Noni Ramos may be a relatively new CEO, but she’s a seasoned professional in the affordable housing field.
Having spent almost three decades working nationally to combat the housing crisis, she now focuses on the Bay Area’s thirteen counties as head of Housing Trust Silicon Valley, where she endeavors to keep people in their homes, add more housing, and ensure available housing is affordable.
A Bay Area native, it’s a role with particular personal resonance. “I grew up in affordable housing,” Ramos says. “I have firsthand experience of the life-altering impact that can have not only on an individual but on generations to come. My children have the life and the opportunities they have because I had those opportunities.”
Ramos, a woman of color and first-generation college graduate, also understands the diversity and interconnectivity of local communities. This perspective motivates her collaboration with private organizations and the public sector to create programs that span the Bay Area’s income gamut. “We need housing for all income levels, of all types,” she says. “And we need that housing to be built in different places, not just in one part of the community.”
She explains how connecting residents to other support services, like Spanish-language materials and mental health and medical resources, is paramount to fully include, support, and develop communities—a fact made especially clear during the pandemic.
It’s work that Ramos approaches with a strong sense of responsibility. “I hope to be a role model in ways that other folks were role models for me and supported me,” she says.