Winters Community Strategies LLC is a consulting practice that designs and evaluates affordable housing and community development strategies, programs and policies, with a focus on creating more sustainable, affordable and inclusive communities. WCS is led by Michelle McDonough Winters, who brings more than 20 years of experience working in the housing and community development field on issues ranging from housing finance and policy to nonprofit capacity building.
Michelle is currently serving as the executive director of the Alliance for Housing Solutions, a nonprofit housing policy and advocacy organization in Arlington, Virginia. She also served as Sr. Visiting Fellow for Housing at the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing from 2014 to mid-2016.
Prior to creating WCS, Michelle led the sustainability initiatives of NeighborWorks America, where she managed the organization’s national grantmaking and technical assistance efforts to help nonprofits develop and operate more environmentally sustainable affordable housing and communities. From 2008 to 2010 she served as program director for affordable housing preservation at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), where she provided loans and technical assistance to nonprofit developers and managed an active federal policy agenda.
Prior to joining LISC, Michelle spent nine years at Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation in a variety of positions including director of regulatory policy and director of mission strategy and community analytics. During her time there she was responsible for major policy efforts including overseeing the company’s policy and market analysis related to its federally-mandated affordable housing goals, as well as managing an initiative to break down regulatory barriers to affordable housing development at the state and local levels.
Earlier in her career, Michelle conducted housing research at the MIT Center for Real Estate, the Urban Institute and the Virginia Center for Housing Research. She has served as an associate editor of Housing Policy Debate and editorial assistant for the Journal of Housing Economics.
Michelle spent four years serving on the Housing Commission in Arlington, Virginia, from 2007-2010. She was chair of the Bricks and Mortar committee and served as chairman of the commission in 2008.
Michelle has a Master in City Planning from MIT where she specialized in Housing, Community and Economic Development, and she earned her BA in Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech.
For more information see Michelle’s LinkedIn profile.