We Are All Neighbors In One Big Community:
The effect of the affordable housing crisis on living and aging in the Bay Area
“When we have people who can stay in the community for a long time, we build relationships and that community builds resilience; it’s a more thriving community. That’s really challenged here because of the housing crisis.”
– Karen Nemsick
Thank You to Our Featured Guest: Karen Nemsick, Director of the Housing Justice Initiative with United Way Bay Area
Thank You to Our Forum Host: Susanne Stadler, Architect and Executive Director of At Home With Growing Older
Karen Nemsick has led several housing initiatives in the Bay Area to support low-income households. In this conversation, she draws from her more than 10-year tenure as Executive Director of Rebuilding Together where she successfully grew its home repair programs in underserved neighborhoods, her fellowship with Fuse Corp where she led the establishment of a community land trust to create environmentally sustainable housing for people living with serious mental health challenges in Alameda County, and her current role as Director of the Housing Justice Initiative at UWBA, which in 2023 distributed $750,000 housing justice grants to 23 grassroots organizations.
Listen and learn about what is happening now to address the affordable housing crisis, how you can advocate for affordable housing in your neighborhood, and what innovative solutions are on the horizon to tackle this community-wide issue.
More About Karen Nemsick:
Karen is passionate about leading collaborative efforts to create meaningful change in communities. As the Director of the Housing Justice Initiative at the United Way Bay Area, she is working to deepen UWBA’s focus on improving accessible, affordable housing and homelessness prevention resources in Bay Area counties.
Prior to this fellowship, Karen served 10 years as the executive director for Rebuilding Together San Francisco where she was responsible for attracting key corporate sponsors, creating engaging fundraising events, developing new programs, and managing budget and staffing needs for high impact home and community improvements. Karen has attended the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government: Executive Education, Achieving Excellence in Community Development program. She holds a Master of Social Work from California State University, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross. She currently serves on the board of directors for Rebuilding Together Inc.
- United Way Bay Area | Explore the UWBA’s array of resources!
- Housing Justice Initiative | Learn more about this unique initiative and Karen Nemsick’s work around affordable housing in the Bay Area.
- SparkPoint Program | UWBA centers which work with families to meet their basic needs, increase their income, build their credit, increase their savings, and reduce their debt. They provide financial coaching and financial education to the community.
- Housing Readiness Report | Find your community’s statistics regarding affordable housing goals using this online tool. Learn more about your city or county’s housing needs, and its policies and progress towards meeting those housing needs.
- Rebuilding Together San Francisco | A nonprofit offering programs to help repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives.
- Home Match / Front Porch | A shared housing program that provides free, personalized services in the Bay Area and beyond to help find the right match for you.
- Homeward Bound of Marin | The primary provider of Marin County homeless shelters and services for homeless families and individuals in Marin, California
- Richmond Neighborhood Housing Corporation’s Emerging Developers Program | EDP was created for general contractors or private investors to break into the real estate development field, with a focus on Black-led firms.
- Bay Area Housing Finance Authority | A regional authority created in 2022 to address the Bay Area’s Housing crisis.
- HUD Home Modification Program | View the details about this grant program for older adults to modify their homes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Partnership for the Bay’s Future | A collaborative effort to produce and preserve affordable homes and protect tenants so the Bay Area remains a diverse place where everyone thrives.
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The original, live conversation was recorded on:
Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 5:30 PM PST.