People for Housing OC advocates for increased production of affordable and missing middle housing in Orange County, CA. We were founded out of the YIMBY movement (Yes in My Backyard) in 2017 by OC residents concerned about the rising costs of housing.
The housing shortage in California, including Orange County, has created an affordability crisis that disproportionately impacts low-income families and communities of color. The solutions to this systemic problem are multifaceted and complex; we know that increased housing production of affordable and missing middle housing is a key element of the solution.
Building new housing in high-opportunity communities that have thwarted development of multi-family housing in their neighborhoods is key to undoing historical patterns of racial and economic segregation.
We envision an integrated Orange County where every person has access to stable, affordable housing near jobs, community services and high-quality educational opportunities.
Elizabeth Hansburg is an Urban Planner and Policy Advocate. She co-founded People for Housing OC after attending the 2016 SCAG. California Housing Summit where she learned about the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) movement. Since January 2017, she has led the grassroots YIMBY effort in OC to build public support for new affordable and attainable housing opportunities. In her role as the Executive Director of P4H, she promotes the organization’s mission to create more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Orange County communities where everyone can find a safe, stable, and affordable home. Elizabeth holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Natalia Hernandez serves as the current Housing Advocacy Community Organizer at People for Housing OC. She is a graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Political Science and Professional Writing Minor in Civic Engagement which became the foundation of her desire to promote equitable opportunities for marginalized populations. Natalia’s professional history consists of serving as an intern at nonprofit organizations such as The Learning Rights Law Center and The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation as well as a published writer/editor for The Bottom Line Newspaper in Santa Barbara, CA.
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Antonia is the Director of Energy Policy and Strategy, Americas for BayWa, a leading renewable energy project developer. Prior to this position she served as Vice President of a Public Affairs firm and spent more than twenty years working in local government. She served as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Fullerton and as the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Huntington Beach. Ms. Graham led regional efforts and created the Orange County Recycling Market Development Zone and created a working group of cities to study community choice energy, eventually forming the Orange County Power Authority. She holds a BA in Political Science and American Studies and an MPA with a concentration in Public Finance from Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) as well as a a Master’s degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Ms. Graham also teaches courses focused on sustainability policy at CSUF and Cal Poly Pomona. Ms. Graham recently had a case study published in the book, Sustainable World: Approaches to Analyzing & Resolving Wicked Problems and was selected as the Arizona State University School of Sustainability Alumni of the Year (2018) and the 2022 CSUF MPA Alumni of the Year.
Daniel Gehman is the Principal Architect at Danielian Associates Architects + Planners, an architecture and planning firm dedicated to planning and designing trend-setting, forward-thinking homes and sustainable residential communities. Daniel is passionate about multifamily housing, loves working in dense urban and transit oriented environments, is sensitive to attainability, and is a big fan of modular construction solutions.
David C. Smith is a Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, providing legal counsel to land developers, conservation companies, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and individuals at the intersection of law and government on land use entitlement, real estate development and regulatory compliance. His practice includes California’s climate change law (SB 375, AB 32, et al.) and water supply law (SB 211, SB 610), and state and federal endangered species acts. Other specific areas of focus are the McAteer-Petris Act, the federal Clean Water Act with the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, the National Environmental Policy Act with the California Environmental Quality Act, and California’s planning and zoning laws.
Jeff Gibson is a Communications and Campaign Consultant with his firm Occidental Communications Group. Jeff has spent his career fighting to improve the lives of everyday employers, employees, families, and residents in California and across the country. As a longtime non-profit and corporate board member, the organizations he has helped found, lead, and serve have cared for children with cancer in over 200 hospitals globally, expanded physical education programs in more than 100 Southern California schools, and provided more than 1,000 holiday meals to homeless families in Costa Mesa through a door-to-door food drive.
Nishtha Mohindra is the Chief Program Officer at Families Forward, a nonprofit based in Irvine. Families Forward is dedicated to helping families in crisis regain financial stability and self-sufficiency with resources such as food, housing, counseling, education and other support services. Nishtha has a master’s degree in Social Work and more than 10 years of experience working with adults and families on issues related to homelessness, health, violence against women, mental health and addiction, oppression, and family crises in diverse settings such as the United States, Canada, and India. She currently serves on the Continuum of Care Board for Orange County, recently received the 2022 40 under 40 award from the Irvine Commerce Chamber, and was included on the OC Register's 125 Most Influential list for 2022.
Rona Henry retired from a 30-year career in
philanthropy after serving in a variety of roles with
including grant management and operations,
national program management, program officer,
financial officer and staff development. She now
works nearly full-time as a volunteer advocate
focusing on homelessness and affordable housing through the Welcoming Neighbors Home Initiative, a ministry of Tapestry, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lake Forest, CA. Through service, education and advocacy, this
ministry is striving to end homelessness in South
Orange County. Rona is also an advocate for women's reproductive rights.
Ryan Aeh is the Senior Vice President, Land Acquisition for City Ventures in Irvine, CA as well as a Board Member on the Irvine Community Land Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to creating permanent and affordable housing in Irvine and Orange County. Ryan’s career over the past 20 years has been dedicated to the development of more than 2,500 homes in Southern California’s supply constrained coastal infill markets with experience in residential and retail real estate development. Notably, Ryan was named “40 Under 40” in Orange County by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce in 2019.
Natalia Hernandez serves as the current Housing Advocacy Community Organizer at People for Housing OC. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Political Science and Professional Writing Minor in Civic Engagement which became the foundation of her desire to promote equitable opportunities for marginalized populations. Natalia’s professional history consists of serving as an intern at nonprofit organizations such as The Learning Rights Law Center and The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation as well as a published writer/editor for The Bottom Line Newspaper in Santa Barbara, CA.
Leonel Velazquez Rodríguez serves as the current Community Liaison at People for Housing OC. Leonel was educated at Cal State University Long Beach through its Community Scholars Program: Policy & Systems Change. Leonel believes that in order to be emphatic with the community, you must learn the community languages.
He is a passionate advocate for bringing about systematic change from a culture of oppression to a culture of equity and firmly believes in the power of community voices coming together collectively to work towards a common good.