PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, November 2, 2015

Housing Authority CEO Rob Pearson Receives Highest Award from National Housing Association


Santa Barbara, Calif., October 26, 2015—The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) has received national recognition, through an award to its CEO Rob Pearson from America’s leading housing and community development professional association. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) M. Justin Herman Memorial Award, its highest and most prestigious award, was presented to Pearson on October 15 at the NAHRO National Conference and Exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“If you know our staff, you know this honor is really a reflection of their dedication, hard work, talent and passion for the vital role of affordable housing in our community,” said Rob Pearson, Executive Director and CEO, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. “Everyone, at some point in life, needs the assistance of someone to help them navigate the path to personal and economic independence. For low income seniors and the disabled, it’s providing them with a safety net that includes housing they can afford. That is what inspires our entire team to do our best to provide affordable, accessible housing and programs upon which our working families, veterans, those experiencing homelessness and vulnerable seniors can build healthy, successful futures.” Pearson has served as the CEO of HACSB since 1988. Under his leadership, HACSB has generated over 3,600 units of critically-needed low rent housing assistance to the greater Santa Barbara area for low-income seniors, families, and disabled individuals. In addition, its 1,200-plus rental housing inventory has often been termed “the best public housing” in the nation.

Pearson also serves the community through several local nonprofit organizations and hands-on volunteerism. He is a founding member of CASA Esperanza Homeless Center, now PATH Santa Barbara, and the creator or co-creator of several cutting edge housing initiatives for the most vulnerable. These include Sarah House for end of life care, The Fire House used by Transition House for transitioning homeless families to independence and Garden Court providing service enriched housing for frail, low-income seniors.

The M. Justin Herman Memorial Award, established in 1975, provides a living acknowledgement for the standard of excellence Mr. Herman set in the field of housing and community development and the contributions he made to the beauty and vigor of San Francisco. The award is NAHRO’s highest and most prestigious, and it honors an exceptionally qualified person who has made outstanding contributions to the quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development. Awards are made on the basis of extraordinary accomplishments and contributions.

October is designated as Housing America Month.

About The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,600 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara through a variety of federal, state, local and private funding sources. Please visit the website at


Amy Bernstein/Juliana Minsky, (805) 687-3322