BOSTON—On November 12, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) honored two individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of affordable housing. At the Eighth Annual Founders Celebration, the nonprofit presented awards to Amy S. Anthony, recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Preservation of Affordable Housing, and Helene Solomon, chief executive officer of Solomon McCown & Company, Inc.

Amy Anthony served as secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Develop­ment under Governor Michael Dukakis. Under her direction, Massachusetts created and implemented innumerable innovative, award-winning programs that produced more than 25,000 homes and have served for decades as models for other states.

“This is a huge honor and a very special time for me,” said Anthony. She reminded the attendees about the amount of work still to do in addressing the current housing crisis in the Boston area. “We have so far to go. We have so much to do. We have so much undone in this field,” she said, adding, “We all have an obligation to make sure that we do everything we can to make it fair, to make it equitable, to maximize the benefit to all those people, many of whom are not lucky enough to get the help they need.”

Helene Solomon began her career working for former Mayor Kevin H. White, where she served on the city’s Rent Equity Board. In her leadership of Solomon McCown & Company, Solomon has directed strategic communications for many of Boston’s leading real estate owners, developers, and investors which has enabled them to successfully garner support for their developments. Solomon McCown also led the communications strategy for the “Vote No on 2” campaign in 2010 which preserved the state’s affordable housing law.  Solomon was presented with the Lowell Richards Award in honor of her friendship and work with Richards, MBHP’s long-time board co-chair who passed away suddenly in 2012.

“I’m touched beyond belief,” said Solomon, reflecting on her friendship with Lowell and its impact on her career. “With a role model like Lowell,” said Solomon, “I realized that maybe I could do something also.” She also took time to recognize Richards’ lasting impact on the City of Boston, saying, “To never stop thinking of improving our city, advocating, cajoling, getting things done through partnerships: that was Lowell. That’s MBHP.”

“It is my pleasure to recognize the outstanding efforts of both Amy and Helene,” said Chris Norris, MBHP executive director. “Each has made a lasting impact on the well-being of individuals and families throughout the region and beyond. We are very fortunate to have them as allies in our work to ensure that families and individuals in our region can find a safe, affordable place to call home.”

Jay Ash, Massachusetts secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, also spoke at the event. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with all of you to support MBHP and the great work that it does in our communities,” said Ash. “It’s great to be involved together in an organization that is making a difference in the lives of people, making sure that the quality of life of people who need just a little bit of assistance is realized.”

The event, hosted by State Street, raised more than $190,000 to support MBHP programs that connect residents of Greater Boston with homes they can afford.

“We are so grateful to our donors, sponsors, and supporters who help make the work of MBHP possible,” said Norris. “Their commitment enables us to remain focused on providing exemplary service to everyone who comes to us for help with their housing concerns.”

The event was co-chaired by Lawrence H. Curtis, president and managing partner of WinnDevelopment, Joseph L. Flatley, president and chief executive officer of Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, and Marvin Siflinger, chairman of Housing Partners, Inc.