Ken Lombard (Courtesy photo)

Under the leadership of President and CEO Ken Lombard, BRIDGE Housing is playing a growing role in increasing access to affordable housing in Los Angeles and throughout the West Coast.

To help strengthen these efforts, BRIDGE recently announced the hiring of Eric R. Brown, a policy and communications leader with deep L.A. roots and 30 years of public service experience.

Brown is joining BRIDGE as senior vice president for Communications and Policy after spending 14 years at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) where he managed relationships with local, state and national authorities, oversaw public safety at the Authority’s housing properties, and served as spokesman.

“HACLA’s partnership with BRIDGE to redevelop the historic Jordan Downs housing project in South L.A. has given me an appreciation for the company’s ability to transform not only real estate, but also lives,” Brown said.

“I’m proud to be a part of Ken Lombard’s dedicated, mission-driven team.”

Eric Brown (Courtesy photo)

A native Angeleno, Brown has held a variety of public service positions in Los Angeles, including serving as a deputy mayor under Mayor James Hahn. He enjoys a reputation as a skilled executive, communicator, and consensus-builder on affordable housing and other community issues, particularly in underserved L.A. communities.

“Eric will be instrumental in shaping our advocacy and outreach efforts throughout the West Coast as we continue to tell the BRIDGE story and build support and awareness around our work,” said Lombard, also based in Los Angeles.

“Eric has three decades of experience in public service and consulting with a deep knowledge of affordable housing and a proven strategic skillset. I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”

BRIDGE is leading the development of 180 affordable housing units opening later this year at the corner of Vermont and Manchester in South L.A. as part of the Evermont project, along with a second nonprofit partner.

Inaccurate statements were made on social media recently that NBA star Russell Westbrook is participating in the housing project, but his involvement is limited only to the retail component of the community.

BRIDGE is also a leading player in the redevelopment of the storied Jordan Downs community in Watts as part of a partnership with HACLA. BRIDGE is currently leading a major phase that will deliver 119 new apartment homes to the property with 107 designated for affordable to low-income families.

Brown started his career in local L.A. politics. In addition to serving as deputy mayor for Human Services in the Hahn administration, he also served as the Mayor’s liaison with the city’s African American community.

After leaving City Hall in 2005, he founded The Brown Group, which provided strategic advisory services on government affairs. In 2008, Brown joined L.A. Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s office as the deputy chief of staff.

Brown is one of four significant new hires at BRIDGE in recent weeks, as the organization broadens its reach. BRIDGE also created senior vice president roles for Melissa Haynes Martin, who will oversee property management; Elizabeth Van Benschoten, who will oversee capital markets; and Sean Clark, who will oversee acquisitions and development.

“All four of these professionals bring a wealth of talent and experience, as well as a deep commitment to our mission of strengthening communities through solutions to the housing crisis,” Lombard said.

BRIDGE Housing currently owns or manages 127 affordable housing communities with approximately 14,000 units in California, Oregon and Washington that are home to a total of 30,000 people, with another 8,000 units in the development pipeline.

BRIDGE recently received its largest-ever donation – $8 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott – and last year celebrated its 40th anniversary of improving lives and strengthening communities on the West Coast.