Richard C. Gentry Wins NAHRO's Highest Honor


Washington, D.C. (Oct. 16, 2017) – Richard C. Gentry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission (Calif.), was named the 2017 recipient of the prestigious M. Justin Herman Memorial Award, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' (NAHRO) highest honor. The award will be presented on October 27 at the NAHRO National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"Richard is a housing and community development innovator, whose leadership has made great impact on the affordable housing industry," said Adrianne Todman, NAHRO Chief Executive Officer. "His innovative work at the SDHC, including his implementation of the homelessness initiative “Housing First – San Diego” and of the Moving to Work program, has bettered the lives of many individuals and families in need, and provided them with more opportunities."

Gentry leads an agency with more than 300 employees and an annual operating revenue budget of $252 million. The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), including its nonprofit affiliate, owns and manages more than 3,000 housing units and provides federal rental assistance to more than 15,000 low-income families who live in the city of San Diego. As a leading partner in addressing homelessness in the city of San Diego, SDHC developed HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s Homelessness Action Plan. Programs in the first three years of this plan (2014-2017) are on track to impact the lives of close to 3,000 homeless San Diegans. New programs in the next three years (2018-2020) will create permanent housing opportunities for at least an additional 3,000 homeless individuals and families.

In addition, Gentry committed SDHC as a strong “Moving to Work” (MtW) agency, which provides SDHC the flexibility to implement new programs to provide housing assistance in the city of San Diego. SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities, out of 3,400 nationwide, to receive an MtW designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Gentry serves on the national MtW Steering Committee.

Gentry is a past president of NAHRO and a NAHRO Fellow. In October 2008, NAHRO awarded Gentry the John D. Lange International Award for his achievements in expanding the organization’s stature and influence internationally.

The Herman award is given annually to a NAHRO member who has made outstanding contributions to the quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development.  Established in 1975, the award recognizes the standard of excellence that M. Justin Herman brought to the San Francisco Housing Authority and housing and community development at large.

A PDF version of this release is available here.


NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.9 million people.

Contact: Carmen Smith

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