Cornerstone Partnership promotes strong, inclusive communities where all people can afford a decent place to live and thrive. We provide expertise on policy and practice. We support a community made up of housing program practitioners, advocates, and elected officials, to strengthen their capacity and impact. We are based in Oakland, CA and Washington D.C.
Rachel Silver (Director) brings more than 15 years of experience working with public and private agencies to create new affordable housing opportunities, with a focus on innovative ownership models, buyer selection and education, and post-purchase stewardship. Prior to her work with Cornerstone Partnership, Rachel worked as a housing consultant, served as the Housing Development Manager for the City of Alameda, California, and held positions in nonprofit housing development, real estate finance, and teaching. While with the City of Alameda, she led a team of interdepartmental City staff through a collaborative process to design and draft an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and guided its adoption and implementation. She received her BA degree from Williams College in Massachusetts and her MA in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
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After graduating from college with a BA in English Literature and a passion for travel, Rachel spent her early 20s backpacking around the world, spending time in developing countries in South America and Asia. From those experiences came a deep interest in international development and the condition of women in the developing world, which led her to graduate school to pursue a Master of City Planning. Once there, her interest shifted to affordable housing as an exciting, tangible way to help people in her community find stability and access opportunity, while helping improve and revitalize neighborhoods. She switched her focus and has worked in affordable housing ever since.
Rachel is an avid reader, and when deep in a book, the rest of the world disappears. Unfortunately, she’s passed this trait on to her children, so she now knows how annoying this can be for the people around her. For vacations, Rachel loves large family gatherings with lots of food and wine, preferably spent at the beach.
Hong Ly (Programs Manager) leads Cornerstone’s SIF program, CHIP, and all of Cornerstone’s technical assistance and community engagement activities. Hong brings 10 years of experience working in the housing and community development field. She began her career as an Americorps VISTA in Lowell, MA before joining Abt Associates as an evaluation consultant. She later developed affordable housing and commercial real estate projects at Urban Edge CDC in Boston. Hong received her BA from Carleton College and MBA from Boston University.
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- Hong grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, among suburban, residential neighborhoods. After graduating from college, she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where she learned to navigate life in walkable, dense urban neighborhoods. Through her commutes throughout the city, she saw rapid fluctuations in economic disparity as rows of beautifully maintained Victorian homes would lie within blocks of dilapidated storefronts and apartment buildings. She began to appreciate how the complexity of affordable housing issues shaped these outcomes, and her interest continued to grow through her early professional experience working in housing consulting and later in community-based real estate development.
In her spare time, Hong loves to cook meals for friends and family. She experiments with a range of cuisine, most recently with Indian dishes. As a recent transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area, She’s also been enjoying taking day trips to local parks and beaches.
Sasha Hauswald (Senior Program Officer) leads Cornerstone’s inclusionary housing engagements and activities. Sasha brings to Cornerstone Partnership her expertise in policy research & program design. Most recently, Sasha worked in at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development where she oversaw legislative affairs, strategic planning, and program evaluation projects. She received her BA from Wesleyan University and her Master of Public Policy Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
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- Before working in housing policy, Sasha was a caseworker with foster youth in New York City. Family reunification was a near impossibility for parents without stable housing, and she saw many children trapped in foster care while their parents struggled to find adequate homes for their families. She came to fully appreciate that having a home is a prerequisite for nearly any type of personal achievement. Whether it’s overcoming addiction, career advancement, improving health, or simply bonding with children, decent and affordable housing provides an essential foundation.
Sasha loves the outdoors, especially camping, hiking and biking in them. She is also a pretty huge cinephile, though she suffers from a terrible memory for movie titles and celebrity names. She will always jump at the chance to watch a new documentary, and in fact, in her non-work hours, is producing a documentary film about single room occupancy hotels in San Francisco.
Jenee Kresge (Program Officer) supports the Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program (CHIP) grantees to increase the scale and capacity of their long term affordable homeownership programs, as well as share their experiences with the field. Jenee has managed projects and grants in a variety of areas – ranging from green jobs training to transportation planning – most recently at the National Association of Regional Councils. She received her BA from the George Washington University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Community and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University.
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- After returning from a semester of studying international development in Northeast Thailand, Jenee became increasingly aware of the significant barriers to equality and opportunity in her own community. She shifted her interest to economic and community development and began work on economic, workforce and community development issues in various roles. Eventually, she joined Cornerstone Partnership, first as a Grant Administrator, and now as a Program Officer,
Jenee loves to read, and as a new homeowner, she’s trying to read up on home improvement projects that she can try very soon!
Tiffany Eng (HomeKeeper Product Manager) manages the marketing, development and support of Cornerstone’s HomeKeeper Salesforce app. Tiffany brings more than 16 years of experience working in the housing sector, community development field, and real estate industry through volunteering at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, working with first-time homebuyers as a realtor , and independent consulting. She received her BA from Carleton College and Masters in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
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- After college, Tiffany spent a year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), a community development corporation. At EBALDC, she was inspired by the creativity of nonprofits to address complex community development problems at the local level using a wide variety of strategies. She was particularly intrigued by the intersection of community development and the affordable housing sector. Everything she’s done since then has strengthened her interest in affordable housing. (Tiffany actually met her husband at EBALDC. He still works there, so the topic of affordable housing comes up quite a bit at the dinner table.)
After graduating from high school, Tiffany spent a year as a Rotary exchange student in Joensuu, Finland, not far from the Arctic Circle and the Russian border. She lived with three host families, went to school and even learned to speak Finnish. It was really cold and dark half the year, and really sunny and lush the other half. It was back before the web and email, so it really was a world a way.
Elizabeth Haney (HomeKeeper Member Support Coordinator) assists the HomeKeeper program by recruiting new members, providing user support, and promoting successful user adoption and engagement. Prior to Cornerstone Partnership, Liz worked at SHARE Community Land Trust in Leavenworth, Washington, where she first started to use HomeKeeper. As a former user, Liz brings a unique perspective to the HomeKeeper team through her understanding of the experience & needs of HomeKeeper members. She received her BA from Boston College.
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- In college, Liz studied abroad in South Africa, teaching children who lived in the township. The historical legacy of apartheid was still very alive in the segregation of housing and opportunity there, but she realized that, given the history of redlining and displacement for development, America didn’t seem very different. After graduating, she went to go work at a community land trust to learn more about various models of mixed income, community driven housing that could respond to and prevent displacement. Getting connected to the community land trust movement and the passionate people who live and work for them inspired her with the vision where everybody will have a chance to live in safe, decent homes, with access to opportunities.. something that will only make our communities stronger.
For fun, Liz likes to do zumba, run, yoga, bike, tinker with bikes, cook, and try to learn to code.
Steven Chang (Community Engagement Associate) strengthens member programs by supporting communications, marketing, and peer engagement activities. Prior to Cornerstone Partnership, Steven worked in video marketing with international charity website UniversalGiving and supported affordable housing policy as a researcher with the Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco. He received his BA at the University of California, Berkeley and also studied affordable housing issues as a fellow in the 2012 Chinatown Urban Institute.
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- Steven first entered college as an architecture major but soon found himself drawn more to the complexities of social, urban issues rather than the finer points of design. While on a short-term mission trip to Mexico, Steven became interested in affordable housing while patching up makeshift houses in poor neighborhoods. When he returned to the States, he switched his major to city planning to study how policy and program solutions could affect sector-wide change and provide everyone with a decent place to live.
In his free time, Steven volunteers as a mentor and a musician at his church. If you can’t find him doing either of those things, he’s probably playing basketball (Go Lakers!).