December 19, 2023-Oakland, CA
Dora Leong Gallo has worked in the community development field for over 30 years. Since 2003, she has served as President and CEO of A Community of Friends (ACOF), a nonprofit affordable housing developer whose mission is end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness. In her role, Ms. Gallo is responsible for execution of ACOF’s strategic priorities and is an advocate for increasing the supply of affordable homes for those most vulnerable. Under her guidance, ACOF’s portfolio has grown 240%. In addition to operating 46 supportive housing communities throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, housing over 2,600 people, ACOF has expanded its work to Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Prior to joining ACOF, Ms. Gallo worked in local government for 12 years, for the City of Los Angeles in various capacities including six years for a local councilmember, as well as for the Culver City Redevelopment Agency.
Ms. Gallo currently serves on the Board of Directors for Enterprise Community Partners and Community Housing Capital, and is the Board Chair for the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In addition to serving on numerous policy working groups, she is an active participant with the Supportive Housing Alliance, an advocacy group of supportive housing developers in Los Angeles County.
Ms. Gallo received a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Dora shared that Merritt’s increasing efforts to “strengthen the affordable housing field by investing in the people who do the work. Training our next generation of leaders is critically important, and no one else I am aware of has made the type of commitment that Merritt has.” Dora added, “any company that values include ‘kindness’ is an organization I want to be a part of!”
“Merritt is thrilled to have Dora join our Board of Directors,” said Ari Beliak, CEO of Merritt. “Dora brings over 30 years of experience in the community development field with expertise in permanent supportive housing as an advocate, policymaker, developer, and operator. We are grateful for the insights and experience she will bring along with her dedication to our mission of investing in affordable housing and people to build a stronger California.”
About Merritt Community Capital Corporation
Merritt Community Capital Corporation is a nonprofit dedicated to our mission to provide equity capital for affordable housing exclusively to California. We do this by partnering with mission-aligned affordable housing developers throughout the state to ensure the most critical communities are developed and maintained for low-income residents. Since 1989, Merritt has created and/or preserved 11,000 affordable homes, through investing over $1.2 billion in 26 separate funds, providing housing for over 29,700 people.