San Diego Housing Federation Announces New Executive Director

San Diego, CA – The Board of the San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF) is pleased to announce their appointment of Stephen Russell as Executive Director. SDHF is the county’s only organization dedicated to building and preserving homes that are affordable to lower income families, veterans, seniors and those living with mental or physical disability throughout the San Diego region.

A San Diegan since childhood, Mr. Russell’s experience includes public sector, community development and business experience. Most recently he was worked with the architectural firm of Platt/Whitelaw Architects where he led a team on a sustainability plan for North Park Main Street. Previously, he led the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association as Executive Director. While working with then San Diego City Councilmember Toni Atkins, he was instrumental in guiding commercial and affordable housing projects forward, including the North Park Theatre and several apartment communities.

Mr. Russell was a Board member of the City Heights Community Development Corporation and served as Board President for 5 years, leading the organization through a transitional period during the recession to to re-position it as a financially sound entity. In addition to the service with the City Heights CDC, he has served on numerous other boards, including the New School Foundation. Mr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the New School of Architecture; he leads a graduate planning studio for the Sol Price School of Policy at USC.

“The Board of Directors of the San Diego Housing Federation is pleased to welcome Steve Russell as its new Executive Director,” says Mary Jane Jagodzinski, SDHF President and Vice President – Development with Community HousingWorks. “Among the pool of impressive candidates that we interviewed, the Board saw in Steve the leadership experience, talent for finding common ground among diverse stakeholder groups, and the strong commitment to housing for working families. He understands the nexus between community development, land use, and the economic vitality of a region, with affordable housing as a necessary component sustaining the business climate of San Diego.”

“I am thrilled to accept this position and to work with the Federation’s members and partners to increase housing opportunities for the region’s low-income households while promoting thriving, livable communities throughout the region. Even more, I am delighted to be working with the broad community of colleagues and mentors with whom I have collaborated in many capacities for many years to further the goals of the organization,” said Steve Russell.

Steve Russell formally assumed the position with the San Diego Housing Federation on December 15, 2015.