At Abode Communities, our mission is to open new doors in people’s lives through creative and responsible design, development and operation of service-enhanced affordable housing.
Since 1968, when we were founded as the Los Angeles Community Design Center, Abode Communities has found success through the strength of our fully integrated, multidisciplinary approach. Every project receives the benefit of the experience and cooperation of our core groups: Development, Architecture, Housing Services and Resident Services.
Abode Communities’ specific strength is building sustainable, multi-family affordable housing to address the needs of Southern California's large workforce, low-income families, seniors and individuals with special needs. Currently, we own 34 properties throughout our region that are home to more than 6,200 residents.
Beyond bricks and mortar, Abode Communities is committed to the individual success of each of our residents. We build child care centers, community centers and computer labs into our facilities, and provide an enriching Resident Services Program.
Our work encourages participation and leadership in our communities, enhances children’s academic achievement and self-esteem, and helps adults to become confident and educated contributors to their community.
Our mission is to open new doors in people's lives through creative and responsible design, development, and operation of service-enhanced affordable housing.
Who we are: People
We value our employees as well as their skills and dedication and strive to promote creativity, professional growth and responsibility in a productive and sustainable work environment.
Who we serve: Families
We value our residents and learn from their diversity and shared experiences to enhance the design, development and operation of communities that promote personal growth, family stability, and community pride.
What we do: Housing
We value quality and leadership in the design and development of affordable housing that incorporates environmental sustainability, cost efficiency, durability and livability and will advocate for such standards within our industry.
What we achieve: Great Neighborhoods
We value projects that transform and revitalize neighborhoods and will be a catalyst for progressive and positive physical, social and economic change.
Robin Hughes is president and chief executive officer of Abode Communities. She has been actively involved in affordable housing and community development for over 25 years and in her 15 years as leader of Abode Communities, Hughes has transformed the organization into a top 50 affordable housing developer nationwide and the premier provider of affordable housing in Southern California.
Under Hughes’ guidance, Abode Communities has developed 25 properties; created new affordable homes for over 4,000 California residents; provided a social safety net through Beyond Homes, a substantive resident services program; and led the industry by developing three LEED® for Homes Platinum residential developments.
Prior to joining Abode Communities, held positions in the private and public sectors including The Richmond Group of Companies, Citibank, the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles, and the Office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.
As a leader in the affordable housing industry, Hughes is a member and past Chairperson of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and is a member of the JPMorgan Chase Community Advisory Board for Los Angeles, the Board of Directors for Housing Partnership Network and the Board of Governors for the California Housing Consortium. She served a four-year term as Planning Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles and sat on the Board of Directors for organizations such as Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, Low Income Investment Fund, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation and Mercy Housing California.
In November 2008, Hughes was recognized as Huffington Post’s “Person of the Day” and in 2011, she was featured on the cover of National Real Estate Investor Magazine as “Champion of Affordable Housing.”
Hughes received her Masters and Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and received a certificate from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Program, Achieving Excellence in Community Development. She is considered a leader in the new construction and community revitalization of residential developments, particularly as it relates to affordable housing, planning, land use and sustainable design.
Rick Saperstein is executive vice president and chief financial officer, responsible for the oversight and direction of Abode Communities’ finance, accounting and asset management. In this capacity, he is heavily involved in the oversight and management of the organization’s existing portfolio, ensuring the achievement of financial performance goals and regulatory compliance, financial and tax reporting, and budgeting.
Saperstein has more than 20 years of experience including organizational finance and accounting management, internal and external financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, cash flow reporting and department management.
