In Memoriam: Timothy L. O’Connell, Esq.

Timothy O’Connell, a lifelong advocate for Californians and affordable housing, passed away this month. Tim served on the San Diego Housing Federation Board of Directors. He was Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy at Century Housing and had also served on the boards of Housing California, Century Villages of Cabrillo, Los Angeles Business Council, and the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies. Tim had a brilliant mind for policy and his expertise was an enormous asset to the people and organizations fortunate enough to work with him. His dedication and commitment to the issues he cared about have made California a better place and countless families are better off because of the work he did. He will be greatly missed.

Tim O’Connell, our beloved friend and colleague, passed away on July 4. Tim was our shining light, a great storyteller, and a tireless advocate seeking social justice for the less fortunate. While we mourn his loss, we are so very thankful that we had the opportunity to know and work with him for close to 19 years.

Tim’s service at Century began in the spring of 1999, and as Director, Policy and Advocacy, he was responsible for representing the interests of Century, its affiliates, partners and clients at the federal, state and local levels, including matters relating to funding, regulation, and oversight. Tim was Century’s primary liaison with elected representatives, legislative staff, and administrative officials in his on-going effort to assure that affordable housing and related issues received the necessary legislative and financial support.

In addition to his service with Century, Tim served on various boards and committees dedicated to increasing the supply of critically needed affordable housing throughout the State of California, including the San Diego Housing Foundation, Housing California, Los Angeles Business Council, California Housing Consortium, the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies, and LA Family Housing.

Before his arrival at Century, Tim served as Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission, the City’s public housing agency. In that position, he provided policy support to the CEO and Board of Commissioners, as well as serving as primary liaison between that agency and the Mayor and City Council. Tim also served Maureen O’Connor during her term as Mayor of the City of San Diego as Director of Program Development for Growth & Development.

Tim received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, attended the Graduate Program in City Planning at San Diego State University, and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a bachelor degree in geography and economics.

Tim was a longtime advocate of social justice and committed his life in service to others. With his passing, the affordable housing community has lost one of its strongest and most effective voices.

Tim had many interests and causes that he supported throughout his life. Two of his favorites were the public library system (where he was one of their most frequent borrowers) and the educational and social needs of underprivileged children. In recognition of Tim’s deep fondness for these causes, the family suggests that any tributes in Tim’s memory be made to either of the following:

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles,
630 West 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Oasis Community Center,
2001 River Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90810

LISC Sponsored Roundtable Series Presents: Legislative Updates from Sacramento

School is out for summer, but the work doesn’t stop during recess! Come hear from our state representatives in the Assembly and Senate as they share updates from the capitol on housing legislation and other priorities. Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Senator Toni Atkins are confirmed to speak and will be joined from other capitol insiders to discuss the outlook at the halfway point of the legislative session.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Registration: 8:30 – 9:00 AM
Program: 9:00 – 11:00 AM

San Diego Housing Commission
1122 Broadway, 5th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

$25 Members/ $35 Non-Members
Registration Now!

RSSN – June 22, 2017 Trauma Informed Services and Community Building (TICB)

On June 22nd, 35 service providers joined us for an informative presentation and interactive discussion on Trauma Informed Community Building (TICB) at The San Diego Foundation.

Steve Russell welcomed our members to the 4th workshop in the 2017 Resident Services Training Series. This series is designed to provide specialized and foundational training for professionals in the field of Resident Services within Affordable Housing.

Our first presenter, Barry Pollard, the founder of Urban Collaborative Project, introduced to our members trauma and resilience. He has helped educators, law enforcement, mental health professionals and community leaders understand trauma and how to identify signs of it in the residents and populations they serve. Staff learned how trauma affects daily interaction with community residents, and especially school aged children.

Next, Rafael Monroy, STEP Center Resident Services Coordinator at John Adams Manor/PJAM, shared evidence of incorporating trauma-informed principles as a TICB practitioner. Rafael shared his experience working in a challenging low income neighborhood with a history of violence, gangs and murders.

