Nicole is the Assistant Commissioner and Senior Advisor for Housing & Support Services at DVS. She has twenty years of experience in homeless and low-income housing policy work, most recently helping to lead the effort to end veteran homelessness in NYC.
Since joining DVS, Branca has developed a three-pronged program model to help homeless veterans find and maintain affordable housing: a peer-to-peer program that partners veterans with an advocate to support them through each step of the housing process; a Housing Coordination Center that collaborates with owners to manage vacancy referrals; and an aftercare and eviction prevention system. Branca also leads efforts to develop a new rental subsidy program for disconnected veterans, co-administered with the NYC Housing Authority. She currently co-chairs the citywide Veterans Task Force, a committee of government and nonprofit partners working together to increase the resources needed to achieve and maintain functional zero for homeless veterans in NYC.
Before joining DVS, Branca was Deputy Executive Director at the Supportive Housing Network of New York, a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. During this time, Branca also co-chaired the NYC Continuum of Care (CoC), overseeing $100 million in federal homeless housing funding and leading the CoC in several strategic initiatives to meet federal regulations and increase homeless housing funding for NYC. This included receiving over $20 million for new permanent supportive housing units, launching the City's first official homeless youth count, developing and funding a pilot rapid rehousing program, and the creation of the CoC Veterans Task Force and the Coordinated Assessment steering committee.
Branca is a proud AmeriCorps alumna. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Babson College and her MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).