Prior to joining Abode Communities, he served as Director of Accounting for Forest City Enterprise, Inc., a NYSE-listed real estate company with a large portfolio of mixed-income and mixed-use workforce developments. He also served as chief financial officer, controller and certified public accountant for various small and medium size companies, with a concentration within the real estate industry. Saperstein received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Northridge and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Holly Benson is vice president of housing development responsible for the financial packaging and development of Abode Communities’ affordable housing projects. She is instrumental in the identification of funding sources, negotiation of investment terms, the selection and management of development contracts, the syndication of low-income housing tax credits, and ultimately, the training and supervision of the project management staff. Benson is particularly skilled at consulting with local community groups and governmental entities to educate and inform neighboring communities about the composition and structure of affordable housing programs and benefits to communities at large.
Benson has nearly 12 years of affordable housing experience and has overseen the development of more than 700 affordable housing units and secured an estimated $150 million in loans, grants and equity from both private and public sources.
Prior to joining Abode Communities, she served as a housing developer at Mercy Housing California responsible for all facets of project management, as well as investigating opportunities for future affordable housing sites. With County of Orange Housing and Community Development Department, Benson was responsible for underwriting and recommending loans to affordable housing developers, as well as shaping the County’s community policies. Benson received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Giuseppe (Gio) Aliano joined Abode Communities in May 2013 as vice president of architecture responsible for the executive oversight of Abode Communities architectural design and production projects. As such, his primary roles are to ensure high-quality architectural design meets budget and schedule goals; mentor and manage Abode Communities’ architectural and design staff; and engage and manage client relations.
With more than 24 years of experience, Aliano brings the highest level of design expertise, knowledge of technical code standards, and most importantly, a passion and commitment for Abode Communities’ mission. He is experienced in utilizing strategic planning initiatives to facilitate a range of architectural design objectives and is effective in managing the project team in analyzing new construction specifications and estimates.
Throughout the architectural community, he served as design studio guest critic for University of California, Los Angeles; Woodbury University; and California State University, Fullerton. Prior to joining Abode Communities, Aliano was an associate for Killefer Flammang Architects, design manager for Los Angeles Community College District and URS Corporation, senior designer for Harley Ellis Devereaux and Leo A. Daly, and principal of Gio Aliano Architect.
He is a registered architect in the State of California, license number C-26571, and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He received a Master of Architecture from University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University.
Abode Communities proudly welcomes Luz Soto as Vice President, Property Management & Resident Services. She is responsible for developing and maintaining operation and capital improvement budgets; monitoring financial variance, vacancy and delinquency reports; processing all approval, legal and eviction actions; responding to Fair Housing concerns; preparing contracts; and supervising, hiring and training property management staff. She is particularly skilled at implementing policy and procedures, as well as fostering a team environment between staff and residents.
Soto has 20 years of property management experience, previously serving as Property and Asset Management Director with Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation responsible for more than 900 homes in Ventura County. Prior to that, she served as District Property Manager for Brakenhoff Management Group responsible for a 1300-unit Tax Credit portfolio throughout California and held multiple leadership positions with Goldrich & Kest Management, Inc. She holds several professional designations, including Certified Housing Asset Manager (CHAM-NWA), Non-Profit Affordable Housing Specialist (NWA Training Institute), Certified Professional of Occupancy (CPO), National Assisted Housing Professional (NAHP), as well as LIHTC, Fair Housing and 504 certifications.
Abode Community Housing is the nonprofit, community housing development organization (CHDO) affiliate of Abode Communities.
Incorporated in May 1996, Abode Community Housing was established to help further Abode Communities’ mission to develop affordable housing for low-income residents in the greater Los Angeles area, and to carry out other socially beneficial projects that support community and economic development in disadvantaged communities.
Community Housing currently owns seven affordable housing developments serving very low- and low-income families.
Ken Krug, Chair
Ken Krug is partner of real estate development in the law office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP. Krug specializes in the financing of multifamily housing, where he represents banks, other institutional lenders and investors in connection with originating and structuring construction and permanent loans. He is also responsible for the private placement and credit enhancement of tax exempt municipals bonds. Krug is a principal California lawyer for a major national syndicator of low-income housing tax credits, and has structured and negotiated the acquisition of more than 300 real estate developments that qualified for such credits, either through competitive allocation or tax exempt bond financing. He earned his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Duke University in 1979, and has a doctorate from University of Chicago Law School in 1982.
