The Hope through Housing Foundation and National CORE are proud to welcome Brenda J. Rodriguez to the Hope through Housing Board of Directors. Rodriguez is the Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Clearinghouse (AHC), a nonprofit which has been facilitating loans for affordable housing and community development projects for more than 30 years. More recently, AHC is known as a premier community lender and homebuyer education provider, promoting homeownership for low- and moderate-income individuals.
In her 13 years at the Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, Brenda J. Rodriguez has led her team in helping thousands of Southern California families get closer to achieving the American Dream of homeownership. In addition to guiding the organization’s strategy and vision as Executive Director and leading a team of talented HUD-certified housing counselors, Rodriguez continues to work directly with low-income Orange County families to help them become first-time homebuyers and begin building generational wealth.
As a new member of Hope through Housing’s Board of Directors, Rodriguez will offer extensive industry knowledge and connections, with specific expertise in helping families break the cycle of poverty through homeownership. She also will be able to impart unique wisdom gained through her own family’s history of overcoming housing insecurity.
Addressing the affordable housing crisis is not easy work and every day brings new challenges. Whenever Rodriguez needs to re-charge her motivation, she thinks back to her childhood experience of living in overcrowded housing in South Central Los Angeles.
“There was a point in time when fourteen of my family members and I all lived in a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom,” Rodriguez shared.
Rodriguez remembers how her family utilized both the kitchen and living room to eat meals in order to include everyone.
“Over time, a lot of the family members have secured their own housing,” Rodriguez said. “And when I think about how each of my five siblings have become homeowners over the last 10 years, it motivates me to help other families achieve that dream.”
In her leadership position as executive director, Rodriguez still makes herself available to engage with potential clients whose primary language is Spanish. She engages primarily with lenders and conducts outreach to the Spanish-speaking community, meeting individually with potential homebuyers and giving financial literacy and homebuyer education presentations at community gatherings like Parent Teacher Association meetings.
Rodriguez said that after attending the National CORE and Hope through Housing Board Meeting in May 2022 and meeting the rest of the board, she is confident that together the organizations are in a strong position to make a real difference in the communities they serve.
“Your net worth is your network,” says Rodriguez. “Who do you know that would be interested in what you’re passionate about? And when you look at it in that way, I think that the potential is – I don’t want to say limitless – but it is inspiring.”