Throughout my career, as lawyer and a teacher, I have been committed to improving access to opportunity. I was drawn to Klein Hornig by the skill and content-area expertise of its lawyers, and its mission of supporting strong communities through built spaces. I like contributing my legal skills to developing permanent housing and livable spaces for families all over the country.

Michelle Shortsleeve represents for-profit and nonprofit developers constructing affordable housing and community development projects in Massachusetts and nationwide. She advises clients on real estate matters, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) structuring and bond-financing, State and local funding, and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) financing and regulatory issues, including 202 Capital Advance (202), Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI), and Mixed-Finance Public Housing program transactions.

Known as a positive and responsive problem-solver, Michelle adds value by finding creative ways to bring local, state, federal, and private funding sources together and through closing. Ensuring that tax credits flow appropriately and are deliverable in full and on time, Michelle helps clients navigate complicated, multilayered financing and regulatory requirements. Michelle enjoys building strong working relationships with all deal parties, and advising on matters in various regions of the country.

  • Represented a nonprofit affiliated with a housing authority in a joint venture with a for-profit development company to rehabilitate the historic Moby Dick building in downtown New Bedford into two commercial spaces and 45 residential units, including 32 LIHTC units and 13 MHFA Workforce Housing units.
  • Represented a non-profit national developer in a joint-venture with a local senior-housing nonprofit, to construct an 80-unit LIHTC project with all units reserved for elderly residents with incomes at or below 50% of area median income, outside Cleveland Ohio.
  • Represented a for-profit national developer in a joint venture with a local nonprofit to develop a 137-unit affordable building (including one manager's unit) in Los Angeles, California. The project was constructed on an affiliated project’s excess land, by means of a ground lease, and qualified for a property-tax exemption through the nonprofit partnership.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Development, Member
  • Arlington Housing Plan Implementation Committee, Arlington, MA, Appointed Member

Community Affiliations

  • Arlington, Massachusetts, Housing Plan Implementation Committee, 2020-2021


  • Challenging Growth-Restrictive Zoning in Massachusetts on a Disparate Impact Theory, 27 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 361 (2018)

  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Yale University, M.A., Urban Education
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., cum laude


Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

I love being outside and particularly enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing.