a group with HUD MTW agreement extension discussions and now represents PHAs selected as part of the program’s expansion and operating under new HUD requirements.

Rod has authored key affordable housing legislative and regulatory provisions throughout his career, commencing with basic aspects of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and continuing through the MTW and other laws between 1990 and 1998; the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, for which he led the Administration’s legislative efforts, coordinated implementation and administered several newly-enacted programs or initiatives; a proposed Public Housing Reinvestment Initiative in 2002-2003 that was a predecessor to RAD; the HUD appropriations chapter of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2009; RAD in 2011; and a series of project-based voucher provisions in the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016.  He has drawn on this experience and these laws to lead efforts nationally to preserve or replace the public housing stock through disposition and replacement with project-based vouchers.  He speaks regularly at conferences on such matters.  He also helps PHAs and others address all kinds of HUD regulatory issues.

Rod is devoted to advancing affordable housing and to the success of PHAs, HUD and their partners.  He strives for his work to reflect that devotion.

Government Service

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C. (1994-2003)
  • Atlanta Housing Authority (1992-1994)
  • Boston Housing Authority (1980-1992)
  • Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (now MassHousing) (1980)
  • City of Chelsea (MA) (1976-1979)
  • U.S. Senate (Washington, D.C.) (1971-1976)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (Washington, D.C.) (1971)

Local recognition from clients, including Cambridge (2016), Lexington (2015), Salt Lake City (2014), San Diego (2012)

HUD Office of Legislation and Regulations, “Best Client Award”, (2003)

Millennial Housing Commission, (2002)

Atlanta Housing Authority, (1994)

Amherst College, “Six Alumni Making a Difference”, (1993)

U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs (revitalization of severely distressed public Housing), (1992)

President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws, (1992)

City of Boston, “Rod Solomon Day” (1992)

Massachusetts Senate, (1992)

Massachusetts House of Representatives, (1992)

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, (1991)

Service (current or former) on various boards, including for the Housing Development Law Institute, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Bringing School Home Advisory Board; Volunteer to assist with various affordable housing initiatives, including for HUD