Rachel Blake, Associate Director

Areas of Expertise: Rachel splits her time between strategic organizational initiatives and public policy projects. Current policy projects include: research and mapping trends in efforts to operationalize the Violence Against Women Act in LIHTC and working to increase protections against utility terminations for children & chronically ill Pennsylvanians.



  • 2018 speaker, “Energy Assistance: A Piece of the Economic Justice Puzzle” National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) conference
  • 2017 speaker, “VAWA Implementation and Enforcement in an Age of Uncertainty” Housing Justice Network conference.
  • 2017 speaker, “Collaboration in Technology Projects” National Legal Aid & Defenders Association (NLADA) conference
  • 2011 speaker, “No Place Like Home: Philadelphia’s Approach to Foreclosure Prevention” at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • 2010 co-facilitator, “Foreclosure Mitigation for Practitioners” at the Pennsylvania Housing Alliance’s Homes Within Reach conference
  • 2010 guest lecturer, housing law class at DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois

Honors & Awards:

  • 2018 PLAN Excellence Award.
  • 2010 Distinguished Service Award from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services in Chicago, Illinois, for her work defending homeowners in mortgage foreclosure cases.
  • 2009 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing in Chicago, Illinois, for her work in helping to create a system for mapping and reporting on apartment building foreclosures in Chicago.
  • 2005 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono award for helping to start an anti-predatory lending clinic in Pittsburgh.
  • 2003 member of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Division Leadership Initiative Class of 2003.

Experience and Education: Rachel practiced general real estate and affordable housing and community development law in large and mid-sized Pennsylvania firms for over five years prior to joining RHLS. She has also worked in a legal services office in Chicago, IL representing tenants in foreclosure. Rachel received her JD/MA (urban and regional planning) from the University of Iowa in 2001 and AB in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She earned an MBA in 2007 from The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.