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Friend of Housing Awards Honor State’s Housing Champions

Published on October 5, 2018 by Washington State Housing Finance Commission
Friend of Housing Awards Honor State’s Housing Champions

SEATTLE, WA — The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has honored seven of Washington’s most dedicated affordable housing advocates as 2018 “Friends of Housing.”

In addition, the Commission presented its Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Award to two leaders: Paul Lambros and Melora Hiller.

As a group, the awardees have ensured that thousands of Washington residents have an affordable place to call home and that funding, policies and programs are in place to support affordable housing into the future.

“We’re deeply inspired by the passion, innovation, and tenacity each of these housing leaders has shown,” Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission, said. “We couldn’t be happier to honor the people who who’ve made it their life’s mission to create and preserve affordable housing.”

The following awards were presented October 3 in a ceremony at the annual Housing Washington conference in Tacoma.

2018 Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Awards:

Paul Lambros: As the head of Plymouth Housing for 25 years, Paul’s pragmatic optimism and commitment to “housing first” have helped transform Seattle’s approach to homelessness through not only providing housing for the homeless, but also leading others to collaborate in practical solutions.

Melora Hiller: Most recently CEO of the national Grounded Solutions Network, Melora expanded the land-trust model of permanently affordable homeownership, and over 30 years in various roles, she significantly increased Washington state’s capacity to build and preserve affordable housing of all kinds.

2018 Friend of Housing Awardee:

  • Andrew Lofton: As the Executive Director of the Seattle Housing Authority, Andrew has made a lasting impact on Seattle’s housing landscape and on 34,000 residents of SHA properties. He has led the transformation of Yesler Terrace into a vital community of new buildings and public spaces, and increased resident services to support education, health and job training.
  • John Harmon: For more than 30 years, John used every tool available to more than double affordable housing in Bellingham. As the recently-retired leader of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Housing Authorities, John added and rehabilitated thousands of affordable apartments across 27 properties.
  • Melodie Pazolt: At the Washington Health Care Authority and Washington State DSHS, Melodie has won grants and forged connections between behavioral health, housing and employment. Her efforts on the Washington Medicaid waiver have helped more than 4,000 vulnerable people get housing and employment supports that are reimbursed by Medicaid.
  • Representative Nicole Macri: Building on her work providing housing and services as deputy director of the nonprofit DESC in Seattle, Rep. Macri represents the 43rd District while supporting affordable housing statewide through effective bipartisan legislation.
  • Arthur Sullivan: Thanks to Arthur, over the past 25 years, 15 cities of East King County have forged ARCH, an effective collaboration that has helped to finance more than 4,000 affordable homes. As director of ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Home), he led these cities to invest $60 million in a housing fund and work together to solve regional housing problems.
  • Doug Hobkirk and Alice Quaintance: This married couple have worked on the front lines of alleviating homelessness in Seattle since the early ‘80s. From their early days reaching from their church om Capitol Hill, to managing shelters, to serving on the board of Capitol Hill Housing, to building tiny homes, Alice and Doug have dedicated their lives to serving the homeless.

The annual Friends of Housing Awards are presented to people or organizations who’ve made exceptional contributions to creating or supporting affordable housing, including solving housing problems, creating innovative financing, or drafting housing legislation or policies.

The Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Award, named for a respected former staff member of the Commission, celebrates individuals for their exceptional contributions, vision, and commitment to promoting affordable housing in Washington State.

The  Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team that works with lenders, investors, developers, nonprofit organizations and more to bring private investment dollars to benefit families and achieve public goals throughout Washington.