EAH Housing Annual Advocacy Evening 2016
Home, From Which All Things Grow: Advocacy event celebrating the early roots of EAH Housing features a special presentation of President and CEO Mary Murtagh’s 30th Anniversary with the organization.
March 23, 2016
Tiburon, CA — At the EAH Housing Annual Advocacy Evening this year, leading figures in affordable housing took on the topics of political will, capital, advocacy and land in a dynamic panel discussion on how just a few committed individuals can make a big difference in the affordable housing industry.
More than 200 guests attended the event, including many EAH Housing supporters and partners who continue to collaborate diligently despite the complexities and difficulties that often surround developing affordable housing. Despite the complications, the rewards are momentous. Stories were shared about the early beginnings of EAH and how the organization now serves new regions and promotes initiatives such as stewardship, green energy, nutrition and conservation.
The lively discussion was moderated by Doug Ferguson, the first elected President of the EAH Board of Directors. Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey, Merritt Community Capital Corporation President Barney Deasy, EAH Housing Board of Directors Chair Judy Binsacca, and EAH Housing President and CEO Mary Murtagh were the featured panelists.
“I’m thrilled to be celebrating the birth of EAH and the first 48 years of its inspiring work. Having been there at the dawning, my suddenly catching up on those dazzling accomplishments is like going to my child’s first birthday party, only to discover that he or she has suddenly grown up and is now heading the United Nations— with more grateful friends and admirers than most of us can even dream of creating in our lifetime!” Ferguson said.
The evening’s discussion provided topical insight into community acceptance and education from the perspective of both government and local advocates, along with an explanation of the complex financial puzzle that surrounds both rehabilitation and new construction projects.
There was also a surprise planted into the evening’s program: a celebration of Mary Murtagh’s 30th Anniversary with EAH Housing! The festivities included an inspiring video, followed by a champagne toast with special commendations, and finally a heartfelt poem from past board member and friend, Mark Buell.
“The need for affordable housing has reached an extreme stage in California and Hawaii. People cannot make it when their housing costs are at 70% of their income! Hardworking people are leaving their jobs to move far away, rather than have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries. Retirees are being evicted from homes they have occupied for many years. Local businesses are finding it hard to find and retain employees. Local governments are finally coming under pressure to solve a problem that has been building up over decades. And meanwhile, we are losing our diversity, our teachers, and our young people in increasing numbers,” said Mary Murtagh, President and CEO of EAH Housing. “Everyone needs and deserves housing that is safe, sustainable and affordable. But we must act! The partnerships between federal, state and county governments along with private entities can really help our people.”
EAH Housing, together with housing advocates and political colleagues throughout the west, views affordable housing as a critical social resource that is too valuable to lose. Affordable housing provides a stable home for working people, older adults, low-income families, veterans and persons with disabilities, creating an opportunity for a better life while stabilizing communities and benefiting the environment.
About EAH Housing
Established in 1968, EAH Housing is one of the largest and most respected nonprofit housing development and management organizations in the western United States. EAH develops low-income housing, manages over 100 properties in California and Hawaii, and plays a leadership role in local, regional and national housing advocacy efforts.
For more information on EAH Housing visit www.eahhousing.org.