Mission & History

The vision of EAH Housing is of inclusive neighborhoods with thriving socioeconomic and cultural diversity for generations to come, through well-designed affordable housing and a commitment to stewardship and residents’ quality of life through services.

EAH Housing residentsEAH Housing is a non-profit corporation founded with the belief that attractive affordable rental housing is the cornerstone to sustainable, healthy, and livable communities.

Established in 1968, EAH Housing has become one of the largest and most respected nonprofit housing development and management organizations in the western United States. With a staff of over 750, EAH develops affordable housing, manages over 240 properties in California and Hawai‘i, and plays a leadership role in local, regional and national housing advocacy efforts.

Starting from grass-roots origins in response to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., EAH Housing now serves over 25,000 seniors, families, veterans, students, people with special needs,  and the formerly unhoused. Combining award winning design, innovative on-site services and a commitment to people, EAH reflects the distinctive personality of each community.

Affordable housing is a critical issue touching each of us.

From teachers to caregivers and seniors to firefighters – we are all affected by the availability of housing. EAH Housing is committed to maintaining the current supply of affordable rental housing. Properties owned by EAH are designed to be affordable in perpetuity and not to be sold. Unparalleled dedication by EAH Housing staff, board and special funders will continue to bring affordable housing to the many constituencies that compose the unique fabric of our country today.

EAH Housing is dedicated to building communities that enhance the surrounding neighborhoods.

The organization has developed 109 properties with an estimated aggregate development cost of $2.2 billion (current dollars), and manages over 13,000 unit leases in over 97 cities in California and Hawai‘i. EAH has received multiple national awards for property management and design, and numerous commendations from legislators on the federal, state and local levels.

A roof is just the beginning…


“We have inherited a large house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together, black and white, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu—a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

EAH Housing was founded in 1968 to address the needs of low-income families and older adults living in Marin County, California. Originally named the Ecumenical Association for Housing, EAH was organized from grassroots efforts in response to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The organization saw that the need was great and soon outgrew the confines of Marin.

EAH Housing Founder Martin Mackey
EAH Housing Founder Martin Mackey

The 1967 Kerner Report, commissioned by the federal government amidst the riots triggered by the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, underscored the fact that violence and poverty arose from the lack of jobs, education and housing. Martin Mackey, EAH Housing’s founder, noted in a Pacific Sun interview: “When it came time for us to organize EAH, the groundwork for social action had already been done.”

In 1968, a group of concerned citizens came together with the intention to bring about social change through the creation of housing opportunities that would be available to people regardless of income or ethnic background. As stated by an early founder, people “didn’t want to simply be bystanders to the forces of change in the air.”

Soon thereafter a group of 24 organizations, each pledging $200, established what was originally called the “Ecumenical Association for Housing” in a donated office staffed by two capable volunteers. Representatives of many religious, as well as civic organizations played key roles in founding EAH. Several helped to create housing by donating land for affordable developments. Others welcomed low-income people to the community by working to bring affordable housing into their own neighborhoods.

Over the decades, EAH Housing – as the organization is known today – has built a tremendous record of success. Starting from humble origins as a community-based nonprofit, EAH has grown to a full staff of dedicated employees across two states and numerous jurisdictions.

In 2018, EAH Housing celebrated 50 years of dedication to social justice in creating affordable rental housing on behalf of working families, older adults and the many people that comprise the unique fabric of our community today.

Video:  EAH Housing turns 50!

For more detailed information included in our EAH Housing History Book, please contact:
Communications Department, EAH Housing
(415) 258-1800