[Neptune, NJ] Donna M. Blaze, founding CEO of the Affordable Housing Alliance, has announced that she will retire from her role effective December 1, 2020.

Ms. Blaze founded the Monmouth Housing Alliance in 1991 to address the paucity of affordable housing available to low-income residents in Monmouth County. In 2010, the organization changed names to the Affordable Housing Alliance, expanding its services beyond Monmouth into Ocean County and now provides services throughout the state. During her 27 years with the Alliance, she has successfully secured and renovated more than 600 affordable housing units and secured over $100,000,000 in State and Federal funding for purchase, construction, and renovation of projects. The Affordable Housing Alliance received one of the largest tri-state Sandy relief grants and became a major relief responder in the area.
 
“Donna has transformed affordable housing in Monmouth County, and in New Jersey,” Ray Smith, Board President of the Alliance, said in a prepared statement. “She is known throughout the state for her hard work, advocacy and dedication to providing and maintaining housing affordability. She is a leader to follow and her legacy will continue to show through her years of affordable housing efforts.” Mr. Smith is also leading the search committee.
 
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Prior to founding the Alliance, Ms. Blaze held roles as a Residential Systems Administrator with the Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services Organization in Florida and as Coordinator of Special Housing at the Monmouth County Department of Human Services.
 
The organization has retained Dennis C. Miller Associates, Inc. to conduct the search for her successor. Anyone interested in nominating a candidate for the position, or discussing it further, is encouraged to contact Dennis C. Miller, President of Dennis C. Miller Associates Inc., at dennis@denniscmiller.com.

About The Affordable Housing Alliance

Started in 1991 to address the overwhelming need for quality, affordable housing in Monmouth County, the AHA has grown from an initial grant of $25,000 to a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization with over $20M in operations annually. Founding Director Donna Blaze, now CEO, leads a staff of over 80 dedicated employees augmented by volunteers and non-profit community partners.

Our work has been recognized at local, state and national levels, including earning NeighborWorks America’s highest rating as an Exemplary Member. We are proud to be a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), and to collaborate with NJ municipalities to successfully create affordable housing for moderate and low-income families.

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The AHA strives to move lives forward with strength, optimism and housing resources. It is our goal to have everyone we help walk away better than when they came to us.