Building Homes and Neighborhoods Since 1975

SWAP Founder Berta Philips

Remembering Berta


Our Mission

SWAP, Inc. (Stop Wasting Abandoned Property) is a private non-profit community development corporation committed to providing affordable housing opportunities for persons of low and moderate income, revitalizing urban neighborhoods and building new communities.

Building homes and neighborhoods since 1975.

Our History

In 1975, when urban neighborhoods across the country were being blighted by fires and the exodus of residents to the suburbs, a pioneering group of residents in Providence formed SWAP to stop the fires and reverse the blight. 

Led by the determined and ultimate neighborhood organizer Berta Phillips, one house, then one street, then one neighborhood were reclaimed by an innovative homesteading program that brought a home buyer and a house in need of rehabilitation together. With limited government subsidy and loans from local banks, over 1,000 houses became homes and the neighborhood fabric of Providence was salvaged.

Today SWAP continues to transform neighborhoods.  Through historic restoration and new construction, SWAP creates affordable rental apartments and homes for sale. SWAP's current focus is on the development of mixed-use residential and commercial spaces and creating newly vibrant commercial corridors.


Board of Directors


Miguel Quezada

Community Member since 2017

Fabiola Brunache

Community Member since 2020


Jeff Austin

Community Member since 2001

Vice President

Peter Bortolotti

Community Member since 2001

Graham Kilvert

Professional Advisory Member since 2007


Rosetta Clark Brooks

Community Member since 2004


Richardson Ogidon

Community Member since 1995

John Prince

Community Member since 2004


Nancy Whit

Professional Advisory Member since 1975

Angelica Rivera

Community Member since 2017

Interested in getting involved?

SWAP Board of Director positions are open to community residents, business owners, and professionals who are familiar with and support affordable housing.

Contact Carla DeStefano, Executive Director

Meet the Staff

Carla DeStefano

Executive Director
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Marilyn Carlson

Senior Deputy Director
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Ami Awad

Director of Programs
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Rose Kolawole

Senior Development Associate
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Carol Varden

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Wilnor Isaac

Maintenance and Special Projects

Bob Simons

Development Associate, Construction
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Dorys Breton

Customer Service / Administration
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Kenneth Dominguez

Development Assistant
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Emily Varden

Customer Service / Intake
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Gary Charpentier

Design and Construction
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April Wolf

Development / Research
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Dolores Ricci-Norcott

CPA / Accountant
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