Leigh Howard, President

Leigh Howard has fifteen years of experience in the fields of housing and social services.  She received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan College and advance degrees from Bryn Mawr College, which include a Masters Degree in Social Work (Policy Practice and Advocacy concentration) and a Masters Degree in Law and Social Policy.  After seven years with Diana T. Myers & Associates, Inc., Ms. Howard was named President of the Firm, effective September 1, 2013.

Since joining DMA in 2006, Ms. Howard’s work has centered around the housing needs of special populations, including:  families, youth, and adults experiencing homelessness; individuals with justice involvement; individuals living in nursing homes and personal care boarding homes, including those over 60 years of age and under 60 with a disability; and persons with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

During this time, Ms. Howard has focused on using research and data to determine the housing needs of vulnerable populations.  This includes designing data collection systems, data analysis, in-depth research, and policy analysis.  This information has been used to inform policy recommendations, funding decisions, design training and provide technical assistance around affordable, community-based housing options.

Ms. Howard has played a key role in the development of several DMA publications over the last several years.  Publications focused on housing planning include – A Five Year Plan for Integrating Affordable Housing and Long Term Supports in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Housing and the Sequential Intercept Model: A How to Guide for Planning for the Housing Needs of Individuals with Justice Involvement and Mental Illness.  Housing studies include – Mentally Ill Offender Housing Needs Assessment for Centre County; Housing Needs Study for the York County Criminal Justice Advisory Board; and the Forensic Housing Study for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.

Prior to joining DMA, Ms. Howard worked in Philadelphia as a Social Worker, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Researcher and Community Organizer.  She also worked in Austin, TX at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin as the Community Revitalization Coordinator.  These experiences have furthered Ms. Howard’s commitment to housing policies that promote the integration of vulnerable populations into the community.

Ms. Howard can be reached at (215) 576-5130 or leigh@dma-housing.com.

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