Housing Assistance’s new chief of staff has seen how the Cape and Islands housing crisis has affected her friends and neighbors, and it fuels her passion to address the housing crisis.

Marissa Cyr

Melissa Cyr, Housing Assistance Chief of Staff

Marissa Cyr grew up in Truro and moved back to the Cape in 2016 after beginning her career in Cambridge. She and her wife lived with family for a year and saved for a down payment to buy a home in Brewster. They were lucky to buy when they did, Cyr said.

“I see a lot of my peers who were starting to think about purchasing, then COVID happened, and it’s basically not attainable for them anymore,” she said. “If you aren’t already in the market, it’s almost impossible to get in unless you have substantial means behind you.”

Cyr comes to Housing Assistance from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® (CCIAOR), where she was the chief operating officer.

“I’ve seen the impacts of the rise in the cost of housing over the last few years and how that’s affecting people’s ability to live here and stay here,” she said. “Like many people, I’m concerned about what that means for the future of our region. I’m committed to being part of the solutions to addressing those challenges.”

Cyr joined the Housing Assistance team in this newly created position in March. At Housing Assistance, her responsibilities will include providing project management support to the CEO and leading human resources initiatives. Cyr will work with the senior leadership team to ensure organizational goals are advanced.

“I’ve had the chance to work closely with Marissa during her time at the REALTORS® association, and she is a consummate professional with a great attention to detail,” said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta. “I know she has the skills and temperament to advance our goals at Housing Assistance and I’m honored to have her working by my side.”

Cyr started at the CCIAOR in 2016 as the director of association services and operations and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2019. As COO, she oversaw general operations and worked collaboratively with all departments to ensure the organization was fulfilling its strategic initiatives and meeting its members’ needs.

Cyr graduated from Nauset Regional High School and received a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College and a masters in management from Simmons College. Prior to joining CCIAOR, she worked in operations management for a nonprofit biotech company in Cambridge.

During her time at CCIAOR, Cyr was able to develop her skills in organizational management and leadership. “I think I’ll be able to bring that to Housing Assistance and help support the team and help drive strategic initiatives and priorities,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

When not working, she and her wife, Devin McGuire, enjoy walking in Nickerson State Park and going to the beach with their young son. “We love the natural beauty of Cape Cod, which is the big reason we wanted to come back and start a family here,” she said.