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Getting to Know You: Massey Casper, Housing Authority Executive

Massey Casper is a veteran professional of the American affordable housing sector.

He holds a MBA from Rhode Island’s Johnson and Wales University, as well as certifications from the Project Management Institute, the Massachusetts National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Members (NAHRO), the National Apartment Association, and NeighborWorks America.

Massey Casper’s extensive work history began with a significant period of time spent as a Financial Analyst with WinnResidential, one of the largest affordable housing property management firms in the USA. After that, he worked for multiple community development corporations, housing authorities, and nonprofit divisions of housing authorities located throughout the country.

Philosophically, Massey is a big believer in finding common ground, exploring the potential for innovative partnerships, and forging cooperative alliances in order to develop new affordable housing and preserve existing affordable housing. Personally, he is passionate about humanitarian causes, and strives each day to be of service to those most in need in our society. In that vein, Massey is an outspoken advocate for teaching financial literacy to families of socio-economically challenged backgrounds, and encourages home ownership and self-sufficiency within that same group.

What do you currently do at your company?

Over the last couple of assignments, I’ve been the executive director responsible for overseeing and guiding small to medium size Housing Authorities. Housing Authorities jointly come under the purview of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city/county, and are charged with disbursing funds and subsidies to benefit those living under socio-economically challenging circumstances by providing housing or rent subsidies so they can find a safe and sustainable place to call home.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

I want to shepherd and be a servant leader of a medium-to-large housing authority to achieve their mission statement. I continue to work hard to deserve and realize that goal every day in my work and personal life, and I believe that I’m well on the way to achieving it.

What’s the most valuable lesson(s) you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Practicing persistence, patience, empathy, and kindness along with a solid work ethic and not walking away from challenges is the brand value I strive to bring to my workplace every day.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

For anyone considering a career in the affordable housing sector, I would say that it pays great dividends to adopt a green mindset; listen, continuously learn new things, and improve yourself in every area you can at every opportunity.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I maintain a solid work life balance by ensuring that I have firm boundaries between my professional life and my personal life. Beyond that, I make sure to encourage my associates in the organization to maintain healthy boundaries by making time to rest, rejuvenate, and spend quality time with their families. People who have a proper work life balance are happier, healthier, and simply perform better at work. That fact has been established by many published studies.

What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

Although this may seem like a bit of a boring answer, the one piece of technology that helps me the most in my daily routine is definitely my email account. It’s how I communicate with my colleagues and any other people I need to reach in carrying out my duties as Housing Authority Executive Director. I really couldn’t do my job properly without it.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

As a leader in my workplace, one of the more recent challenges that I have overcome is dealing with COVID in the workplace, associate attrition, being constantly short-staffed, as well as maintaining a credo of hiring quality while ensuring consistent premium product delivery and meeting goals and reporting deadlines.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

My role model is my mother who was a teacher and a single parent. She raised four children and never took no for an answer despite all the obstacles and hurdles that came her way. She showed me every day that it is possible to pursue one’s dreams, to never give up or give in provided you put in the hard work and be diligent.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Be humble. Humility costs you nothing and preserves the proper mentality needed for helping those less fortunate. That aspect, as well as maintaining an open mind, is an important part of absorbing new information, adapting to new situations, and learning new skills. Humility also acts as a shield against many less desirable qualities. There is no downside to being humble.

What does success look like to you?

To me, success is being in a position to better the lives of others and to help families achieve their goals of home ownership and education. Home ownership and education are the two main elements that go into opening up a family’s ability to determine their own destiny and future on their own terms. In all my roles within the Affordable Housing industry, this focus has given me joy by seeing others move towards success and become successful.

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