Ben Espitia, Secretary & Treasurer
Benicio (Ben) Espitia joined the Goodwill SOLAC staff in July 2000. As Director, Workforce Development, he is responsible for workforce training programs in healthcare, loss prevention and security, customer service, retail, introduction to computers, and GED literacy services. Espitia currently represents Goodwill SOLAC on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network Youth Council, the Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board, and is co-chair of the City of Long Beach Weed and Seed Workforce Development and Re-entry Subcommittee.
Prior to joining Goodwill SOLAC, Espitia served as Director of Community Services for the Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles. In that capacity, he worked with many Los Angeles County supported work and other employment agencies and was instrumental in developing a Business Advisory Council and a Hollywood/Wilshire Community Advisory Council for the regional center. He is a native of Texas and received his undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his graduate degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Jacque Robinson serves as Vice Mayor of the City of Pasadena and Policy Director for the Office of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Steve Zimmer. Robinson is one of the youngest elected officials in the City of Pasadena and is in her second term focusing on issues of economic development, public safety, and youth and young adult development. She has played a crucial role spearheading local labor initiatives for several high-profile city projects, including the Rose Bowl Stadium renovation.
Robinson was selected by her Council colleagues to serve as Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Youth, Families and Neighborhoods, and sits on the Transportation, Communications & Public Works Policy Committee of the California League of Cities. She is also actively involved in advocating on behalf of working families. Robinson regularly participates in community, issue-based and electoral campaigns with the California Teachers Association, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and the Los Angeles Urban League, among others. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.
Robin Hughes, President & CEO
Rick Saperstein, Executive Vice President & CFO
Holly Benson, Vice President Housing Development
Gio Aliano, Vice President Architecture
Luz Soto, Vice President Property Management
Gene Aldava, Vice President Human Resources & Administration
The Figueroa Corridor Community Land Trust and Figueroa Corridor Land Company are complementary tools and crucial elements of a broad-based community economic development strategy to combat the collision course between slum housing, gentrification, and displacement of low-income residents in the Figueroa Corridor of South Los Angeles.
Working in tandem with the Land Trust is the Figueroa Corridor Land Company, housed within Abode Communities. The Land Company has been established as a vehicle for purchasing, holding and entitling Land Trust properties.
With grant and loan funds raised from local, state and national foundations and lending institutions, the Land Company will purchase as many properties as possible in the short-term to avert further price escalation and displacement of residents. Target properties will include dilapidated apartment buildings, vacant lots and underutilized residential, commercial and industrial properties.
Victoria Basolo, Ph.D., AICP, is an Associate Professor in the Department Planning, Policy and Design at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), academic fellow of the Center for Real Estate at UCI, and affiliated faculty in the UCI Program in Demographic and Social Analysis. Basolo has applied her housing research and practical experience as an instructor for the NeighborWorks Training institute and as an invited speaker for various groups including the League of California Cities, Southern California Association of Governments, South Orange County Housing Coalition, the Washington State Housing Conference, and the City Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.
As president and chief executive of the Orange County Business Council, Lucy Dunn represents and promotes the business community, in collaboration with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity. Dunn has worked in a variety of occupations, ranging from law to real estate to government work. Two years ago, Dunn worked as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s housing director.
Sally Lang is a Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for the Community Lending Division of Wells Fargo Bank in Orange County. In this position, she manages a customer base of affordable housing developers headquartered in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties. The community lending activity includes construction financing for affordable housing tax credit transactions, commercial developments and affordable for-sale housing transactions including tax-exempt bond financing.
