About Us

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Mass Union is a nonprofit run by tenants for tenants. Our mission is to preserve and improve public housing across the state. We are union of Local Tenant Organizations and we are growing fast.

The problems tenants face locally and statewide are significant. In state public housing, decades of deferred maintenance and underfunding have led to an $8.5 billion backlog of capital needs.

Mass Union believes that those most impacted by a problem should play a leading role in solving it. We are led by tenants who live the problems of public housing 24/7. We provide training, technical assistance, and direct support for individual tenants and Local Tenant Organizations so that tenants have a seat and speak with one voice at decision-making tables.

Advocates estimate that we need 190,000 more units of affordable housing to address the housing crisis in Massachusetts. Mass Union is here to make sure we preserve the precious public housing that we already have. Click here to donate and help us raise our voices to preserve and improve public housing in Massachusetts. Thank you for your support!


Mass Union’s board is made up entirely of public housing residents.

Dave Underhill, Chair, Fall River
Donald Hamilton, Vice Chair, Fall River
Maryanne Potrzuski, Secretary, Warren
Sonia Andujar, Treasurer, Cambridge
Danielle Connolly, Assistant Treasurer, Stoneham

Nicole Beckles, Director, Boston
Bret Perkins, Director, Quincy
Jessica Quinonez, Director, Springfield
Carol Roberts, Director, Brockton


Sarah Byrnes, Executive Director
Ben Echevarria, Director of Organizing
Lisa Copeland, Program & Office Coordinator

History and Philosophy

Founded by public housing residents in 1967 and incorporated in 1971, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants is the oldest statewide public housing tenants’ organization in the nation. Born from a sense of frustration and hopelessness, fed by a need for justice, basic human rights and decent living conditions, the Union now grows in the knowledge that information, perseverance and community strength can create a decent future, pride in one’s community and the understanding that individuals united together for a just cause can affect and change any situation.

We believe that public housing developments can be communities to be proud of. Until the day when affordable housing is the right for all, public housing must be maintained as a precious resource.

Public housing residents have the intelligence and commitment to be active partners in the management of their developments, and active tenant involvement is essential for creating positive public housing communities.  We believe that while maintaining independence, tenant organizations and management can build relationships of mutual respect and cooperation, and that working together they can eliminate the unfair stigma under which public housing suffers.