Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has announced that Margaret Harris, Erin Meechan, and Kirsty Rodrigues are newly appointed to serve on the Oregon Housing Stability Council. The council works to establish a strategic direction to meet the housing and services needs of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, as well as reviews and sets policy for the development and financing of affordable housing in the state.
OHCS Director Andrea Bell said, “The new council members bring impressive lived and professional experience that drives their passion for serving those with the most need in our communities.
“Their diverse voices coming from rural and urban parts of our state will support our mission to end homelessness by building and preserving affordable housing in all forms, shapes, and sizes for Oregon renters and homeowners. I look forward to working together to improving the quality of life for those we serve through inclusive housing progress.”
The new Council members are:
Maggie Harris is a lifelong Oregonian who currently resides in Portland. She graduated with a degree in journalism and communication from the University of Oregon, and earned a master of architecture, as well as a graduate certificate in sustainable real estate development, from Tulane University.
As a project manager at Holst Architecture and a Ph.D. student at Portland State University’s School of Urban Studies, she is entrenched in both housing design and research. Her research focuses on the intersections between housing and health, examining the impact of housing on the mental health and wellbeing of low-income populations.
During her career, she has managed a range of housing projects throughout the country, including affordable, market-rate, and student housing. Maggie is currently the project manager for two permanent supportive housing projects within the Portland Metro area.
“Working across a range of geographies and project scales has helped me understand the importance of distinct housing solutions tailored for specific population sets,” said Harris. “I’m honored to be serving as an appointed member of the Oregon Housing Stability Council.”
Maggie is also a mother of a busy toddler and passionate that he grows up understanding that housing is a human right, reflected by the community in which we live.
Erin Meechan is a resident of Northeast Gresham who has lived in east county for nine years. In addition to her two adult daughters and seven grandchildren, she and her partner have two teenage girls at home who attend Gresham High School.
She currently serves as the administrative assistant to the director of community programs at Eastside Timbers Youth Soccer Club. She is a member of Residents Organizing for Change, the Community Alliance of Tenants and part of the Resident Advisory Committee at Home Forward. She helps organize and advocate to support safe, secure and affordable housing for all Oregonians.
“I believe that access to safe, affordable, and sustainable housing is a basic human need; it is the first step toward enabling individuals to live, regardless of the challenges they may encounter,” said Meechan. “Housing is the foundation for functional overall well-being. Through my personal experience, education, and organizing, I am a voice for stakeholders in the communities of Oregon and nationwide.”
Erin appreciates the beauty of nature, and her second passion for the community is multi-modal transportation. In addition, she likes singing, coaching young athletes and advocating for racial and identity justice via policy reform through legislative change.
Kristy Rodriguez was born and raised in Ontario, Oregon. She is the executive director of the Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties and has been with the agency for more than 11 years.
She began her journey with the housing authority in 2012 as a single mother out of college living in public housing. She started as the front desk receptionist for the agency and then became the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Family Self-Sufficiency, and Homeownership program manager. In 2018, she was appointed as the interim executive director for the agency, and a year later became the executive director.
“I’m mission-driven to ensure that everyone should have a place to call home and be motivated to become self-sufficient,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve made affordable housing, homelessness, and advocacy for rural counties my primary focus at the agency. I’m truly honored to be able to serve on the Oregon Housing Stability Council.”
Kristy currently serves on her local Treasure Valley Rental Association Board, is chair of the MAC/LPG for both Malheur and Harney Counties, and is the treasurer for the Housing Oregon Board of Commissioners. She currently serves on the Minority, Women , Emerging Small Business Committee at OHCS.
The new council members will serve two- to four-year terms. Housing Stability Council meetings are held on the first Friday of the month, with additional meetings as needed.