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Funders for Housing and Opportunity Expands Capacityfor Policy and Narrative Impact




Christina Ostmeyer and Elisa Harrigan Join Funders for Housing and Opportunity as Strategists


Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2023 – Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO), a national funder collaborative working to ensure access to safe, stable homes, free from the barriers and harms of systemic racism, announced the appointment of Elisa Harrigan as Policy Strategist and Christina Ostmeyer as Narrative Strategist. Both are new roles created to expand the organization’s capacity to dismantle racial inequities, repair harms, and restructure systems to ensure equitable housing and life outcomes for all people. Elisa Harrigan joins FHO as the new Policy Strategist. In this role, they will be responsible for leading FHO’s strategic policy work. They bring nearly 20 years of experience and expertise as an influential voice for housing justice in governmental, philanthropic, and nonprofit arenas, most recently as a Housing Opportunities Program Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust, one of the largest private foundations in Oregon. They were named “Best Low Income Tenant Advocate” by the Willamette Week for their work on renter organizing related to displacement and substandard housing issues. As the Narrative Strategist, Christina Ostmeyer is responsible for leading FHO’s strategic communications under a housing justice narrative framework, managing a portfolio of narrative change grantees and synthesizing learning for the field. She is also a leader with KC Tenants, Kansas City’s citywide tenant union, which has organized to achieve significant wins, including Tenants' Right to Counsel and securing $50 million for truly affordable housing. Before joining FHO, she served as the communications and development director for Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. “FHO is at a critical inflection point in our journey, just as our nation is at a pivotal moment when progress toward housing justice hangs in the balance,” said Jeanne Fekade-Sellassie, Executive Director of FHO. “Elisa and Christina bring invaluable experience and expertise as we expand our team and our ability to catalyze a vision of a future where everyone is stably housed in a community where they can thrive, centering racial equity at every step along the way.” As part of FHO’s recent growth to support goals around influence and alignment of the field of philanthropy around housing justice, Jennifer Angarita was also recently promoted to the role of Deputy Director. She brings over a decade of experience in community organizing, community development, labor, and philanthropy, and most recently served as FHO’s Senior Program Officer. FHO is a collaborative of the nation’s leading funders working together to protect renters and prevent homelessness. Given the legacy of and ongoing facets of segregation and discrimination built into the codas of the U.S. housing system, FHO focuses on how these issues disproportionately affect Black, Brown, Indigenous and Communities of Color. FHO aims to shift these systems proactively to be anti-racist, so housing is a pathway to health, education, and economic mobility for all. ###

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