The Housing World Loses a Champion
Amy Anthony, Way Finders' first executive director, passed away this past weekend from a medical incident while on a trip to Africa.
Amy joined the organization as a Deputy Executive Director, working with our founder, a state employee, Art Kimber, who had been tasked with starting up a non-profit corporation to lead the implementation of a federal grant under the Experimental Housing Allowance Program. Amy quickly took on the Executive Director role, hired a staff, and launched the organization on the path that has shaped our culture, our commitment, our vision, and our mission.
Amy was a major force in the effort to have the state apply for Section 8 vouchers and to administer the program through regional non-profit agencies. The Housing Allowance Project, Inc., as we were known, was at the forefront in the creation of the Massachusetts Non-Profit Housing Association, now known as the Regional Housing Network. She brought our organizations together and led efforts to strengthen our place in the state.
Amy left HAP in 1980 to start her own consulting business. She became heavily involved in the effort to raise the place of housing in the political world, supporting a gubernatorial candidate who took up the cause. As Governor, Michael Dukakis appointed Amy to be Secretary of the Executive Office of Communities and Development. Through her efforts, Massachusetts stood out as the state with the greatest commitment to housing.
Amy went on to create POAH (Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.). She was the organization’s top officer from 2001-2015 and was considered one of the nation’s foremost experts in housing finance and policy. From its modest beginnings in 2001 with a portfolio of 1,600 units in Missouri, Anthony led POAH’s organization’s growth to more than 9,000 affordable homes at more than 100 properties in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
Some of us Way Finders remember Amy from the early days at HAP and others met her during her incredible career. Way Finders is part of Amy’s legacy. Every day, we do the work that she launched in the 1970’s. We will miss her greatly.