HDC’s Annual Celebration is about recognizing the progress of the affordable housing movement, and the strength and depth of the commitment and compassion of the affordable housing community. The incredible achievements that have led us to the current moment where we are energized to continue to do this work wouldn’t be possible without visionary leaders who have been instrumental to the success of HDC and the work of achieving a King County where everyone lives with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes.
This year we our honored to award Steve Clagett, Linda Hall, and Tom Jacobi with the Board of Directors award, and Maureen Kostyack with the Carla Okigwe Award.
In 1980, county planner Steve Clagett and other housing activists founded Common Ground (which merged with Bellwether in 2013) in response to a growing housing crisis in the downtown core. The organization began by helping local social service agencies and churches preserve and transform historic buildings into affordable housing, saving many downtown Seattle landmarks. Steve and Common Ground were also founding members of HDC in 1988, and Steve served on the board from 1988 – 1992. From Common Ground, Steve went on to take executive and leadership roles with 1000 Friends of Washington (now Futurewise), King County Housing Authority, and ONE/Northwest (now Groundwire). Steve has an affinity for coalition building and leading through both reflection and forward thinking, serving as the co-leader of Faith Action Network’s Economic Justice Working Group and recently served on HDC’s 30th Anniversary Committee, helping to create the banners documenting our sector’s growth and progress.
“Get someone into a home, and change happens in their life…That’s been our philosophy from the start.”– Steve Clagett
A leader within the area’s human services community, Linda Hall has spent the past 15 years in executive-level positions at many local nonprofits. Linda was previously the Executive Director of St. Andrew’s Housing Group (now Imagine Housing), Director of Real Estate with the Seattle Housing Authority, and Director of Housing Development with the YWCA Seattle – King – Snohomish. Now at Loveall Price and Associates working as a Project Manager for Congregations for the Homeless, Linda continues to lead as an advocate for affordable housing on the Eastside. She was a co-leader on the Issaquah Zero Energy Village and recognized by ARCH “as a passionate voice for affordable housing” Linda served on the HDC board from 2001 – 2009, and served as board president from 2004-2005. Linda is a long-time partner of HDC and continues to help lead projects and committees within the association. She was instrumental in the creation of the 30th Anniversary banners.
“Every now and then you get an incredible opportunity…This has been a project of a lifetime for me.”
With 35+ years of experience in financial management, mortgage lending, and loan servicing, Tom Jacobi plays an important role at HomeSight, and has occupied almost every job at the organization – from project manager to finance manager, to lender, to loan servicer, building maintenance, and capital procurement and compliance.After 25 years with HomeSight, he seen as the institutional memory of the power of affordable homeownership advocacy. In his current role as Chief Portfolio Officer, Tom is a CDFI application veteran with the wins to back it up, and has played an integral role in representing the important voice of homeownership within HDC, serving on the Board of Directors from 1997 – 2002. We were also told that in his youth, Tom hopped trains for a while, and is the resident Nordic Ski patroller and cross-country expeditioner for HomeSight.
“Affordability has always been an issue. HomeSight is still learning, still growing but now as a national leader in non-profit lending. We need to keep evolving our tools and resources to help working families purchase their first home.”-Tom Jacobi
Carla Okigwe Award Winner: Maureen Kostyack
Maureen has played a major role in shaping the housing priorities in Olympia and King County since the early 1990’s. One of her great successes was the creation of the Washington Families Fund by the Washington Legislature. She was the visionary who saw the need for a fund to support social services connected to affordable housing. In her role with the Seattle Office of Housing, Maureen educated policy makers and elected officials about the ins and outs of housing needs and navigated political landscapes to keep affordable housing on the forefront of people’s minds. Her incredible leadership in spearheading two renewals of the Seattle Housing levy, serving on the boards of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and HDC, and more has made her a pivotal player in all facets of the affordable housing conversation: housing finance, land use, and a passionate advocate at every table. We are honored to award her with the Carla Okigwe award named after HDC’s founder. Maureen has played a pivotal role in the region’s affordable housing progress, and her impact can be seen in the affordable homes built throughout the county!