Mary Murtagh is a champion for affordable housing. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Philosophy and Art History, then received a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She continued her education at University of California, Los Angeles where she took courses in real estate law, tax, and finance. In terms of experience, Ms. Murtagh worked in affordable housing as a Development Officer for Urban Development Action Grant, a HUD program. She also held the position of Assistant Deputy Administrator of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) for the City of Los Angeles before moving to the Bay Area. Mary Murtagh became the EAH Housing CEO in 1986 and has served as the CEO and President for 31 years. Her educational background and career experience have aided her in building the EAH into a trusted leader in non-profit affordable housing development and management.
Under the leadership of Mary Murtagh the EAH has grown to employ 450 staff members that serve 20,000 residents. From the development of 7,300 affordable living units to the number of units that the EAH has under property management increasing to 9,300, she has overseen a large expansion. As head of EAH, Mary Murtagh has worked tirelessly to raise the quality of life for low income residents in California and Hawaii. She developed a scholarship program for students living in EAH housing as well as instituing the first technology center in HUD’s western region that provides access to computers and Wi-Fi. There are now 30 technology learner lounges in EAH housing.
In addition to the growth of services and developments, Mary Murtagh has guided EAH to more sustainable living. Solar panels on current developments provide 3 megawatts of power. Five properties are LEED certified. The EAH has worked to retrofit existing properties with green alternatives such as native plants and water-saving fixtures. These upgrades contribute to sustainability and affordability by reducing utility usage and bills.
Mary Murtagh’s work has been recognized throughout the Bay Area. The Marin Women’s Hall of Fame inducted her in 2008 and she received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Northern California Association of Nonprofit Housing in May 2013.The EAH, under her direction, was given the Heart of Marin Award in February 2013.These honors demonstrate Mary’s commitment to affordable housing and the work she continues to do for people of all income and education levels, races, and religions.