Mercury News: “On a roll: Affordable housing advocates pack a San Francisco hotel and say they’re winning the battle”

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Friday conference was part rally, part double-down work session to mitigate the housing crisis


“Standing Together” — the title of Friday’s 38th annual conference sponsored by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) — was the biggest one of these events yet. Fueled by Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing last week of a dozen bills aimed at addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis, about 850 affordable housing advocates — policy wonks, finance wizards, architects, grassroots organizers, contractors, tenants, public office holders — crowded lobbies and conference rooms at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.

At 8:30 in the morning, the place was teeming — abuzz with affordable housing believers, slurping down coffee and gearing up for an event that was as much a rally as it was a double-down work session.

On the rally side was Amie Fishman, NPH’s executive director, meeting and greeting and talking about “passion and urgency and commitment.” Affordable housing at last has emerged as “the critical issue for the Bay Area” — there is no more awareness problem, she said; the public gets it, and her organization now will help lead an “all-out push” toward passing the statewide 2018 bond measure for affordable housing that Brown and legislative leaders have agreed upon…


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