The San Francisco Housing Action Coalition is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2017 Housing Hero Award. This year, two gentlemen whose names have become synonymous with San Francisco housing will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tim Colen and Olson Lee. The Housing Hero Award will go to an organization that has been successful in creating a grassroots pro-housing movement – the YIMBY Party.
Tim Colen | Lifetime Achievement
Mr. Colen has been one of the most passionate voices in the pro-housing movement for over a decade. He served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC) for 11 years, from 2005 to 2016. Prior, he worked for 25 years as a geologist and was active on the City’s west side with neighborhood and environmental issues. He was president of the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association and was a founding member and chair of the Lake Merced Task Force. He graduated with a BS in Geology from UC Santa Cruz, MS in mining engineering from Columbia University, and certification in hazardous materials management from UC Berkeley. Since stepping down from SFHAC, Mr. Colen has put his housing and land use knowledge to work as a member of the YIMBY Action Board of Directors.
Olson Lee | Lifetime Achievement
Mr. Lee has devoted his professional career to the creation and preservation of affordable housing. He recently retired as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). During his tenure, he advanced and developed major initiatives such as HOPE SF, HUD’s RAD program, the small site acquisition program, educator housing, neighborhood preference program and the 2011 voter-approved housing trust fund. Prior, he held the position of Deputy Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency for 15 years. He’s served on numerous boards and has been widely recognized for his achievements, most recently receiving a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Mr. Lee graduated from Lowell High School, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland, College Park.
YIMBY Party | Housing Hero
YIMBY Party has led the new grassroots movement to advocate for subsidized affordable and market-rate housing in San Francisco and the Bay Area. They believe many current policies harm the most vulnerable residents and that creating more housing will have social, economic and environmental benefits for the entire region. They are the umbrella organization to several groups, including YIMBY Action, CaRLA, SFBARF and East Bay Forward, among others. Together, they’ve engaged new audiences in the housing conversation, organized hundreds of people to attend hearings and even sued cities that have rejected new homes. YIMBY Party wants to build a dynamic, welcoming and inclusive Bay Area.
This is SFHAC’s signature event, so mark your calendars! Tickets and sponsorships will be available starting Monday, July 17th.