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Marin housing heroes awarded

Leaders in establishing affordable housing in Marin County were feted before more than 100 of their peers at the Live Local Marin awards banquet, held May 15 at the Whistlestop senior center in downtown San Rafael.

Five organizations and two individuals received Courage Under Fire awards for their roles in developing and supporting affordable housing.

The recipients were Stand Up for Neighborly Novato, Community Land Trust of West Marin, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, Tabitha Hurt, Al Boro, San Clemente Place by EAH Housing and League of Women Voters Transportation and the Land Use and Housing Committee.

“For us, the dream-making comes when the family move into their new home,” said Philip Kilbridge, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, accepting the Dream Maker Award on behalf of the organization. “We are dedicated to enabling families to be able to live and work in the community.”

Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to the League of Women Voters, saying, “The League of Women Voters has been steadfast in its support and understands how vital affordable housing is to the community.”

For Tabitha Hurt, who was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award, the issue of affordable housing is particularly personal. “The Fireside [affordable-housing project] and Homeward Bound gave us hope, home and a future,” she said. “I’m grateful for my home, and my experience has inspired me to continue the fight for more affordable housing in Marin.”

Live Local Marin, an affordable-housing advocate, is coordinated by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and Greenbelt Alliance, with funding from the Marin Community Foundation.

“The housing battles in Marin have been long and often hostile,” said Dianne Spaulding, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association. “Between them, the awardees have decades of experience in making sure Marin has more housing options for all income levels, and they have the battle scars to prove it.”

“These local heroes have spoken up for people who have roots in the community,” said Jeremy Madsen, executive director of Greenbelt Alliance. “Today we celebrate these leaders for demanding a better Marin, one that is a sustainable and equitable place to live.”

The award recipients:

Organization of the Year: Stand Up for Neighborly Novato, which was formed as a civil voice in local debates in response to aggressive and vocal opposition to affordable housing in the city of Novato.

Outstanding Local Developer: Community Land Trust of West Marin, a nonprofit organization created to acquire and hold land surrounding Tomales Bay for the benefit of the community and future generations.

Dream Maker Award: Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which partners with families, community volunteers and donors to build affordable homes in Marin, San Francisco and on the Peninsula.

Volunteer of the Year: Tabitha Hurt, a resident of the Fireside affordable apartment homes, which were made possible by renovation of a historic landmark in Mill Valley. Hurt is giving back to her community by lending her voice to housing advocacy efforts.

Good Neighbor Award: San Clemente Place in Corte Madera by EAH Housing, home to 79 families, seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Visionary Leadership Award: Mayor Al Boro, who spearheaded the redevelopment of downtown San Rafael, which began in the late 1980s.

Lifetime Achievement Award: League of Women Voters Transportation, Land Use and Housing Committee. The League of Women Voters of Marin began working on affordable housing as a major Marin issue in the mid-1960s. Its research and leadership have contributed to the development of meaningful housing elements, updated zoning and approval of proposed housing around Marin.


Read more: http://marinscope.com/articles/2012/05/23/twin_cities_times/news/doc4fbd2d1dc6599063204690.txt

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