From the San Diego Housing Commission's press release:
Wendy DeWitt, the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Vice President of Preservation, will be honored with the John Craven Public Service Memorial Award from the San Diego Housing Federation at the upcoming Ruby Awards ceremony on June 15.
“Wendy’s expertise, skill, dedication and professionalism have produced results that have made a positive impact for families with low income in the City of San Diego throughout her career,”
SDHC Interim President and CEO Jeff Davis said. “She is deserving of this prestigious honor, as her ongoing public service continues to benefit San Diego residents.”
Throughout her more than 30 years with SDHC, she has led and advanced initiatives to create and preserve affordable rental housing in the City of San Diego—both of which are essential to addressing the housing crisis.
“In the nearly 30 years that I’ve had the pleasure to work with Wendy, she has always been unafraid to engage stakeholders, no matter how thorny the issue or prickly the group. The citizens of San Diego are fortunate to have been served so well by such a public servant,” said Stephen Russell, the San Diego Housing Federation’s President and CEO.
She currently leads SDHC’s efforts to preserve existing affordable rental housing, including naturally occurring affordable housing, such as single-room occupancy units. SDHC’s convening of the first Interagency Preservation Working Group for the City of San Diego and the City of San Diego Preservation Collaborative Stakeholder Group are among the strategies she has overseen after presenting SDHC’s preservation strategy recommendations to the City Council, which were approved in October 2020.
Her past work at SDHC included serving as Vice President of Policy, working on SDHC’s advocacy for effective affordable housing policies and resources, and as Vice President of Real Estate Programs and Special Initiatives, where she was involved in the creation and implementation of special initiatives, such as SDHC’s “Addressing the Housing Affordability Crisis” reports, including “San Diego Housing Production Objectives 2018 – 2028,” which identified the City’s housing needs over 10 years and the five main sources of potential additional housing units for that time period.
She has also managed the development of affordable housing SDHC owns and operates; implemented the startup and operation of SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners; and served in the Multifamily Finance Department, which provides crucial gap financing for affordable housing developments.
Participation in strategic planning and revenue development for SDHC, as well as advocacy at the state and federal level for affordable housing policies and programs are also among the key responsibilities she has performed in her career.
A former board member of the San Diego Housing Federation, she is the current President of the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies.
The John Craven Public Service Memorial Award is presented to a public employee who has taken risks and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist affordable housing developers. Given in memory of John Craven, one of San Diego’s most prominent housing development officials, this award includes $1,000 donation from the Craven family to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choosing.
The San Diego Housing Federation’s annual Ruby Awards recognize the “best people, projects, and achievements” in affordable housing in San Diego. Tickets are available for the 2023 Ruby Awards, which will be held the evening of Thursday, June 15, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Visit https://sdhf.regfox.com/2023-ruby-awards