Staff Spotlight: Samimi Haroon

July 31, 2023

July 31, 2023-Oakland, CA

Our Acquisitions Analyst, Samimi Haroon has been working at Merritt since the Spring of 2022. Samimi was drawn to the affordable housing industry through his interest in impacting the community. He grew up in the Bay Area and attended UC Berkeley where he studied environmental design. After college Samimi took his first job as an affordable housing developer at MidPen Housing. He was interested in real estate project management for affordable housing deals and started as a Project Associate before he worked his way up to Project Manager. 

After closing his first deal at MidPen in the community he grew up in, Samimi wanted to work in affordable housing finance to gain this specialized skillset. He joined Merritt’s acquisitions team to dive deeper into this aspect of housing that interests him and would allow him to grow in this area of his career.  

Samimi knew about Merritt before he pursued the Acquisitions Analyst role. He was excited by the size of Merritt and recognized the lean, dedicated team and the unique opportunity to participate in Merritt’s scaling and growth. Samimi felt that with Merritt’s size and openness, an individual could have a huge impact on company culture and trajectory, including input on defining Merritt’s value proposition and intended impact.  

With Merritt’s commitment to staff transparency, Samimi was excited to sit in on board meetings. This opportunity allowed him to interact with Merritt’s CEO, Ari Beliak, and CFO/COO, Paul Carney, enabling him to gain insight about effective leadership in the area of social impact. Samimi found that all of Merritt’s directors and his colleagues were open to showing their role in the process of creating affordable homes. 

In his first year at Merritt Samimi had the opportunity to help create and outline Merritt’s mission, vision, and values that are built from the value proposition work and decades of Merritt’s success. Samimi feels connected to the evolving culture at Merritt and is proud that he’s been able to add to it.  

“The team at Merritt is very humble in their success and impact they are making. I’ve been grateful to have the trust and space to provide feedback and really appreciate my team, David Dologite and David Eisenman, and what I have learned from them,” shared Samimi.  

Merritt’s mission to invest in affordable housing and people to build a stronger California is critical to Samimi. He appreciates that Merritt uses financial resources to work towards the mission and vision outlined by staff and the investment in Commitment to California to improve the industry.  

Samimi has experienced firsthand what it’s like to have housing insecurity and the difference stable housing can make. When you are consistently looking for safe and affordable housing, or worrying about housing stability, you neglect mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Samimi explains that “it can be hard to explain what housing security provides for the overall quality of someone’s life if they haven’t been through housing insecurity,” which is one of the many reasons he pursued affordable housing and mission-oriented organizations.  

We are grateful for Samimi’s work on the Acquisitions team, his perspective and community centered approach, and being a voice at Merritt!  All of us at Merritt are excited for Samim’s next adventure, pursuing his M.B.A at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania!

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.



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