Lang has been involved in the real estate finance and affordable housing industries for more than 20 years in a variety of disciplines, including underwriting and financing of debt, feasibility and market studies of existing and proposed commercial and residential developments and oversight for the portfolio management of more than 850 properties for a national tax credit investor. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Bank in January 2007, she held similar positions in Southern California with US Bank and Washington Mutual. Lang is a board member of the San Diego Local Initiative Supportive Corporation (LISC) Local Advisory Committee, a member of the Orange County Housing Trust Fund Loan Committee, and a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) – inactive status. She is a Southern California native, a resident of Irvine, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in real estate finance and economics from the University of Southern California.
Ken Ryan as principal in the company’s Irvine office. With over 20 years of experience, Ryan has served as a leader guiding the design and implementation of a wide variety of complex high profile projects throughout the United States. Ryan heads KTGY’s Community Planning and Urban Design Studio providing expertise in master planned communities, urban design, mixed-use/regeneration, resort/recreation, strategic planning and entitlement services.
Some of Ryan’s award winning projects include Chapman University in Orange, California; Anaheim Honda Center; Desert Willow Resort, Palm Desert; and San Antonio’s Salado Creek Sports and Entertainment mixed-use district. Prior to joining KTGY, Ryan was a principal of EDAW, Inc.
Parking lots can become urban village, and decaying streetscapes can be revitalized to frame urban places, if the right urban design and master planning is applied - so contends Ernesto Vasquez, AIA, Founding Partner of MVE & Partners. Since joining with firm founder Carl McLarand in 1976, Vasquez has led design teams on more than 900 projects, many of which have won national or regional design and planning awards. Vasquez and MVE & Partners have been active internationally as well, with projects in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Australia, United Arab Emirates, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Costa Rica and Korea.
Peter R. Villegas is First Vice President and National Manager of Advocacy Affairs in the Office of Corporate Responsibility for JP Morgan Chase, responsible for the management of national partnerships, strategic alliances and reinforcing the company’s leadership position in key geographic and ethnic markets.
Recognized as a regional and national industry leader, Villegas has a wide-range knowledge of numerous banking and community issues; he is responsible for key advocacy, civic, political and community relationships, as well as public policy and corporate initiatives. Villegas has 21 years of experience beginning as a bank teller and working his way through various roles.
1149 S. Hill Street, Suite 700
Los Angeles, California 90015
Ken Krug, Chair Ken Krug is partner of real estate development in the law office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP. Krug specializes in the financing of multifamily housing, where he represents banks, other institutional lenders and investors in connection with originating and structuring construction and permanent loans. He is also responsible for the private placement and credit enhancement of tax exempt municipals bonds. Krug is a principal California lawyer for a major national syndicator of low-income housing tax credits, and has structured and negotiated the acquisition of more than 300 real estate developments that qualified for such credits, either through competitive allocation or tax exempt bond financing. He earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Duke University in 1979, and has a doctorate from University of Chicago Law School in 1982.
Theodore S. Chandler, Vice Chair Theodore (Ted) Chandler is chief operating officer of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT), a $4.5 billion fixed income mutual fund specializing in financing development of affordable housing. He has 26 years of experience in housing finance and community development, including 15 years with Fannie Mae and six years with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. As COO of the HIT, he provides management of the overall operations of the HIT, including setting policy as a member of the Executive Division, reporting to the CEO. He also chairs the HIT’s Portfolio Management Committee, is a member of its Investment Committee and Human Resources Committee, and served as a founding Director of its New Markets Tax Credit subsidiary Building America CDE. He also serves as the HIT’s Executive Vice President – Western Region for the HIT, based in Pasadena, California.
Chandler is Vice Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the National Housing Conference, and is on the Advisory Board of Greystone Community Development Enterprise. He is a founder and director emeritus of the California Housing Consortium. Chandler earned his juris doctorate from Stanford University Law School and bachelor of science degree from Harvard University.
