Affordable Housing Rock Stars of 2019!

11 Dec

During MHCH’s “Affordable Housing Rocks” celebration in November, 2019, we gave Rock Star Awards to the following individuals:

Phil Burns:  Phil has been part of GPAHG for years, especially in helping to do research for ADUs-by creating a comparative analysis of streets with many ADU to adjacent streets with no ADUs (looking at crime, traffic, parking, property values, visibility). This year he has again jumped into housing justice work with his whole heart, mind and soul to ensure that GPAHG had solid research so that we could advocate for 20% or even 25% set aside for our inclusionary policy. He not only attended our weekly inclusionary meetings, he also met with key city staff and elected leaders to share this research.  God was stirring in his heart as well as in Jill’s heart to start a Church Land Committee, whereby churches may consider building affordable housing on their property. He has shown superb leadership and today chairs that committee. This team (Andre White-a Harvard trained affordable housing developer, Hugh Martinez, with 16 years of affordable housing development experiences, Cynthia Kurtz, an ex-city manager for Pasadena and John Oh-a pastor who now works with LA Voice also seeking find churches interested in building affordable housing on church land) has already has met with a number of interested churches to begin this discussion, and determine what is feasible on their land and to help them to walk down the path of building affordable housing on their property should God so lead.

Dan Davidson. Pastor Dan, of the Rose City Church, has been very faithful in his role as chair of Pasadena’s Partnership to End Homelessness Faith Community Committee and has encouraged people to embrace advocacy along with providing services. He has been extremely supportive of GPAHG and has spoken at several Housing Justice Institutes on the best practices to end homelessness. He understands the value of the Housing First model, and why permanent supportive housing is what ends homelessness.

Teresa Eilers: In her short time working with Everyone In (United Way) has already shown a tremendous understanding of housing justice and how to be an effective organizer. With love and great talent, she has connected with the key players and elected leaders in the San Gabriel Valley. She has helped to organize successful events such as the Homeless to Housed Bus Tours. In addition to being a superb organizer, she is a good listener and an articulate speaker.

Blair Miller:  Blair is a tireless affordable housing developer and advocateShe consistently shows up at the City Council and now serves on the Planning Commission, always supporting policies and zoning needed to make affordable housing happen. She came up with the idea of continuing our past efforts of hosting Homeless to Housed bus tours, which help to dispelling myths about affordable housing, by enabling key leaders to get inside beautiful affordable housing, see how it transforms communities and lives. This year she helped she created a team to plan two more highly successful Homeless to Housed Bus Tour.  In recent years, she also played a very significant role in our efforts on North Fair Oaks by deploying a team to create focus groups, who helped to identifying specific things like cross walks, signage, fixing broken sidewalks and “Complete Streets” plan to slow traffic—and how to get these things done.

 Anne Marie Molina. She was homeless as a teen. Today she is married, with five children and dealing with a life-threatening disease. Her commitment to housing justice goes back to when she helped to save hundreds of people from foreclosure by giving them home loan modifications. When she decided to build an ADU for her motherinlaw(a granny flat for granny) she turned a challenging situation into an opportunity to help others. She joined GPAHG and began to learn how to be an advocate. She has involved her family, including her daughter Lili, in housing justice work. She has created a team to learn all they could about ADUs, how to create a prototype to lower the cost and streamline the application process.  She and her team have become involved in advocacy at the local and state level. She has truly become a housing justice rock star.

Liliana Molina. At age 15 she has demonstrated commitment and leadership beyond her years, advocating for housing justice at the City Council, meeting with elected officials, and involving her friends in this work. She has served as an assistant to Jill and as an intern in the Pasadena Housing Department. She recently started an Advocacy Club at her school.

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