Affordable housing is the backbone of better opportunities for all. ChangeMakers with Katie Goar analyzes the issues and challenges being faced in affordable housing today. In each episode, Katie speaks with finance experts, thought leaders, and change-makers to explore innovative solutions that provide more affordable housing options across the country. Whether you want to learn more about economic development, government funding, why affordable housing makes good economic policy, and why the total community benefits from affordable housing, this is the podcast for you.
Episode 87 | Part One: Shaundra Clark, Executive Director, Tifton Housing Authority
This week's ChangeMaker is Shaundra Clark. Shaundra is the visionary Executive Director of the Tifton Housing Authority in Georgia. With 30 years of experience in public housing, she oversees operations and drives initiatives to expand affordable housing. Under her leadership, Tifton developed the nation's first mobile app for public housing residents. In 2019, she became one of only two African-American women designated as a Fellow by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Shaundra brings compassion, wisdom, and a commitment to equity to all her work.
About Shaundra Clark: Shaundra, a native of Mississippi, has served in the public housing industry for nearly 30 years. She has been the Executive Director for the Tifton Housing Authority since June 2000. Prior to employment with the Tifton Housing Authority, Shaundra was employed as the Director of Administration with the Albany Housing Authority.Shaundra received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Stillman College and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. She was designated a National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Fellow in October 2019 at the NAHRO Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. She was the second African American woman to be designated as a NAHRO Fellow in the country. As a NAHRO Fellow, Shaundra acts as a mentor to housing professionals across the country and she has served as a panelist for the Executive Director Boot Camp. Additionally, she sits on the national NAHRO small agency advisory committee which recommends housing policy affecting small housing authorities.Shaundra is the President of the Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO), which covers 10 states. Shaundra is the second African American female to serve as president and the 5th African American president in SERC’s 80-year history. As president of SERC, Shaundra established a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee to bring DEI awareness and training to the Southeastern Region.Also, under Shaundra’s leadership, she worked with Brooks-Jeffrey (web developer) to develop the Tifton Housing Authority Mobile Application, which was the first of its kind in the country. Other accomplishments include the establishment of Tifton Housing Partners, Inc., a non-profit subsidiary of the THA, as well as the substantial rehabilitation of Deas Apartments.Over the years, Shaundra has generously given her time to several community agencies, institutions, and outreach ministries (educational, social, civic, and faith-based) in the Dougherty and Tift County areas. Locally, she serves on the PLIGHT (Proud Loving Individuals Giving a Hand to Teens) Board, Ruth’s Cottage Board and the Tifton Council for the Arts Board. Ms. Clark served on the Ruth’s Cottage steering committee during its capital campaign for the new facility, which was completed in 2021. Shaundra has been a committed member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (a national public service organization of college educated women) for 34 years. She is also a devoted member of Christ’s Church and serves as the Financial Committee Chair.Shaundra served as president of both the Tift County Rotary Club and the Tifton Rotary Club. While president of the Tifton Rotary Club, she worked with club members to establish an annual scholarship in honor of Leon Benefield, a former District Governor and member of the Tifton Rotary Club.Lastly, in February 2021 Clark was selected as one of four outstanding alumni for 2020 at her beloved alma mater, Stillman College.
Best Of | Lindsey Reames, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Housing Commission
In this episode from April, Lindsey Reames, Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Housing Commission, joins Katie to discuss her 30-year career in affordable and public housing. Lindsey shares how she went from housing management to leading advocacy efforts for low-income families. She emphasizes the importance of community engagement, collaboration, and innovation in tackling affordable housing challenges. Lindsey provides insights into overseeing housing authorities, helping them meet program requirements, and providing technical assistance. Her hands-on expertise has made a meaningful difference for countless individuals and families. Lindsey's passion for housing justice and equity makes her an inspirational changemaker dedicated to a more just society.
Best Of | Kimberly Black King, Chief of Real Estate Development, Volunteers of America
Katie revisits one of her most popular episodes of 2023 with ChangeMaker, Kimberly Black King, a trailblazer in affordable housing development. As Chief of Real Estate Development at Volunteers of America, Kimberly has spent over two decades transforming communities by creating vibrant, sustainable, and affordable housing. From overcoming obstacles to forging powerful partnerships, she shares her uplifting journey and hard-won wisdom. You'll discover how perseverance and compassion can lead to real change. Kimberly's passion shines as she reveals her vision for affordable housing that empowers individuals, strengthens families, and rebuilds neighborhoods. Let Kimberly's courage and conviction ignite your own drive to make a difference. This is an episode that will move you from dreaming to doing.
Episode 86 | Part Two: Alexandria Lafci, Founder and Managing Partner, Hometeam Ventures
In this second part of Katie's conversation with ChangeMaker, Alexandria Lafci, they explore how her firm, Hometeam Ventures, is investing in innovative construction technology that will transform affordable housing development. They'll discuss how Hometeam Ventures is using data and software to reduce housing costs, improve quality of life, and increase access to homeownership for low-income families. We’ll also learn about some of the innovative approaches that Alexandria is taking to make affordable housing more accessible. Join us for this fascinating conversation with Alexandria Lafci and discover how technology can be a powerful tool for social change.
Episode 86 | Part One: Alexandria Lafci, Founder and Managing Partner, Hometeam Ventures
How do you solve one of the most pressing challenges of our time: the global housing crisis? For ChangeMaker Alexandria Lafci, the answer is simple: use technology to create innovative and scalable solutions. In this episode, Katie talks to Alexandria about her journey from growing up in Section 8 housing to becoming a Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur and a leader in the affordable housing space. We learn about her experience co-founding New Story, an award-winning nonprofit that built over 3,000 homes in Latin America and created the world’s first 3D-printed housing community. We also hear about her latest venture, Hometeam Ventures, a startup that leverages data and software to reduce housing costs and improve the quality of life for low-income families. Alexandria shares her insights on how to drive social impact through entrepreneurship, how to overcome challenges and failures, and how to inspire others to join her mission of building a better future for affordable housing. Tune in to this episode and get ready to be inspired by Alexandria’s passion, vision, and impact.
Episode 85 | Part Two: Gilbert Winn, CEO, WinnCompanies
In the second part of Katie's talk with Gilbert Winn the CEO of WinnCompanies, they dive deeper into Gilbert's remarkable career. He shares what it meant to be inducted into the Affordable Housing Finance Hall of Fame, a testament to his industry leadership. Gilbert is humble about accolades, believing excellence comes from teams, not individuals. Still, he explains why celebrating achievements at all levels of an organization is important for motivation and inspiration. Gilbert also elaborates on how equitable housing positively impacts residents. Overall, this episode provides rare insight into the passions, values, and vision of one of America's most influential affordable housing leaders. Gilbert Winn's steadfast commitment to equity makes him a true ChangeMaker.