Gail Lannoy, Secretary Gail Lannoy is west region market executive for community development banking, where she is responsible for managing Bank of America’s community development programs in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. These programs include financing the construction and preservation of affordable and workforce housing, lending to charter schools and community-based organizations and investing in tax credits. Prior to joining Bank of America, Lannoy was vice president at First Interstate Bank of California (now Wells Fargo Bank). There she managed the bank’s Los Angeles real estate center and a portfolio of commercial and residential construction loans.
Lannoy serves on the board of the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center and on its Governance Committee. She is past board chairperson for the California Community Reinvestment Corporation, a certified Community Development Financial Institution serving the California market and also serves on the board of the Los Angeles Urban League. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of arts degree and has a master’s degree in finance from the University of Southern California.
Fernando Villa, Treasurer Fernando Villa joined the law offices Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP in 2013 representing clients in land use entitlement, California Environmental Quality Act, and local government law matters involving a broad scope of entitlements for a range of development projects, including mixed-use, industrial, residential, retail, master-planned, and commercial developments. Prior to joining Allen Matkins, Villa served as Partner of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks in the firm’s real estate department where he was devoted to land use, environmental law, local government, entitlements and real estate dispute resolution.
With a concentration on Brownfield redevelopment projects, Villa combined his environmental, land use, real estate, public agency law and litigation expertise to entitle his clients’ developments while helping them manage environmental risks and any real-estate related disputes that might arise during the process. Villa received his doctorate from the University of California at Berkley, Boalt School of Law, and earned a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles, graduating magna cum laude.
Dr. Raphael Bostic Dr. Raphael Bostic is the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining USC in this capacity, he served three years in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In that Senate-confirmed position, Bostic was a principal advisor to the Secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the Secretary and other principal staff make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs. He led an interdisciplinary team which had expertise in all key departmental policy areas, including housing, housing finance, rental assistance, community development, economic development, sustainability and homelessness, among others.
Bostic was Director of USC’s Master of Real Estate Development degree program and was the founding director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. Prior to that, he worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where his work on the Community Reinvestment Act earned him a Special Achievement Award. He earned his doctorate in economics from Stanford University and bachelor of arts from Harvard University.
Kelly Boyer Kelly Boyer is HUD FHA/MAP Director at Citi Community Capital and is responsible for the oversight of the development, implementation and integration of the FHA lending platform into the company’s core affordable housing lending activities. Boyer is particularly skilled in handling affordable housing deals with FHA financing and layered secondary sources, including LIHTC, HOME and CDBG, as well as local sources of funding.
Prior to joining Citi Community Capital, Boyer served as the owner and manager of K2U, LLC, an independent consulting services company specializing in HUD multifamily and public housing redevelopment, rental assistance programs and FHA financing. She also worked as the director of HUD’s Los Angeles Multifamily Hub in which she aligned FHA resources to work more closely with financing sources and regularly collaborated with state agencies to remove obstacles to FHA financing on affordable transactions. Most notably, Boyer played a pivotal role in the development of key preservation programs such as HUD’s Section 236 prepayment process and preservation program and the FHA LIHTC Pilot Program. Boyer obtained her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Berea College.
Maria Bustria-Glickman Maria Bustria-Glickman is vice president of business development for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. She is responsible for managing new markets and historic tax credit origination activities throughout the Western region of the country. Since joining U.S. Bank, Bustria-Glickman has been involved with a variety of tax credit transactions that have included mixed-use, commercial, office, hospitality, retail and community facilities. She has over 11 years of combined finance, affordable housing and management consulting experience across private and non-profit sectors. Her professional interests are rooted in experiences that merge economic and financial gains with positive social and community impact. Bustria-Glickman received a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University and bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Boston College.
