Alexander Russell is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Many Mansions. He is one of the leading advocates and experts in affordable housing in the southern California region and is currently the chair or past chair of the board of directors of three other local affordable housing nonprofits: the Housing Trust Fund of Ventura County, the Housing Land Trust of Ventura County, and the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing. He has an M.B.A. from California Lutheran University, a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, completed the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at USC, and has his California real estate broker license. Fun fact: He loves adventure sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and he recently rappelled waterfalls in Maui.
When asked some additional questions, the below was shared:
Tell us about the strides that have been made over the past 18 months.
Many Mansions is an award winning local non-profit affordable housing builder, property manager, and services provider whose mission is to provide quality affordable rental housing in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, and services (including free after school tutoring programs, summer camp, college scholarships, food assistance, and much more) that encourage our residents to thrive. Operating since 1979, Many Mansions was recognized as the 2020 Developer of the Year by the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing and is one of the leading local providers of affordable housing for lower-income people that are homeless, disabled, veterans, transitional age youth (TAY), seniors, and other vulnerable populations. While challenging, that past 18 months have been exciting as Many Mansions is currently experiencing unprecedented growth and our housing portfolio is expected to double in size in the next five years. We are continually seeking new volunteers, supporters, and partnerships with other community groups, builders, etc. so if you are looking to get involved with a mission-driven and innovative organization and to help make a positive impact in the community, please visit our website at www.manymansions.org.
What has your company’s greatest accomplishment been so far in 2021?
Many Mansions is proud of our continued growth in the San Fernando Valley. In partnership with LA Family Housing, we are nearly complete with construction on the Summit View Apartments, located across the street from and with beautiful views of the Hansen dam. This gorgeous apartment complex will have 49 apartments and substantial community space and amenities to serve the homeless and disabled veterans that will move into their homes early next year. Additionally, Many Mansions recently broke ground on the Sun King Apartments, located across the street from Sun Valley high school. Given the proximity to several schools and the rise in homelessness among school-aged children in our community, this development, unlike most housing for the homeless, will focus on homeless families. In partnership with the LA Unified School District (LAUSD), this development will give a preference for households that are homeless and have a child attending an LAUSD school.
What benefits have been gained by having a seat at the table with VICA?
While Many Mansions is a nonprofit, we are a business too, and have over 75 employees and many of the same issues, concerns, and needs as all VICA members. Therefore, we appreciate the networking events, the opportunity to participate on local advocacy via the land use and not-for-profit committees, and the larger advocacy work and resources (e.g., action alerts, newsletters, etc.) that help keep us current on important events affecting our community.
Can you share what VICA has meant for your business during COVID?
As a local nonprofit, we are reliant on community outreach and support. Thus, despite the challenges of COVID, VICA has really helped Many Mansions grow its presence in the San Fernando Valley through innovative events, networking, and public relations opportunities.
Article originally appeared in the VICA Weekly