Thursday, May 13, 2010

Green Affordable Advocacy: Challenges and Opportunities

With a multitude of new Federal and State funding packages for greener, more energy efficient housing, it can be challenging to keep it all straight. The affordable housing sector represents a largely untapped potential for greening initiatives, presenting opportunities to improve comfort for occupants and reduce costs for developers while curbing harmful greenhouse gasses. Because of the financial parameters of affordable housing, it can be difficult to channel funding from larger greening initiatives to the affordable housing sector, and this task often requires advocacy to funders and key partners. Come learn about the plethora of funds available, and how you can join efforts to make these funds more accessible to your projects

Marilyn Wacks, Community Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC)
As Housing Policy Manager, Marilyn Wacks leads CHPC’s outreach and advocacy activities, working in collaboration with nonprofit, tenant and government partners to improve housing policy and funding, with a focus on Federal housing policy. Prior to joining CHPC, Marilyn served as Special Assistant to Congressman Tom Lantos in his San Mateo district office, focusing on housing, commerce, environment and human rights. Marilyn has extensive private sector experience in marketing, strategic planning, and technology process implementation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Notre Dame de Namur University and a certification in Conflict Resolution from Foothill College.

Narisha Bonakdar, CHPC
Narisha Bonakdar joined CHPC in 2010. As the Sustainable Housing Campaign Coordinator, she assists the Housing Policy Manager and President in managing the Greening Rental Housing Equity Campaign.

Prior to joining CHPC, Narisha worked as the Policy and Development Specialist for Housing California where she managed the New Solar Homes Partnership Affordable Housing Outreach Campaign and worked on development, green building, and environmental quality legislation. She also worked as a Legislative Analyst for the Public Employees Retirement System.
Narisha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a Masters in Business Administration.
Dan Adams, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing
Dan Adams is a Senior Project Manager at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing where he supervises the construction and design of affordable housing and serves as departmental lead for green building policy. A licensed architect, Dan has over 15 years experience in the design, construction, and development of affordable housing. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Dan was a project manager with Resources for Community Development, a Berkeley-based regional affordable housing developer, and was a Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellow at Asian Neighborhood Design where he started the organization’s Community Planning Program. Dan is a graduate of the University of Texas’ honors liberal arts program, and holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nehemia Stone, Benningfield Group
Mr. Stone is an energy consultant at the Benningfield Group, with primary interests in the fields of multifamily housing, affordable housing, efficiency program design, energy policy, and codes and standards. In the 1970s and ‘80s, he was a licensed contractor, the Chief Building Inspector for Humboldt County, CA., and an instructor of passive solar design at the local community college. He joined the CEC in 1989 to work on residential building standards and in 1994 became a Special Adviser to the CEC Chair. In 1998, he went into the consulting world where he designed, launched and ran California’s first utility funded multifamily new construction energy efficiency program. He has consulted on multifamily issues with most of California’s larger utilities, the CEC, the CPUC, and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee for over ten years, including leading the effort to develop the California Utility Allowance Calculator. He has served on several advisory committees for affordable and multifamily housing including for the CEC’s New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), the Statewide Hot Water Professional Advisory Group, ACEEE’s Hot Water Forum steering committee, and the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program development group.

Heather Larson, StopWaste.Org
Heather Larson joined’s Green Building Program in 2008, and manages consultant contracts for residential green building program development. She contributes technical expertise to green building guidelines and design assistance projects, and to energy cost-effectiveness studies that inform local policy and green building program thresholds. Current responsibilities include over sight of consultant contracts for the development of GreenPoint Rated for Multi-family Existing Homes. As an expert in residential energy standards, Heather lectures on energy efficient building design to professionals and students at San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Extension. Prior to joining she worked in architecture, served as the Program Manager for the California ENERGY STAR® Multifamily New Homes Program (sponsored by PG&E & SCE) and worked as a building science energy efficiency analyst on Title 24 Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) projects. Heather is a USGBC LEED AP, LEED Homes Midrise Pilot Program Representative, CABEC Certified Energy Plans Examiner (CEPE), CHEERS and CalCERTS Certified HERS rater, and a Certified GreenPoint Rater. Heather received a BA in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley and a MS in Sustainable Design from the University of Sydney in Australia.

Maryann Leshin, Enterprise Community Partners
As Director of Northern California Programs, Ms. Leshin is responsible for managing the affordable housing program activities of the Enterprise Community Partners office in San Francisco. Current program activities include green retrofit financing, foreclosure response, public housing revitalization and capacity building. Ms. Leshin is currently spearheading a Green Retrofit Pilot Program for affordable multifamily housing in the Bay Area.

Prior to joining Enterprise, Ms. Leshin worked as a consultant providing project management and program development services to an array of affordable housing developers, supportive service providers and local government agencies. Prior to establishing her consulting practice, she managed the California office of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and prior to that served as Associate Director of Development for Eden Housing, a non-profit housing development corporation. Ms. Leshin also spent nine years managing affordable housing activities for the City of Emeryville Redevelopment Agency.

Ms. Leshin received a BA from Brandeis University in American Studies and an MA in Community Planning from Antioch University West.

Build It Green: Green Affordable Advocacy - Challenges & Opportunities
Presented by Build It Green. Co-sponsored by AIA East Bay.
Time: Noon - 2:00pm
Location: AIA East Bay Chapter Office, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland.
Contact: 510/464-3600
Cost: $10 for AIA and Build It Green Members; $20 for non-members. Registration required. Click here to register. Lunch provided by Build It Green.
1.5 CES LUs

For more information: 510/464-3600

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