"Building Bridges for Marin Housing Solutions” Community Forum

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Dominican University of California, in partnership with Canal Alliance, Community Action Marin, North Marin Community Services, and Legal Aid of Marin, hosted a community forum to explore workable solutions to increase the supply of affordable housing in Marin County.

“Building Bridges for Marin Housing Solutions” was attended by more than 190 people in Dominican’s Guzman Lecture Hall, 50 Acacia Avenue in San Rafael on Thursday, September 14, from 3-5 p.m. An additional 300 people tuned in via the university's radio station. A recording of the event is available on  radio.dominican.edu.

"Building Bridges for Marin Housing Solutions" offered participants the opportunity to explore what is achievable in terms of housing protection, preservation, and production. The goal is for the event to help launch a robust coalition that will make Marin a leader in housing, says Omar Carrera, Chief Executive Officer of Canal Alliance. The coalition will bring together different sectors committed to finding solutions to Marin’s housing crisis.

The September 14 event was moderated by Jenny Silva of the Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative. Housing experts shared their knowledge about practical solutions that can be implemented in Marin. Dominican University of California President Nicola Pitchford delivered the opening remarks.

“This conference speaks to the heart of Dominican's mission and our essential work to foster social mobility, equity, and community-based learning,” President Pitchford says. “Many of our students are from Marin, and many more stay in Marin after they graduate, serving our communities as teachers, nurses, small business owners, public servants, and non-profit leaders. Affordable housing is a moral imperative in itself; for us, it's also an equity issue we're committed to addressing on behalf of our students, employees, community partners, and alumni.”

Panelists included:

  • Author Alex Schafran, whose writing and research has focused on housing, racial (re)segregation, and the broader politics of urbanization.
  • Somaya Abdelgany, Preservation Program Coordinator, Bay Area Housing Authority.
  • Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Institute.
  • Kim Pipkin, Executive Director, Black Developers Forum.
  • Ricardo Huerta Niño, Senior Initiative Officer, Great Communities Collaborative, San Francisco Foundation.

“Dominican is energized to host the launch of this impressive, cross-sector coalition, especially as it honors and supports the work of our long-time partners and co-educators at Canal Alliance,” President Pitchford adds.

“We have to center and uplift collaboration if we're to achieve meaningful progress on housing access and affordability. It's a deeply rooted, multi-causal problem that developed over decades; but it's also the result of policy choices, which means that collectively we have the power to reverse those choices.”

Media Contacts:
Canal Alliance: Isabel French, Isabelf@CanalAlliance.org
Dominican University of California: Sarah.Gardner@Dominican.edu.

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