Kim Herman Inducted into National Affordable Housing Hall of Fame
SEATTLE, WA — Today, Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, will be inducted into the national Affordable Housing Hall of Fame.
The recognition by Affordable Housing Finance magazine will be presented today in a ceremony at the Affordable Housing Developers Summit in Chicago, IL. Each year, AHF honors four leaders who have made a notable difference in the lives of low-income Americans.
Kim Herman has been a champion of affordable housing throughout Washington state and the country for more than 40 years. His work has helped Washington’s most disadvantaged people, including seniors, farmworkers, and the homeless, as well as moderate-income families.
“I am very grateful and humbled by this recognition,” Herman said. “Especially now that we are facing the biggest housing and homeless crisis since the Great Depression, it’s more important than ever that we keep opening doors to a better life.”
He added, “I know there are thousands of highly qualified young people across the state and country who are eager to tackle the challenges of affordability and homelessness. They inspire me to work harder every day and still enjoy the best job in the world.”
A native of the Spokane Valley, Herman graduated from Washington State University and spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, an experience that had lifelong impact.
He then worked in affordable housing in several different communities across the U.S. before returning to Washington state, where he led the Yakima Housing Authority and was instrumental in creating the Washington State Finance Commission before becoming its first—and only—executive director in 1984.
Under Herman’s leadership, the Commission has helped more than 73,000 families become homeowners and has financed the development of 128,000 affordable apartments statewide—all without using state resources and instead harnessing the private market for the public good.
He has expanded the agency’s expertise in issuing bonds and managing revolving loan funds, establishing innovative and award-winning programs to finance not only affordable housing needs that would otherwise go unmet, but also community needs such as sustainable energy, new farms and ranches, and facilities for nonprofits.
Meanwhile, Herman has built the capacity of housing organizations throughout Washington. He helped to create the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and has served on the boards of innumerable organizations and policy groups, including the Governor’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board and Impact Capital. He is currently president of Partners for Rural Washington.
Nationally, Herman has dedicated his time and expertise to multiple leadership positions for the National Council of State Housing Agencies and has also served as a board member of the National Rural Housing Coalition, among other organizations.
“Kim’s impact as a leader here in Washington and nationwide is profound,” said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission. “Because of his passion and tenacity, thousands of people have safe and healthy homes. He has truly changed the face of affordable housing.”
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.