Sacramento Housing Alliance allies itself with Davis policy expert

By Cody Drabble

A Davis resident and housing policy expert took the reins of the Sacramento Housing Alliance on January 6.

Incoming executive director Darryl Rutherford fills the vacancy left by Bob Erlenbusch, who departed over the summer to form the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness.

Greg Sparks, who served as interim executive director during the selection process, touted Rutherford’s local roots and deep knowledge of affordable housing issues in the Central Valley. “The board did interview a couple of candidates from outside the area and quickly understood that, while somebody may have experience, knowledge of the Sacramento region is critical,” Sparks told SN&R.

According to Sparks, the selection process began in August with a pool of about 60 applicants, which the board narrowed down to a final four. The position draws a salary in the $70,000 to $80,000 range.

Rutherford looked forward to immersing himself in the affordable housing challenges ahead. “I like getting involved with the community and working with really great people who are dealing with issues of homelessness and poverty in general,” he said. “I get to be on the front lines, fighting the good fight.”

Prior to joining SHA, Rutherford worked in community development for the California Coalition for Rural Housing and at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Those experiences bringing together stakeholders and organizing low-income communities to build a housing policy consensus will be critical to future battles.

Rutherford knows he will have to hit the ground running in 2014. “There are a lot of jurisdictions throughout the region that are really pulling back on their affordable housing policies, starting to water them down,” he said. “It’s important that we’re at the table with these discussions, making sure that lower-income communities are being represented.”

Davis was one of those cities.

“The board has a lot of confidence in Darryl’s ability to succeed,” said Sparks.

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