Shanellah Verna

Tel 202.661.7684
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Shanellah Verna represents public housing authorities, owners, and developers of affordable rental housing throughout the nation. She advises clients on transactions involving public housing conversions through HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, mixed-finance development, low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, and various government and other financing sources. She also provides regulatory advice concerning compliance with HUD program requirements, fair housing, procurement, and labor standards.

Shanellah's practice also involves representing mortgage lenders providing loans to multifamily projects insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, she interned with the District of Columbia Housing Authority in the Office of the General Counsel.

Shanellah is also a frequent contributor to the firm's Housing Plus blog.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

Board Member At-Large, George Washington University Law School Association of Black Law Alumni (ABLA)


Co-author, "Disparate Impact One Year After Inclusive Communities," Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, Fall 2016

Co-author, "Northern Texas District Court Dismisses Fair Housing Disparate Impact Claim," Ballard Spahr alert, September 1, 2016

Co-author, "DOJ Reaches $145,000 Settlement Over Access of Emotional Support Animal to University Housing," Ballard Spahr alert, January 7, 2016 

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Taking Advantage of HOTMA Reforms," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 20, 2018

Moderator, "Innovative Ways PHAs Use Section-3", Ballard Spahr's 2017 Housing Authority Summit, Washington, D.C. November 2, 2017

The George Washington University Law School (J.D. 2015)
Student Attorney, GWU Law Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic
U.S. Rapporteur, International Law in Domestic Courts Academic Journal

University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 2009)


Haitian Creole (fluent)

Spanish (proficient)

New York

District of Columbia