Howard M. Heitner Howard Heitner is the President of RP Strategies, a real estate consulting firm. Heitner’s experience includes work on more than 1,000 low-income housing tax credit transactions ranging from legal, investor and asset management to property management, compliance and disposition perspectives. Heitner began his career as an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and, after 17 years, was recruited to serve as the Chief Operating Officer of SunAmerica’s affordable housing subsidiary. Prior to joining RP Strategies, Heitner spent five years as the President of the property and asset management divisions of JRK Residential America, a private real estate investment company.
Heitner has served on various nonprofit boards, including the Los Angeles Conservancy, Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, Menorah Housing and Shelter Partnership. He graduated from Bucknell University and received a juris doctorate degree and masters of business administration from the University of Chicago.
Phyllis Klein Phyllis Klein is vice president of multifamily customer management for the Fannie Mae Multifamily Mortgage Business Division. In this role, she leads a team that manages eight DUS lender relationships which includes the structuring, pricing and negotiation of multifamily transactions.
Klein is the former Executive Director of the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC). In this role, she implemented the most extensive revamping of the allocation system for tax-exempt bonds undertaken nationwide. Prior to joining the State Treasurer’s Office, She was Regional Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank’s Community Lending Division in Los Angeles, California. Klein holds a bachelor of arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a masters of business administration from the University of Southern California.
Byron K. Reed Byron K. Reed is senior vice president and director of Wells Fargo’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, Community Development Group. He has over 29 years of banking experience including working for institutions such as Bank of America, Bank One and JPMorgan Chase. His depth of experience includes retail banking, client trust services; consumer, small business and commercial lending, government relations, community development; global and corporate philanthropy; and most recently, consumer real estate. Reed serves on numerous boards, which include appointments to the UCLA School of Public Affairs Advisory Board, Los Angeles Police Foundation, the Pat Brown Institute, Chrysalis, Urban League of Los Angeles, Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, and the United States Community Development Corporation. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science/public administration with a minor in business finance from the University of Oklahoma.
Sean Spear Sean Spear is managing director of 1410 Partners, LLC, where he consults on the acquisition, development, financing and execution of affordable housing development transactions. With more than 20 years of community development and housing finance experience, Spear’s distinguished career began with him serving as a city planner with the New York City Department of City Planning, and led to his roles in project and public finance with the San Francisco Housing Authority and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.
Prior to joining 1410 Partners, Spear served as the executive director of the California Debt Allocation Committee (CDLAC) administering the private activity bond program for California. He managed the agency’s efforts in annually allocating more than $3.8 billion in tax-exempt bond authority to private projects that provide a defined public benefit in communities throughout the State. Subsequent to his role at CDLAC, Spear was the director of major projects for the former City of Los Angeles Housing Department where he was responsible for the City’s rental housing production programs. Spear received his bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Affairs and master’s degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Lucinda Starrett Lucinda Starrett is a partner in the Los Angeles law offices of Latham & Watkins, where she is a member and former chair of the office’s Environmental, Land and Resources Department. She co-chairs the Land Use Practice Group and the Climate Change Practice Group. Her practice includes approval for real estate development and infrastructure projects, advising on government contract issues, as well as related environmental and transactional matters. Her California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) practice focuses on administrative and pre-litigation counseling. Starrett served as the Chair of the Central City Association and was a founding board member of Genesis LA, a nonprofit devoted to economic development activities. Her community activities include service on the board of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, which supports parks and recreation activities. She has been recognized as both a Leading Woman in Real Estate and as a Woman of Achievement by the Century City Chamber of Commerce, and named among the "Top 100 Lawyers in California” by the Daily Journal. Ms. Starrett graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1979 and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984. She served as executive director of a University of Pennsylvania-Princeton study of philanthropy and was a Fulbright Scholar, studying women’s roles in politics in developing countries.
Ronne Thielen Ronne Lynn Thielen is Executive Vice President of R4 Capital Inc., responsible for running west coast operations as well as acquiring tax-credit housing and bond-financed properties throughout the United States. Thielen has spent her 35-year real estate finance and investment career as an affordable housing advocate and has been a LIHTC industry leader since inception of the program in 1986. She also served as managing director in the Affordable Housing Group at Centerline Capital Group, where she managed its California office and grew its LIHTC portfolio into the largest segment of the company’s tax-credit portfolio.
