MBHP honors accomplishments in affordable housing at Sixth Annual Founders Celebration

Honorees included Robert L. Beal, George A. Russell, Jr., Judith Liben and Kate Racer


Honorees Robert Beal and  George A. Russell with MBHP Executive Director Chris NorrisBOSTON—On Nov. 12, 2013, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership honored the accomplishments of four individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of affordable housing at the sixth annual Founders Celebration. Award recipients included George A. Russell, Jr., executive vice president of State Street Corporation; Kate Racer, associate director, Division of Housing Development, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; and Judith Liben, senior housing attorney of Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. Robert L. Beal, president of Related Beal, was honored as the first recipient of the newly-created Lowell Richards Award.

Beal said he was honored to receive the award established in Richards’ name. “W

MBHP Executive Director Chris Norris with honorees George A. Russell, Kate Racer and Judith Liben, along with MBHP Board of Directors Co-Chair Steven Rioff.e remember Lowell with great respect for what he did to change Boston,” said Beal.

Russell reiterated State Street’s support for the housing nonprofit, saying, “While State Street’s focus has shifted in recent years, we continue to work with organizations like MBHP because the work they do is so important.”

In her acceptance speech, Racer quoted the words of Gov. Michael Dukakis which have served as an inspiration to her throughout her career: “Public service is a responsibility, but it’s also a privilege. And don’t you forget it.”

Liben used her time at the podium to remind attendees that, while advancements have been made, the work of affordable housing advocates is far from over. “It doesn’t matter to families if rents were a little higher in 2006 than they are today,” she said, noting that today’s challenges are the ones that matter to families.

The MBHP celebration, hosted by State Street, raised more than $170,000 to support MBHP programs that help families find and retain safe, affordable housing. “We are so grateful to our donors, sponsors, and supporters who help make the work of MBHP possible,” said Chris Norris, MBHP executive director. “Their commitment enables us to enhance our efforts to provide assistance to individuals and families who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.”

Several government officials were in attendance, including Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development; Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for Housing and Community Development; Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Kevin Honan, chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing.

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