Lifetime Achievement

Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson served as President and CEO of LINC Housing Corporation, a nonprofit housing organization, for 18 years and has more than 45 years experience in community planning and development. Following graduate school, Hunter began as a housing planner for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and, having working his way through a variety of planning and development positions, he concluded his 13-year tenure at that agency as Chief of Rehabilitation.

While Hunter led LINC, the nonprofit grew from less than 1,000 units in six properties to more 7,500 in 56 properties across the state. For his last several years at LINC, Hunter led two major initiatives to achieve substantial reductions of greenhouse gasses from its properties and to provide an integrated approach that connected health and housing to provide better living situations for their residents. During his career he has had a hand in creating almost 20,000 homes throughout California.


Non-Profit Sector

Century Housing

Century is a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), delivering innovative financial products quickly and reliably to support the development of critical housing projects throughout California. Under President Ron Griffith’s direction the last eight years, Century’s assets tripled from $125 million to $388 million, giving Century the ability to expand from serving the greater Los Angeles area to financing affordable housing throughout California. Concurrent with its 20th anniversary in 2015, Century achieved the milestones of more than $1 billion in financing and 27,000 affordable homes created.


Philanthropic/Community Development Lending

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low-Income Housing Challenge

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low-Income Housing Challenge is a team ‘business plan’ competition whose goal is to inform, educate, and attract the next generation of affordable housing professionals. The teams in the challenge are from universities on the West Coast.

For twenty-five years, the Bank has challenged undergraduate and graduate students to envision new and innovative models of housing for low-to-moderate income residents. The proposals are required to be forward-looking but also feasible in the current economic and fiscal climate. A jury of affordable housing professionals with development, finance, planning, architecture, and government expertise judges each proposal. After 25 years, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is proud that many of the proposed projects have been built and many of today’s leaders were introduced to affordable housing via the Challenge.


Private Sector

Thomas Safran, Thomas Safran & Associates

Tom is Chairman of Thomas Safran & Associates, developers and managers of affordable multifamily residential housing. His firm specializes in both family and senior low-rent housing and mixed use developments with over 6,000 units in Southern California.  For over 40 years, they have specialized in developing and managing high-quality properties, many of which have won awards from prestigious organizations.

Nationally, Tom has belonged to such organizations as the Home Builders, the Urban Land Institute, the National Housing Coalition, NAHRO, and the National Leased Housing Association, of which he was a member of the Board of Directors. He has been active locally in Los Angeles nonprofit housing organizations as President of Alternative Living for the Aging and as Vice President of Menorah Housing Foundation, and as a member of the Corporate Fund for Housing.


Public Sector

California Emerging Technology Fund

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is on a mission to close the Digital Divide in California.  CETF has been an effective catalyst in facilitating collaborative action among policymakers, community leaders and other stakeholders to advance Digital Inclusion.  As a result, California is on target to reach 98% of all residences with broadband infrastructure and to achieve 80% home broadband adoption by 2017.  CETF has embraced 5 overarching strategies:  civic leadership engagement; venture philanthropy grantmaking; public policy initiatives; public awareness and education; and strategic partnerships.  CETF formulated a model policy for Smart Housing and is currently assisting affordable housing organizations apply to the California Public Utilities Commission for grants to fund Internet connectivity and Digital Literacy training at publicly-subsidized housing.  For more information, please visit


The Dianne Spaulding Local Leadership Award

Marc Trotz, Housing for Health

The Housing for Health Division at Los Angeles Department of Health Services is committed to working with our DHS colleagues as well as other governmental and community partners to achieve a significant reduction in street homelessness, inappropriate use of expensive health care resources, and improved health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Working in collaboration with case managers, health care providers, housing finance agencies, housing developers, and philanthropy, HFH aims to facilitate the creation of thousands upon thousands of units linked to the health care system. Permanent supportive housing, the cornerstone of HFH’s approach, includes decent, safe, and affordable housing linked to a flexible array of support services. These on-site or roving supportive services along with access to medical and behavioral health care are integral to achieving housing stability, improved health status, and greater levels of independence and economic security.