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NALHFA Mourns the Loss of Affordable Housing Advocate, San Francisco Mayor Lee

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 14, 2017

[Washington, DC - 12/13/2017] -The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) mourns the loss of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, an affordable housing advocate and Mayor of San Francisco. Lee died yesterday morning at the age of 65. The City of San Francisco said in a statement, "It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday, December 12 at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Family, friends and colleagues were at his side."


Lee started his career fighting for affordable housing in the Bay Area, working with immigrant communities as part of the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus. Over the years, Lee worked in five different city departments and served as the city's human rights commissioner and city administrator. He was sworn-in as mayor in 2011 and continued this work, fighting for housing affordability in a city managing the explosive growth of the tech industry.


The San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) has been a long-time member of NALHFA, most recently hosting the 2017 NALHFA Annual Conference. Conference attendees had the opportunity to hear Mayor Lee speak about the importance of investing in affordable housing. Lee and his team at MOHCD have been working hard to decrease obstacles to the creation of new homes and to increase housing production by 160 percent. In 2014, the city set the ambitious goal of building 30,000 new or rehabilitated homes by 2020. They have already produced more than 17,000 homes in just three years, 35 percent of which are permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income residents.


NALHFA Board Member, Adam Cray of the MOHCD said of Mayor Lee's passing, "My colleagues and I are shocked and heartbroken by the sudden loss of Mayor Edwin Lee. Throughout his long career in public service, Mayor Lee was a tireless advocate for the development and preservation of affordable housing and for the rights of its residents. During this time of sorrow, we take solace in the profound legacy Mayor Lee leaves behind and find strength in our shared commitment to this important work."

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