It’s great to be back!  Nearly fourteen years ago, I left the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda to work for a housing agency in the Seattle area. It was a wonderful opportunity that provided many experiences to help prepare me to come back home to HACA.

I’m grateful to the Housing Commission and their confidence in having me lead this organization now and in the coming years.  I replace Chris Gouig, a good friend and colleague, who left an indelible mark in ensuring HACA’s portfolio of affordable housing opportunities would be viable and available for future generations of those in need.  We wish the best for Chris and thank her for her dedication to HACA.

While I was away, much happened in all of our lives and our communities.  Most recently, we find ourselves dealing with the disruption caused by a world-wide pandemic.  The COVID-19 virus has affected us all.  It has changed how we work, communicate, care for ourselves and loved ones, socialize, travel, learn, and play.  It has disrupted every part of our daily routines.

COVID-19 has also cast a bright, shining light on an already troubling problem in society – the high cost of housing and its impact on homelessness.  At HACA, we remain focused on our mission, which is to deliver housing, housing assistance, and related services to low-, very low-, and extremely low-income persons.  More than ever, the individuals and communities served by HACA depend on this agency to be responsive, relevant, and effective in meeting our mission.

I look forward to working with the talented and committed staff of HACA employees.  They are skilled at what they do.  We are adapting to the environment created by COVID-19, but not deviating from the essential services expected of our clients and the community.

The coming months and years will be challenging for us all, but together we can meet these challenges.  I appreciate the gracious welcome by staff and others.

It is good to be home.

Kurt Wiest, Executive Director

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