The Housing Action Coalition’s 21st Annual Housing Heroes!
On Wednesday, October 18th the Housing Action Coalition was proud to host our 21st Annual Housing Heroes at the Salesforce Transit Center. Here’s a recap of the event:
Tour of Salesforce Park Transit Center
Before the evening’s festivities, we had the opportunity to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of the Salesforce Park Transit Center. The Transit Center, which opened in 2018, is a pivotal component of the Bay Area’s evolving transportation landscape. The awe-inspiring multimodal transit hub stretches over four city blocks and serves as a linchpin of transit, connecting nine transit systems across eight Bay Area counties. The Transit Center is six-levels, with four levels accessible to the public. Visitors can explore the infamous Salesforce rooftop park featuring 13 gardens and a host of free public activities.
During the tour, we were joined by our members to view the two-level trainbox already in place beneath the Center, which will eventually be equipped for rail service. Once equipped, the trainbox will transform to a Caltrain station and, ultimately, California High-Speed Rail’s expansive statewide network.
The Transit Center will serve a pivotal role in shaping the future of regional transportation in the Bay Area. With the Downtown Extension Project, set to conclude by 2028, regional rail travel will become faster and more efficient, significantly cutting commute times between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, the impending California High-Speed Rail will further enhance connectivity, making travel between major economic centers faster and more environmentally friendly.
After the tour, Housing Heroes kicked off with a happy hour and networking with friends in every part of the housing industry from developers, architects, and land-use consultants to elected officials, city staff and housing advocates, amounting to over 400 people!
Our fearless leader and Executive Director, Corey Smith, began the speaking program his remarks explaining our Housing Heroes Celebration: “Housing Heroes is an opportunity for the housing world to get together and recognize that while the problems we’re working on can be tough to solve because of politics and bureaucracy, the solution is pretty simple: build more housing.”
Our first Housing Hero awardee, (presented by Senator Scott Wiener), was Speaker Rob Rivas. Robert Rivas, who was sworn-in as Speaker this summer, brings a proven track record of pro-housing leadership to the State Assembly. In addition to authoring Assembly Bill 2234, the first-ever HAC-sponsored bill to get signed into law, Speaker Rivas also recently voiced his support for one of the most important pro-housing bills in this year’s legislative cycle, Senate Bill 423 (Wiener).
Our second award, (presented by San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu), went to the incredible team at the Bay Area Housing Finance authority & Bay Area Housing For All. BAHFA is a first-of-its-kind regional housing authority established in 2019 to fund and deliver solutions that address the Bay Area’s chronic housing and homelessness challenges at scale leading with racial equity.BAHFA is drafting a November 2024 ballot measure that would raise as much as $10-$20 billion in funding for the entire nine-county Bay Area to create and preserve affordable housing. Bay Area Housing For All (BAHA) is a coalition is spearheading the campaign efforts to get this affordable housing bond measure passed.
The third award, (presented by the Executive Director of YIMBY Action Laura Foote), went to affordable housing developer Mission Housing. Mission Housing has been a leader in the affordable housing space since 1971. Throughout their history, they’ve remained committed to building and persevering high-quality homes for lower and moderate-income residents who work hard to make a life in the city. While their legacy alone is worthy of a Housing Heroes Award, we decided to honor Mission Housing for their stalwart efforts to build a 100% affordable housing project in San Francisco’s Westside.
Last but not least, we were thrilled to honor our fourth awardee, (presented by Maggie Muir Partner at KMM Strategies), former HAC Executive Director Todd David! As the former Executive Director of the Housing Action Coalition (HAC), the legacy of Todd’s leadership at HAC is undeniable. In less than six years, he took the organization to new heights, as we expanded our reach beyond San Francisco to advocate for homes across the Bay Area and California; sponsored — and passed — our first pieces of state legislation; doubled our team’s size; and developed new relationships beyond the traditional homebuilding community.
If there’s a main takeaway from our Housing Heroes Awards, it’s that pro-housing momentum is at an all-time high. Here’s to everyone in the housing space working each and everyday to make our region more affordable, accessible, and equitable for everyone who wants to live here.