Our third presenter was Adrienne Markworth, Executive Director of Leah’s Pantry. Lean’s Pantry supports healthy, sustained behavior changes with innovate programs, builds a capacity of partner organizations, and develops cutting-edge tools that leverage technology and incorporate community perspective. For example on, members will be able to access 400+ recipes, meal plans, and direct education (self-pace online course in English and Spanish). She shared her own TICB experience and specific examples of incorporating trauma-informed principles into nutrition and food security work in poor, elderly and immigrant communities.

The Federation would like to give Adrienne a special thank you for incorporating her own practice and preparing healthy snacks in the morning for our members.

Soon after, the staff had time to break out into small groups and discussed how to overcome barriers to engagement, participation and program development that lead to successful outcomes. They discussed what they were currently doing to better their resident’s health and had time to write a new Plan of Action that would be implemented at their sites.

Staff gained knowledge of existing TICB support systems to help improve the daily outcomes of their roles in Community Building. At the end of the training, attendees had a better understanding of TICB and specific principles that help build residential communities.

CLICK (link: ) to review PowerPoint from the RSSN TICB training.

Weekly Brief – June 28, 2017

Action Alert: Call Your Assemblymember
Flood the phones of your district offices starting today!

Don’t let the California Legislature put off funding for affordable housing for another year. Starting today, we ask that you call and tweet your assemblymember to tell them to support SB 2 and AB 71 before summer recess. Call and tweet every day. Share with your coworkers, family, and friends and urge their participation in this action. Your advocacy will make a different in supporting affordable homes across California.

Step 1: Find your district
Enter your home address here to find your assemblymember. Then call the member’s Capitol office. Capitol numbers (members listed alphabetically).

Step 2: Call
Use this sample script to make the call easier. Feel free to add your own context to describe the crisis.

Step 3: Tweet
Use these instructions to tweet all week. Share and re-tweet as much as possible.

 California Housing Partnership and San Diego Housing Federation Present:
Strategies for Expiring and At Risk Affordable Housing in San Diego County

San Diego County needs 142,052 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest-income renters. Compounding upon this deficit, over 1,900 rent assisted homes have been lost in the County since 1995. Today, renters need to earn more than 3 times the local minimum wage to afford the median asking rent of $1,940 in San Diego County. San Diego County’s lowest-income renters now spend 69% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs. While these renters struggle to make ends meet, the County is at-risk of losing more than 1,800 affordable homes in the next five years.

At this special event, Danielle Mazzella, Housing Data Analyst with the California Housing Partnership, will present detailed information on at-risk affordable housing throughout San Diego County. Following the presentation, Anne Wilson, Senior Vice President with Community HousingWorks, will lead a series of questions on the data findings. Workshop attendees will be invited to discuss best practices and policy solutions to preserve these affordable homes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Registration: 1:15 – 1:30 PM
Program: 1:30 – 3:00 PM

The San Diego Foundation
Raymond Executive Board Room
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106

This event is free of charge. Space is limited.


Save the Date
LISC Sponsored Roundtable Series Presents:
Legislative Updates from Sacramento

School is out for summer, but the work doesn’t stop during recess! Come hear from our state representatives in the Assembly and Senate as they share updates from the capitol on housing legislation and other priorities. Assemblymember Todd Gloria is confirmed to speak and will be joined from other capitol insiders to discuss the outlook at the halfway point of the legislative session.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Registration: 8:30 – 9:00 AM
Program: 9:00 – 11:00 AM

San Diego Housing Commission
1122 Broadway, 5th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

$25 Members/ $35 Non-Members

Registration Coming Soon!

Workshop Proposals – Deadline Extended to Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Annual Affordable Housing and Community Development Conference

Call for Workshop Proposals – Deadline Extended!

San Diego Housing Federation’s annual Affordable Housing & Community Development Conference brings together more than 350 developers, builders, architects, lenders, property managers, service providers, elected and agency officials and staff, community and business leaders to share innovative approaches to affordable housing, community, and economic development. We invite you to share your expertise with us at this conference as a workshop presenter or convener.

