San Rafael, CA — Betty Pagett, who has served as Director of Education and Advocacy for EAH Housing over 15 years, will receive the Unsung Hero Award, presented as part of the 11th Annual Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California’s Leadership Awards Dinner. The NPH Awards Dinner will be held on Wednesday, May 3, beginning at 5pm at the City Club of San Francisco. Pagett was nominated for this distinction by Marin Continuum of Housing and Services for her untiring work in the area of affordable/workplace housing.
“It was an honor to submit Betty’s name for this recognition,” said Jennifer Puff, Executive Director for Marin Continuum of Housing and Services. “She is without question one of the most respected advocates and enthusiastic educators when it comes to affordable housing. Representing EAH locally, regionally and nationally, she is renown for her professionalism and commitment to the entire industry. She is respected nationwide on how to best work within community and governmental constraints.”
Pagett currently serves as the publisher for Keys to Housing, an EAH newspaper that is used by many communities as an educational tool for housing issues. She is known for her work on multi-level community acceptance strategies for EAH and other organizations and is a valuable resource for projects like voter registration and earned income tax credits for low income families. Due to her strong connection to the community, Pagett is instrumental in helping bring in much needed services to disadvantaged residents.
In her early years at EAH, she helped form the Marin Housing Council and has served as its staff since its founding in 1992. As an integral part of this group, she spearheads projects such as working with different Marin jurisdictions on housing elements, planning and coordinating affordable housing week, directing information and referral workshops, representing Marin in the Nine County Network, and other vital advocacy work. Pagett served on the founding board of the nationally recognized group, the Campaign for Affordable Housing in 2002. Also in 2002, Pagett was instrumental in the successful campaign for Proposition 46, a bond measure that would allow increased funding to affordable housing projects.
As EAH’s representative to the Work Force Housing Consortium, Pagett helped with its nationally recognized community education campaign and advocacy. Pagett also represents EAH in such groups as the Urban Land Institute, Urban Ecology, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and NPH’s Legislative Committee. Her role in the community has truly been a link between those who need housing, employers, civic leaders, and those with housing expertise. Her efforts currently focus on building understanding and relationships with diverse groups such as agriculture, environmentalists, realtors, League of Women Voters, tenants’ organizing, the arts and faith community.
Pagett holds a B.A. Degree from University of the Pacific in International Relations and English, and two masters degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She has done a year of study at Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India, and managed a student hostel for International Students in Paris, France. In 1997, her advocacy efforts were recognized with the Beryl Buck Award given by the Marin Community Foundation, honoring her work building inclusive communities.
Over the years, the NPH Affordable Housing Leadership Awards have paid tribute to over 100 individuals and organizations whose work has gone largely unnoticed but who have helped advance affordable housing.