There’s no glamour in affordable housing. It’s more blood, sweat, and tears than it ever is glory.
Yet, people make their way into the industry. For some, it’s merely a job. For others, it’s something much more. The latter stay for the long haul and work to make a difference. They raise precious equity during the toughest times, change policies when they’re broken, and ultimately make sure homes are built for families, seniors, and others in need. While they may earn a good living, they also give back.
AHF is recognizing five of the industry’s finest for their longtime service and groundbreaking achievements.
Paul Fate, Richard Goldstein, Hal Keller, Al Scott, and Ronne Thielen are being inducted into the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame this year.
Over the years, each has made an indelible mark on the industry, and they continue to lead the way.
Affordable housing is a means to achieve larger ends, according to Fate, who has spent more than 35 years working in affordable housing and community development. Most recently president and CEO of CommonBond Communities in St. Paul, Minn., he is a true community builder.
One of the nation’s most authoritative voices for the low-income housing tax credit, Goldstein lobbied for the program’s enactment in the 1980s and continues to be one of its biggest champions. A partner in the Nixon Peabody law firm, he says affordable housing helps transform the lives of residents.
What’s important about the affordable housing industry is taking the long view, says Keller, and he’s done that during his 25-year career at the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Keller has helped expand the firm’s mission and build its platform to provide more value for customers and partners.
A fixture in the affordable housing industry for four decades, Scott is co-founder of one of the nation’s top developers, The NRP Group. Before retiring in May, he helped the firm become a national powerhouse, developing more than 23,000 residential units, including 17,480 that are affordable, in 13 states.
One of the original members of the housing tax credit industry, Thielen worked with housing finance agencies and others to successfully launch the program. Executive vice president of R4 Capital, Thielen has been a syndicator, allocator, and advocate for the housing credit program.