This year’s conference will focus on the topic: Standing Firm on Shifting Sands: New Ideas for Challenging Times

To the degree possible, workshops should focus on responses to recent changes in the social and political environment; these include increasing housing instability for a growing number of individuals and families and addressing uncertainty of programs that have long supported affordable housing and community development. In these changing times, what forward-thinking solutions can be examined to preserve the positive impact affordable homes have on human health, families, financial mobility or children’s educational outcomes; or its role as a driver of economic growth, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization?

Workshop Tracks and Guidelines Information

Workshop Application

All workshop proposals are due to Sarah Mirabelli on Friday, June 23, 2017.


Workshops should be designed for 1 hour and 15 minute duration. You must designate the last 10 minutes of your session for Q and A.

  • Moderators need to just moderate and not be one of the presenters themselves
  • No more than four total panelists (3 presenters and one moderator).
  • Speakers or panelists must register at a reduced speaker rate if they are attending any part of the conference in addition to their workshop. Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.
  • All presentations/handouts will be posted online and will need to be received by August 4, 2017 to be online ahead of time.
  • Sessions need to be well rounded and present multiple perspectives, if necessary. Sessions designed to sell or promote one company’s product will not be accepted.

 Workshop conveners will be notified of acceptance by July 21, 2017.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – Pre-Conference Institutes
Thursday, October 26, 2017 – Conference

San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
333 W Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

For more information on the Conference, visit us here.

Please contact Sarah with any questions.

New CHPC Reports Show Depth & Impact of Housing Shortfall in San Diego


New Reports Show Depth and Impact of Housing Shortfall
in Five Southern California Counties

Today, the California Housing Partnership released the final installment of its 2017 Housing Needs Assessment series, describing the affordable housing crisis facing lower-income renters in five Southern California counties: Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

For more info, click HERE.

Key findings from San Diego include:

  • Cuts in federal and state funding, including elimination of State Redevelopment, have reduced investment in a ordable housing production and preservation in San Diego County by nearly $124 million annually since 2008, a 69% reduction.
  • Median rent in San Diego County has increased 36% since 2000 while median renter household income has increased only 4%, when adjusted for inflation.
  • Renters need to earn more than 3 times local minimum wage to afford the median asking rent of $1,940 in San Diego County.
  • San Diego County’s lowest-income renters spend 69% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs.
  • When housing costs are considered, San Diego County’s poverty rate rises from 13.9% to 20.8%.
  • San Diego County needs 142,052 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest-income renters.

Policy solutions recommended by the San Diego Housing Federation include:

  • Adopt local revenue sources to leverage state and federal resources to finance the construction and preservation of affordable homes, similar to those recently passed in other California jurisdictions.
  • Maximize the use of public lands for affordable housing and require affordable housing as a component of development on public lands located near transit.
  • Enact local programs to incentivize the development of affordable homes as a part of new development, including the City of San Diego’s Affordable Homes Density Bonus Program.
  • Fully implement inclusionary ordinances and related in-lieu fees, commercial linkage fees, and SRO replacement ordinances.
  • Make San Diego more competitive for state Cap-and-Trade funds by including affordable housing in all local TOD (transit-oriented development) policies, including Climate Action Plans and SANDAG’s Smart Growth Plan.
  • Identify local resources that can be matched with state No Place Like Home funds to create permanent supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.


Register Today! LISC Roundtable: The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program

LISC Roundtable Series Presents:
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program

Bringing Statewide Resources to the San Diego Region

The Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program provides grants and affordable housing loans for compact transit-oriented development and related infrastructure and programs that reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Since 2014, the San Diego region has received over $27 million from the AHSC program for the development of transit-oriented affordable housing. Senior SGC staff will present updates on the AHSC program and engage in a dialogue about program objectives and making competitive applications.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Registration: 8:30 – 9:00 AM
Program: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

The San Diego Foundation
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106

$25 Members/ $35 Non-Members

Register Now!

Ruby Awards – SOLD OUT


We are SOLD OUT!

