Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Sas-Pérez Appointed to WHEDA Board

VIA CDC director Brianna Sas-Pérez joins powerful affordable housing board.

By - Nov 3rd, 2021 03:24 pm
Brianna Sas-Pérez. Photo provided.

Brianna Sas-Pérez. Photo provided.

The head of a south-side community organization is joining the board of Wisconsin’s most influential affordable housing funder.

VIA CDC executive director Brianna Sas-Pérez was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to a seat on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

“Over the course of the pandemic, it’s become even more critical for us to connect the dots between safe, affordable housing and the health and well-being of our communities,” said Evers in a statement. “Brianna Sas-Pérez understands this well, and her breadth of experience working to close inequities and serve her community will make her an excellent addition to the WHEDA board.”

The nonprofit VIA Community Development Corporation (formerly Layton Boulevard West Neighbors) was founded in 1995 by the School Sisters of Francis. It focuses on neighborhood improvement in the Silver CityBurnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods. Sas-Pérez has worked for the organization since January 2013 serving as community outreach manager and neighborhood plan director before becoming the organization’s executive director in late 2016.

WHEDA is best known for administering the low-income housing tax credit program. The state agency, led by Joaquín Altoro, also supports families purchasing homes and provides business and agricultural loan guarantees.

“The places where we live and work have a big impact on our wellbeing, and consistently, not all places have the same access to the resources we all need to thrive,” said Sas-Pérez. “I appreciate WHEDA’s work, and I look forward to supporting their efforts to address disparities in housing and economic opportunity in diverse communities all across Wisconsin because everyone benefits when every person can reach their full potential.”

Sas-Pérez, a Sherman Park resident, also serves as board chair of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers and is a member of the Aurora Health Care Community Board.

She is also a member of Milwaukee’s City Plan Commission, where she serves alongside new WHEDA board chair Ranell Washington. Altoro, prior to Sas-Pérez and Washington’s tenures, served on the plan commission until accepting the job with WHEDA in 2019.

“Ms. Sas-Pérez’s bilingual, multicultural background coupled with her community building experience will bring vast insights and strength to WHEDA’s board of directors,” said Altoro. “At VIA CDC she has led the charge to create impactful policies and practices with a lens towards racial equity. Her work will support WHEDA’s efforts to cultivate equity in housing and economic opportunity for the people of Wisconsin.”

The WHEDA board consists of six public members serving staggered four-year terms, the Secretary of the Department of Administration, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and a member of each party from both the Assembly and Senate.

Sas-Pérez replaces Ivan Gamboa on the board, who was most recently chair. Other members from the Milwaukee area include new Historic King Drive business improvement director Raynetta Hill and Representative Kalan Haywood II.

Sas-Pérez is a 2011 graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. According to a resume submitted for her CPC appointment, she has taken a WHEDA Developer Training course and National Development Council rental housing finance courses.

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