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Bainbridge's Housing Resources Board hires new executive director

Bainbridge Island's Housing Resources Board has hired Ken Balizer, a former city planning director in Albuquerque, N.M., as its new executive director, effective May 3.

Balizer has more than 20 years of experience in the affordable housing field with expertise in development of community land trust (CLT) housing.

“We went through an extensive (nationwide) search for this position,” said HRB Chair David Cinamon. "We feel we’ve found a great fit with Ken’s CLT expertise and community engagement skills.”

Balizer also served as head of Albuquerque's redevelopment agency and as executive director of Sawmill Community Land Trust, one of the largest contiguous community land trusts in the country. Developed by a city agency devoted to neighborhood redevelopment and affordable housing, the Sawmill CLT developed a 27-acre environmentally restored site.

Balizer, who plans to move to Bainbridge in April, is familiar with the Puget Sound region with family living in Seattle.

"I am very excited and honored by the opportunity to work with the staff and board of HRB and the people of Bainbridge Island," Balizer said. "I share their vision of the wonderful diversity of the human family living in peace together. Affordable housing is the foundation of making that happen."     

He will replace Kathy Cooper, who has been serving as HRB's interim executive director since Carl Florea resigned from the post last October. Cooper, who was an applicant for the top position, said she will remain with the community land trust as associate director.

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