2017 Ruby Awards

One of SDHF’s signature events, the annual Ruby Awards is the county’s largest affordable housing industry recognition event honoring the best people, projects, and achievements during the past year. Every year, hundreds of housing and community leaders from across the region and around the state will be on hand to applaud winners in more than a dozen categories and be inspired by their achievements.

2017 Ruby Awards will held be on Thursday, June 1, 2017
at the Prado in Balboa Park

Registration and Reception — 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Awards Program and Dinner — 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The Ruby Awards recognize excellence in affordable housing and community development, highlighting the accomplishments of people, agencies and developments that work to ensure all San Diegans, regardless of income, have a safe, stable place they can afford to call home.

No Place Like Home Program Comments Task Group

Register Now!

Wednesday, May 24
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

San Diego Foundation, Hoffman Room
2508 Historic Decatur Road
Hoffman Room
San Diego, CA 92106

Guidelines for the implementation of the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program have been released by the California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD).

Comments to HCD are due May 30th, so the San Diego Housing is convening a task group of stakeholders to share their understanding of the program and suggestions regarding implementation.

We would like to have the benefit of stakeholders from different sectors to help us best represent our region’s concerns in our comments to HCD and, to the extent possible, coordinate some of our responses.

A draft agenda for the working session will be forthcoming.

This will be a brown bag affair, so feel free to bring your lunch. Coffee and water will be provided. Ample parking is available for free.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Nunn or Stephen Russell.

Outstanding Resident Leader

This award recognizes an individual residing in affordable housing in our region who, over the past year, has played an important role in promoting the creation of more affordable housing and/or enhancing how affordable housing improves the lives of residents and local communities. This individual is someone who has promoted the cause of affordable housing through advocacy with elected or appointed officials or bodies; by educating and mobilizing neighbors; and/or by serving as a spokesperson for affordable housing with the media or other public outlets. Please be sure to describe what specific actions this individual has taken to become an exemplary resident leader. Please include any extra insight as to why this person should be more deserving than others. What makes this person special or unique?

The Nominees Are:

Angela Nugent

Angela has demonstrated resilience, strength, and devotion as an affordable housing advocate for her family and seniors. She participated in the Community Leadership Institute in Ohio and was part of the Community HousingWork’s Resident Popular Educator training in 2016 where she learned to effectively communicate with legislators. Most recently, Angela utilized these skills by sharing her story on the importance of affordable housing in Sacramento at Housing California’s Lobby Day and Conference. She demonstrated the potential impact of community residents to change public policy on behalf of themselves, neighbors and communities. 

Miriam Rodriguez

Miriam is dedicated to helping families that struggle to maintain housing every day. She is a full-time volunteer at her children’s local school and is driven to empower communities in need. It is her personal commitment to have San Diegans live peacefully, feel loved and respected, and have access to a safe and affordable home. She has participated in various resident leadership trainings, learning how to effectively communicate with legislators. She has traveled statewide to bring awareness to the housing crisis in San Diego and has made it a personal goal to eliminate homelessness and address housing shortages in San Diego. Miriam is a fierce advocate of housing advocacy efforts and is staying involved at the local and state level.

Elizabeth Reyes

Elizabeth Reyes is a force of nature. As one of the first members of San Diego’s Resident Popular Educators, she continues to attend resident trainings and continues to be passionate about helping her community. Elizabeth was trained on how to tell her story and effectively communicate with legislators about key policy initiatives. She has written letters, spoken at in-district meetings with local representatives and attended Lobby Day twice. Every week she helps with the Community ESL program and has assisted with Spanish translation and reaching out to inform residents about the ESL program.

Margo Velez

Margo Velez is a resident leader at MAAC’s President John Adams Manor (PJAM) in the Oak Park community of San Diego. She is the glue of her community. She always has a smile on her face and is always pleased to give neighbors a moment of her day to build and strengthen her community. She is a key leader in the Resident Core Team at PJAM and helps with the food bank and other community events there. She also has grown into a key leader in San Diego’s Residents United Network and is a powerful force for change.