Thielen is the current chairman and immediate past president of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, and remains an active member of several national and state associations that address affordable housing issues. She is past chairman and current board member of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association, and a board member of the California Housing Consortium. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Cornell University.
Feng Xiao Feng Xiao is principal for the architectural design firm of Torti Gallas in Los Angeles, where she is Head of Architecture for projects located in the western United States. She has a depth of experience in residential, commercial, retail and urban revitalization projects, all the while focusing her design vision on natural settings that extend beyond building walls. Her international experience includes work in China, and since joining Torti Gallas, she has led several of the firm’s high-profile residential and mixed-use projects. Xiao is a registered architect in California and Maryland. She earned a Master of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Tianjin University in China.
We value our residents. By observing and learning learn from their diversity and shared experiences, we are able to enhance the design, development and operation of communities that promote personal growth, family stability, and community pride.
Helping children thrive
Children in low-income families are disproportionately affected by the lack of quality, affordable housing. Their safety is endangered when they play in dilapidated, unsecured and unsupervised areas. They are more vulnerable to illness from asbestos, contaminated water, lead poisoning or other hazards. Their futures are at risk as well. Research shows that when children live in poor housing conditions or must move frequently, their education suffers.
We work with communities to assess their needs and coordinate with a network of local organizations, volunteers and government agencies to link children, youth, families and adults with social, educational, cultural and recreational services.
At Abode Communities family housing developments, we work in partnership with community groups to offer children and youth services such as:
The combination of safe, well-designed housing and academic and enrichment programs designed for children and youth helps reduce the educational achievement gap, with long-term benefits not only to our resident children, but also to our nation’s overall economic competitiveness.
We value projects that transform and revitalize neighborhoods and will be a catalyst for progressive and positive physical, social and economic change.
The communities in which we work have usually experienced tremendous disinvestment. As we focus on place-based changes through affordable housing and supportive resources, we have witnessed how investment in neighborhoods, is a catalyst for stronger communities.
Many of those struggling to make ends meet live in neighborhoods with lack of adequate housing and community resources, and are among the hardworking individuals many of us rely on each day – janitors, child care providers, bank tellers, nurses’ aides, security guards, retail clerks, truck drivers and teachers. The average incomes for these, and far too many other workers, are simply not enough to pay the rent on most apartment units in our urban areas. It is even more difficult for working parents to make ends meet, as the cost of child care is an additional, and expensive, burden.
Through comprehensive revitalization and placemaking, Abode Communities transforms entire neighborhoods and provides safe and stable homes for families. Building a better life and pursuing opportunity begins with having a place to live, and for more than four decades, Abode Communities has provided thousands of families with affordable homes.
