An Interview with LDC’s Newest Team Members, Craig Adelman and Jamie Taylor

LDC is excited to welcome Craig Adelman and Jamie Taylor to our team! Mr. Adelman has spent over 25 years in the community development field, across the real estate development, lending, CDFI and government sectors. He will be serving as a Senior Principal at LeSar Development Consultants, applying his broad and deep range of experience on behalf of a diverse client base. Ms. Taylor has been conducting program evaluations and providing technical assistance on evaluation design and data utilization to improve policy and program planning for over 25 years. She will be joining the Homeless Systems Change team as a Senior Principal.

Click below to read our Q&A with Mr. Adelman and Ms. Taylor where they share what drew them to LDC, what they look forward to working on, and what they think the next frontiers and innovation opportunities are in the fields of housing and homelessness.

LeSar Development Consultants: What attracted you to joining LeSar Development Consultants?

Craig Adelman: I was struck by how much alignment exists between LeSar’s work and the components of community development about which I’m most passionate. That combined with an opportunity to work across a range of clients, sectors and geographies to impact the critical and urgent housing needs of California (and maybe beyond!). I’m excited by the synergy I think we’ll find between LeSar’s tremendous existing reputation and capacity together with the strengths that I bring to the firm.

Jamie Taylor: LeSar has a dynamic and dedicated staff doing innovative, impactful work to expand solutions to end homelessness across California and the United States. Their commitment to this work, and the capacity to be nimble and responsive to state and local leaders attracted me to join the LeSar firm this spring. My own expertise in bringing data to the forefront in developing leadership structures and their use of data for monitoring and driving change expands LeSar’s impact on work with health and homelessness sector partnerships. The need for preventing and ending homelessness is urgent and LeSar’s ground-breaking contributions to supporting local and state level change is why I joined the firm.

LDC: What skill sets and work experiences are you looking forward to carrying into LeSar to help our clients and partners solve the persistent housing and homeless crisis?

CA: I’ve spent my career in community development working from many different “seats at the table.” I’m a seasoned practitioner, primarily as a housing and community developer, but also in lending, local government, policy, and innovative programming. I’m a very collaborative professional who really likes to connect dots to find effective and efficient solutions.

JT: My expertise is based on advanced degrees in public health and public policy, with applied practical learning in over two decades of leading research, training and technical assistance efforts for states and communities across the country. My entire career has focused on the public health framing of structural determinants of health and housing, bringing evidence-based science to the planning and development of service systems and stakeholders. Understanding that everyone has a responsibility to end and prevent the high cost of homelessness, and having learned to meet, and affirm, each individual and system wherever they are, the foundation of my work continues to be both iterative and generative for all involved.

LDC: In your mind, what are the next frontiers and evolving innovation opportunities in our fields of housing and homelessness?

CA: Breaking silos. I think we all know by now that solutions on housing and homelessness must be deeply coordinated and linked. I started my career working in supportive housing and saw firsthand how effective integrated solutions can be. This is true across numerous other issues and sectors as well. I’ve spent the last five years working on transit-oriented development and more broadly on ways of integrating community development with transportation, climate, health, infrastructure, and other sectors in ways that leverage more effective outcomes, but we’ve just started scratching the surface.

CA: We also need to enlarge our vision and our toolbox. We’ve been focused on multifamily new construction almost exclusively for a long time, which is essential, but can’t be our only response. We need to find new ways of leveraging market production in ways that support rather than displace existing communities and expand our approaches to solving our housing crisis. We also need to work with practitioners (in capital, development, construction, and community building) to hone our ideas into policies that have greater impact at lower costs.

JT: Illuminating the local innovations and solutions that have evolved in the field, and creating peer to peer learning frameworks for effective local solutions to be brought to scale, and establishing sustainable, and generalizable rapid evaluation data dashboards in states and jurisdictions across the country; supporting shared leadership structures to use data to quickly evolve programs and initiatives based on advanced evaluation science and data integration.

LDC: What do you hope our clients and partners will call you to talk about first?

CA: Well, as a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, what I really want to know is how I can help them achieve the outcomes they’re seeking. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves from there and bringing my broad range of experience and skills to help them get where they want to go.

JT: Data integration projects that utilize existing technology to illuminate local data, with a leadership commitment to customize data tools that promote program evaluation and care coordination across health and housing sectors!