We began 2020 with big state law changes that dramatically loosened restrictions in many SMC jurisdictions. COVID-19 has made accessory dwelling unit (ADU) development an even greater priority in neighborhoods with overcrowded and unaffordable living conditions. How are we doing with ADUs, one year into a very different chapter? What should we focus on, moving forward? A coalition of city and community stakeholders working in the City of East Palo Alto, presenting for the third year in a row, will dive into the weeds on lessons learned from initiatives they’ve focused on in 2020 and 2021.
Derek Ouyang - Moderator
Co-founder – City Systems
Derek Ouyang graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with dual Bachelor’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architectural Design, and in 2015 with a Master’s in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics. He was project manager of Stanford’s first-ever entry to the U.S. DOE’s 2013 Solar Decathlon and has been featured as an up-and-coming designer in the Los Angeles Times, in Home Energy magazine’s “30 under 30”, at TEDxStanford, and at Stanford+Connects NY and Seattle. He is Co-Founder of City Systems and Program Manager of Stanford’s Future Bay Initiative.
Program Manager – HEART of San Mateo
Boris joined HEART in 2017 as a management and program analyst to help manage and grow HEART’s housing programs and is currently the program manager. Boris oversees HEART’s homebuyer assistance program as well as the GLADUR ADU program. He also works with the Executive Director in the management and disbursement of HEART’s development funds and in the development of long-range programs. He has a background in real estate law, program management, and has worked in residential and commercial real estate, including for a Fortune 500 company. He holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Senior Planner – City of East Palo Alto
Daniel is a native of the Bay Area and has been working with the City of East Palo Alto since 2014. As a City Planner, he focuses on both current and long-range planning projects. Daniel has worked on a variety of housing-related projects including several multi-family affordable residential buildings. He assisted in developing the ADU Ordinance Update for the city that was adopted in 2020. He has a degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.
Director of Housing Programs – Soup
Pam Dorr is Director of Affordable Housing for the Blocks program at Soup. She uses design and technology to tackle tough social problems, including the Bay Area housing crisis. She is an entrepreneur known for innovative affordable housing and economic development projects that build stronger communities.
Vice President – Hello Housing
Jennifer Duffy, Vice President, brings 20 years of experience pioneering new models of housing and service delivery for individuals and working families across the socioeconomic spectrum. Designing and implementing new programs is a strength and a passion that Jennifer brings to her work. She has helped Bay Area cities and counties craft new approaches to maintain and protect existing affordable housing stock during the economic downturn while also designing anti-blight and anti-displacement strategies through innovative public-private partnerships with mission-oriented companies. In her current role Jennifer assesses feasibility of new housing programs and projects, leads all program design activities, manages partnerships with lenders, contractors, homeowners, homebuyers, government funders, service providers, peer nonprofit organizations and partner developers. She leads the implementation teams for all new contracts and oversees Hello Housing’s construction management staff. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Masters of Social Welfare from the University of Kansas and is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Loan Originator in the State of California.
Debra R. Sanderson
Debra Sanderson (MCP, MIT (1977), retired Planning Manager for the City of Berkeley, has 25 years of experience in local land use planning. Previously she worked 10 years in the Boston, MA area as an environmental policy planner. Debra now focuses on facilitating construction of ADUs, especially to help income-challenged property owners and older adults stay in their homes. She co-chairs the ADU Task Force, a consortium of volunteer professionals committed to building ADUs. She is also co-founder and Board member of the newly formed the Casita Coalition.
Program Associate – EPACANDO
Iliana Nicholas is a Program Associate at EPACANDO for the CANDO ADU program, a project aimed to assist East Palo Alto homeowners to get accessory dwelling units in their backyards. Iliana came to EPACANDO shortly after graduating with a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from San José State University. She previously worked in the field of environmental justice in East Palo Alto around climate resilience and adaptation planning. She holds a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), also known as the art of storytelling through maps. Iliana lives in East Palo Alto and aspires to continue to be of service to her community. In her spare time, she volunteers as a youth mentor, empowering youth to pursue higher education, engage in civic participation, and become agents of social change.
Housing Project Manager – City of East Palo Alto
Rachel Horst is the Housing Project Manager for the City of East Palo Alto, where she is responsible for leading the City's housing policy initiatives and increasing the number of affordable units citywide. Rachel has broad expertise in state and local policy, with prior roles as project manager of healthy food access initiatives for the Health Trust, a San Jose-based nonprofit, and as a legislative analyst for the University of California system. Rachel holds an M.P.P. from University of California, Los Angeles.
Principal – Baird + Driskell Community Planning
Josh Abrams is a principal at Baird + Driskell Community Planning. As of late, he has been up to his eyeballs in ADUs. He designed an ADU cost/rent calculator, which is rolling out statewide. He has written ADU handbooks and designed websites for four counties. He provided the initial staffing for the Casita Coalition, a statewide organization encouraging ADUs. He helped start two ADU help centers. He is a frequent presenter for homeowners and jurisdictions trying to learn more about the ADU approval process. He is currently working on a preapproved plan program in Sonoma Napa. And he lived in an ADU in graduate school.
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