Download the Summer 2013 Newsletter
Winter 2012 Newsletter
Winter 2011 Newsletter
November 2010 Newsletter
November 27, 2012
Casa Dominguez Reimagines Concept of Affordable Housing
November 9, 2011
Casa Dominguez Solar Installations Featured in Los Angeles Times
November 27, 2010
Glassell Park Community Housing Featured in the Los Angeles Times
October 27, 2010
Abode Communities Awarded $4 Million by U.S. Treasury
October 11, 2010
Ivy Terrace Opens in Van Nuys
June 15, 2010
Casa Dominguez Hits Globe Street
September 18, 2009
Tavis Smiley Interviews Holly Benson, Housing Director for Abode Communities
American Planning Association
Planning Implementation Award
Revitalization Plan, 1999
Social Change and Diversity Award
New Dana Strand, 2008
Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals
Hermes Creative Award, OpEd, 2013
Black Business Association
Executive Leadership Award, 2013
California Community Foundation
Unsung Hero Award, 2009
California Council of the American Institute of Architects
Community Housing and Assistance Honor Award 1995, 1996
California Preservation Foundation
Mary Andrews Clark Residence, 1995
Young Apartments, 1996
California Redevelopment Association
Award for Excellence in Multi-family Housing
Las Brisas Community Housing, Phase I, 2006
Award for Excellence in Multi-family Housing
Grisham Community Housing, 2005
Award for Excellence in Multi-family Housing
Orange Grove Gardens, 2007
City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission
Historic Preservation Award of Excellence Mary Andrews Clark Residence, 1996
City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission
Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Volunteer Service, 1979
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Federal Housing Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award, 1994
Best Practices Award, Community Planning and Development
Lohart Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, 1999
Great Western Financial Corporation
Leslie N. Shaw, Sr. Memorial Award, 1988
Gold Nugget “Best in the West”
Award of Merit
Mary Andrews Clark Residence, 1995
City of Los Angeles Community Development Department
Award of Excellence in Community Development Block Grant Programs, 1997
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Founder’s Award, 1989
Los Angeles Business Council
Beautification Award for Remodeled Multi-family Residence
Hollywood El Centro, 1996
Beautification Award for Remodeled Multi-family Residence
Mary Andrews Clark Residence, 1995
Beautification Award for Historic Preservation
Young Apartments, 1996
National Real Estate Investor
Outstanding Women in Real Estate, Champion of Affordable Housing - Robin Hughes, 2011
Senior Housing Council of the Building Industry Association of Southern California
SAGE Merit Award Winner - Project of the Year
Heritage Court Apartments, 2001
Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing
Project of the Year, Orange Grove Gardens, 2006
Project of the Year, Heritage Court Apartments, 2001
Developer of the Year, 1996
Project of the Year, Hollywood El Centro, 1995
Project of the Year, Young Apartments, 1995
Project of the Year, Orange Grove Gardens 2006
Project of the Year, Hart Village 2008
Developer of the Year, 2009
Project of the Year, Casa Dominguez, 2010
Project of the Year, Ivy Terrace, 2011
Senior Housing Project of the Year, Hudson Oaks, 2012
U.S. Green Building Council
LEED for Homes Platinum, Casa Dominguez, 2010
LEED for Homes Platinum, Ivy Terrace, 2011
Best Affordable Project, LEED for Homes, Rio Vista, 2012
U.S. Green Building Council - Los Angeles
Sustainable Innovation Award - Water Efficiency, Casa Dominguez, 2011
Sustainable Innovation Award - Innovation in Design Honorable Mention, Casa Dominguez, 2011
Sustainable Innovation Award - Sustainable Sites, Rio Vista, 2012
Women in Business
Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director - Robin Hughes, 2012
In these difficult times, your contributions mean so much more.
Beyond Homes, the Abode Communities resident services program, must now fill an even greater void for families who have experienced jobs loss, have limited access to support services, or may be on the verge of homelessness.
Your donation can support on-site services that make hop a reality for the families who call Abode Communities' developments "home."
Click: Donate Now
1149 S. Hill Street, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Your contribution is tax deductible as permitted by law; tax identification number 95-6377511. Please make checks payable to Abode Communities. Call 213-225-2730 with any questions.
Abode Communities would like to thank the following corporations, organizations and individuals for their generous support and for helping us build hope.Accountemps
Individual SupportersVictoria Basolo
In response to the increasing need for public recreation space and health and wellness programs for underserved families in rapidly evolving Downtown Los Angeles, California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) has partnered with Abode Communities to provide architectural and project management services for the development of the Hope Street Family Center.
Hope Street is a model in designing and building a high-performance, green building while meeting the challenges of budgetary limitations. And by collaborating with a wide array of community partners, Hope Street offers a continuum of health care, mental health, early childhood education, adult education, high school, family literacy, and social services that support families from birth through adulthood.