About HOPE SF: Leadership
The City of San Francisco and its mayor, city agencies, and housing experts, as well as leading developers, community-based organizations, and residents, have come together to undertake this visionary effort to revitalize eight of San Francisco’s public housing developments. Leading the HOPE SF effort is the Mayor’s Office of Housing in partnership with the San Francisco Housing Authority. Read more about HOPE SF’s Partners.
Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH)
Olson Lee serves as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) which is the local administrator of the federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs and is the successor Housing Agency for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (the “Agency”). Mr. Lee oversees both of MOH's main divisions, Housing and Community Development.
Prior to MOH, Mr. Lee served as Deputy Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency for 15 years, prior to its dissolution. Mr. Lee was responsible for the administration of the Agency’s housing programs, including the use of tax increment housing funds within Agency project areas and throughout the City, the administration of the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, the oversight of housing project development, the administration of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond financing, the administration of land dispositions, and the oversight of owner participation agreements. Since 1989, the Agency’s tax increment housing program provided over $500 million in loans and grants leveraging in excess of $1.9 billion to assist over 11,000 units and beds. The Agency assisted an additional 2,500 units from other funding sources. The Agency had an outstanding portfolio of $670 million in tax-exempt multifamily bonds. The Agency’s last annual housing budget was approximately $70,000,000 of which approximately $8 million were federal HOPWA funds. Mr. Lee has been appointed to the Oversight Board of the successor to the Agency.
Prior to the Agency, Mr. Lee worked for six years as Chief Housing Finance Officer at MOH. Prior to his initial position at MOH, Mr. Lee worked for nine years as Senior Multifamily Field Service Officer for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation now known as NeighborWorks America.
In 2003, Mr. Lee was recognized for his work on preserving at-risk affordable housing with a Public Managerial Excellence Award from the Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee, now a part of SPUR. In 2010, Mr. Lee received the Distinguished Public Official Award from the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. Mr. Lee served on the Loan Committee, the Nonprofit Space Capital Fund Project Review Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Northern California Community Loan Fund. Mr. Lee has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies. Mr. Lee served as President of the Board of Directors and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies. Mr. Lee graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Director of Policy and Planning
Amy Tharpe is the Director of Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, where she works on policy issues that increase affordable housing opportunities and promote neighborhood revitalization in low-income communities. In this role,she also leads San Francisco’s HOPE SF Initiative, where she develops programs to provide needed services, community building resources, and leadership development opportunities for public housing residents who live in San Francisco’s most distressed public housing developments. Prior to her current position, she has worked on a congressional staff, in philanthropy, and in local government in Washington, DC.
Amy Tharpe is a Former Board Member of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. She also serves as a mentor for Cinammongirl, Incorporated, an organization that inspires girls of color to realize their highest personal and professional aspirations by offering leadership activities, cultural enrichment opportunities and career development programs. She holds a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, a M.P.P. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and is a John Hopkins University Carey Business School Leadership Development Program Fellow.
The Housing Authority administers the rental of public housing and the Section 8 voucher program. The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) owns 6,262 units of public housing, making it one of the largest property owners in the City.
Before joining the SFHA in July 2008, Henry A. Alvarez III honed his housing skills in a variety of positions including as a member of the San Diego Housing Commission, Assistant Director for housing and tenant services at the Washington County Department of Housing Services in Oregon, and as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Antonio Housing Authority. He has achieved recognition for his professional and voluntary contributions to the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Mr. Alvarez has more than 20 years of public-housing agency experience. He brings in-depth expertise and first-hand knowledge of the needs of low-income families to the San Francisco Housing Authority.
Mr. Alvarez III earned a Bachelor of Arts, with Distinction, in Afro-American Studies from San Diego State University. He later received a Master of Public Administration degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
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