Events & News


October 2017

HOM Co-Sponsors: Alternative Housing Solutions

Housing on Merit was a proud co-sponsor of the October 2017 Alternative Housing Solutions Event.  This multi-day event explored how accessory dwelling units (ADUs), modular construction and tiny homes can help address San Diego’s homelessness and housing affordability crisis.  The event was well attended by elected officials, County leaders and community members, and featured tiny home exhibits open for the public to tour. HOM is eager to expand the dialogue around how innovative housing typologies can help solve the affordable housing crisis. To learn more about the event, please visit


HOM’s Executive Director Speaks at:

BMC Dialogue Series: Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

The BMC Dialogue Series, formerly known as the Women in Real Estate Conference, attracts more than 200 real estate professionals (women and men) and highlights important topics facing women in real estate. This year’s program addressed unconscious biases in the workplace, how they shape the workplace, and what we can do about it.

The program opened with Jerrilyn Malana, chief deputy for employment and special advisor at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, who set the stage for the unconscious bias phenomenon. Malana was followed by G. Joyce Rowland, senior vice president and chief human resources and administrative officer for Sempra Energy, who discussed her journey with Sempra and how the company is making great strides in the areas of unconscious biases and diversity. 

Malana and Rowland then participated in a panel discussion with Tim Durie, senior vice president of organizational development for Newland Real Estate Group, and Jennifer Litwak, executive director of Housing on Merit. The panel explored the topic further. Stath Karras, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, was the moderator the panel discussion.



October 2016

National Housing Conference (NHC) is dedicated to helping ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. Through nonpartisan advocacy, research and communications for the continuum of housing, NHC develops ideas, resources and policy solutions to move housing forward. HOM’s Executive Director serves as a Board of Trustee for NHC, and our Resident Services Coordinator currently chairs the Philanthropy and Service Committee of NHC’s Young Leaders in Affordable Housing.

Recent Publications and Projects from the National Housing Conference 
Paycheck to Paycheck: More than Housing

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This research note expands on the Paycheck to Paycheck 2016 annual report and explores the context of spending on housing costs by examining household spending on a variety of items. Households must balance their spending on housing with their spending on other key household needs, such as transportation and healthcare. The lowest income households face the greatest challenges in balancing these competing needs.

Online National Housing Conference Affordable Housing Policy Guide
To coincide with the launch of the new NHC website this fall, the research staff is compiling, revising, and reorganizing information from 3 NHC research website (,, and to create a comprehensive online affordable housing policy guide. This guide will serve as a resource of wide breadth that offers accessible explanations of federal, state, and local affordable housing policies and programs and links to research and other resources for a variety of topics. Currently existing content from the three websites mentioned is being used to develop the guide, and work will continue in 2017 to fill any gaps in the guide.

Hardest Hit Fund’s Greatest Hits
 This brief explores the lessons learned from the years of federal assistance provided to combat the national foreclosure crisis. With the brief, we hope to preserve the best practices and guide policy decisions in the event of another local, regional, state, or perhaps federal foreclosure crisis. The analysis and recommendations were guided by interviews with staff at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and staff at state Housing Finance Agencies that administer Hardest Hit Funds.

January 2017

Jennifer Litwak, Executive Director of Housing on Merit has been selected for the second year to serve on CREW Network’s Industry Research Committee. Jennifer’s position on the board continues our organizations’ commitment to the industry and other organizations that impact our communities.

As part of the committee, Litwak will collaborate with other CREW Network members to formulate and execute the organization’s research agenda for 2017. This includes selection of research topics based on the organization’s 2015 Benchmark Study, and 2016 White Paper entitled, ‘Closing the Gap: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve CREW network in this capacity,” Litwak said. “This committee will also provide a national platform to drive awareness of Housing on Merit and our Mission.”

In 1989, CREW Network was founded as the commercial real estate industry’s premier business networking organization dedicated to advancing the achievements of women. The national organization has grown to more than 9,000 members, representing nearly every discipline within the industry including law, brokerage, leasing, property management, finance, title/escrow, development and more. It’s one of the strongest business networks in the commercial real estate industry, with an intent focus on business development, leadership development, industry research and career outreach.

March 2016:

Helping a Vulnerable Population Get Housing

HOM is dedicated to ending homelessness among women veterans in San Diego.  Follow the link above to read about our efforts to remove the barriers they face in accessing permanent housing.


Hunger Advocacy Network (HAN) Lobby Day

Housing on Merit participates in the San Diego Hunger Advocacy Network, a coalition of non-profits dedicated to the mission of anti-hunger policy and advocacy. In May 2017 the network met with elected officials in Sacramento to gain support for its Legislative Priorities. To learn more about the Network’s 2017 Legislative priorities, click here.


Housing and Health Working Group

With sponsorship from the Kresge Foundation, National Housing Conference will host the first Housing and Health working group meeting on March 3, 2017. The working group is made up of practitioners and organizations from both the housing and health sector that are engaged in innovative cross-sector collaborations and investments. The 6 in-person meetings will focus on identifying sustainable ways to foster more collaboration and investment particularly targeted to households earning about 30 percent of area median income and suffer from chronic health conditions. Lessons distilled from these conversations will be shared more broadly with the housing and health fields. 

How Housing Matters Conference 

National Housing Conference hosted the 2016 How Housing Matters Conference in partnership with Urban, ULI and HUD PD&R, with sponsorship from the MacArthur Foundation. The Conference explored the intersecting issues facing the housing, health, education, and workforce development sectors and identified the challenges to continuing this work in the new political climate. NHC produced 3 profiles of innovative collaborations at the intersection of housing and health, education, and economic security. 

Homelessness and the Impact on Commercial Real Estate


Our Executive Director, Jennifer Litwak, will be moderating a talk on Homelessness and its Impact on Commercial Real Estate. Clink on the link above to learn more and to register for the event. 

United Way HomeWalk 2015

Housing on Merit is joining the mission to end veteran homelessness in Greater Los Angeles at United Way’s HomeWalk on Saturday, November 21st. Join our team by registering to walk or run – or make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal. 100% of your gift (every dollar you donate or fund raise) will go directly to services dedicated to ending homelessness in Greater Los Angeles.

Thanks for joining #TheHomeStretch in ending veteran homelessness in LA County.

 Advocacy Day 

Housing on Merit is proud to be part of the Hunger Advocacy Network. Every year the network meets with elected officials in Sacramento to gain support for its Legislative Agenda. To learn more about the Network’s 2015 Legislative priorities, click here.
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 2015 HAN Advocacy Day Team


                                                                            Awards of Merit Fundraisers
HOM Partners with a variety of local companies to raise funds to eliminate homelessness among our women veterans. If you are interested in supporting our program, please join us at the events listed below or you can also donate here.

  Fundraiser with Pure Barre

Fundraiser with Pure Barre

  Karma Rides at SparkCycle 


Community Nights at NaPizza