Pop Quiz with Eric Shaw | Housing finance magazine
Meet Eric Shaw, director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD).
London Mayor N. Breed appointed Shaw to this post last year. Previously, he served as an advisor to the California Governor’s Emergency Services Office, where he coordinated community planning and engagement activities associated with recovery from the 2018 camp fire. Shaw served as office manager Planning Officer of Washington, DC; and Director of Community and Economic Development for Salt Lake City. He also previously worked in the Bay Area for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.
What topic have you spent the most time on this year?
The MOHCD was tasked with promptly launching and effectively implementing the emergency rental assistance program. We have coordinated local, state and federal partners to deploy $ 120 million in resources to ensure we are supporting low-income residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beyond the new challenges presented by the pandemic, we have also remained focused on our housing development goals and efforts. There is such an urgent need for affordable housing in San Francisco, which requires us to work closely with the city’s partners to continue to make deals to design, build and rent properties for our communities.
Share a statistic or an interesting fact about housing in San Francisco.
While San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live and build, we have some of the most engaged residents who support and invest in affordable housing solutions. We are fortunate to have over $ 1 billion in municipal bonds because our residents truly see housing as both a community asset and infrastructure.
What makes the MOHCD different from local housing agencies?
Our service is housed directly within the mayor’s office, which helps facilitate a deep link between the mayor’s housing goals and how the MSDC approaches housing. We are unique in that we are like an investment bank, a foundation and a rental agency all at the same time. This requires that our office be very technical – employing expert staff with many years of professional experience, in addition to very diverse backgrounds and cultural backgrounds – to strategize and implement innovative and equitable housing solutions. .
What has been the biggest change your office has made over the past year?
We are committed to institutionalizing and operationalizing the principles of racial equity in everything we do and to promote opportunities for BIPOC developers. He was motivated not only by our desire to do good, but by working in community with our staff, partners and the people we serve to identify how we can integrate the racial equity framework into our goals, structures and practices. process.
What are your expectations for evictions in the coming year as the various moratoria come to an end?
The MOHCD has made it clear that no one will be evicted for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19. In addition to that expectation, Mayor Breed funded the Eviction Defense Collaborative and the Tenant Right to Counsel Program, which is the strongest in the country, to help low-income tenants respond to lawsuits and avoid evictions.
When you visit an affordable housing development, what are you looking for?
I always ask “is this a house?” It’s not just about affordability, housing and development. It’s about creating spaces for people to live, thrive and build community. We are committed to ensuring that we use culturally competent and inclusive practices to address structural inequalities so that residents, especially BIPOC and low-income communities that have historically been displaced, can continue to call the great city of San Francisco their home.
What would you change in terms of town planning?
I would like to make sure that planners come forward after doing their due diligence in terms of the policy research necessary to have genuine engagement with the community. I would change the approach from collecting community thoughts to a genuine dialogue on how to do responsive development. In addition, we need to reinvent housing. Housing is a civic infrastructure, as well as a key tool for the implementation of the various other objectives of a city and a community, not only the outcomes related to housing, but also those of educational, economic prosperity, health and cultural.
What was a turning point in your career?
Every move has been crucial in my career. I have been fortunate enough to work across the country to support equitable development, which has manifested itself differently. One of the big changes in my career so far has been starting out as a member of the mayor in Washington, DC, and being able to be on the ground floor having conversations about how to grow a city as it was beginning to develop. Another was the director of planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricane Katrina and had the opportunity to imagine what resilience and equity looked like in order to meet the needs of the state at a time when resilience and equity were not yet universally spoken. on.
What skills have helped you the most in your career?
It’s incredibly helpful to be able to understand in depth the mission of the organization I am a part of and to understand why I took on a role in achieving that mission. I have to love what the organization is trying to do and I have to be able to believe that I am the right person to do it at the time. It reminds me that the mission is bigger than me, bigger than all of us, and it helps me not to get caught up in the smallest and most trivial parts. The feeling of privilege and enthusiasm I feel for the job comes from fulfilling the mission every day, especially when it comes to affordable housing.
Did you choose any new hobbies or interests during the pandemic?
I was able to perfect Carla Hall’s Buttermilk Flaky Cookie Recipe.
What do you listen to when you are in the car?
Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion. It helps put me in the frame of mind to face the day.
Burritos or tacos, and why?
Tacos because you can have more. You can only eat one burrito, but you can eat 10 different tacos! I live in the Mission District of San Francisco so anyway it’s great to know that I’ll be able to get some of the best burritos and tacos around.
What’s next for Eric Shaw?
I will continue to serve the people of San Francisco. There is no shortage of work and opportunities as the city’s director of housing and community development.