FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2021
AHMA Board Clerk
ABUNDANT HOUSING MA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kanson-Benanav to Lead Statewide Pro-Housing Nonprofit
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Abundant Housing Massachusetts (AHMA) is pleased to announce that Jesse Kanson-Benanav has been named Executive Director. A nationally known figure in the pro-housing movement, Kanson-Benanav brings robust experience and extensive knowledge of both housing and community organizing as AHMA continues its work towards abundant housing for all.
Kanson-Benanav has over 15 years of experience in affordable housing, public policy, and community engagement. He is the founder of A Better Cambridge (ABC,) a community-based education and advocacy group committed to creating more affordable and sustainable housing. In 2016, he was recognized by the Boston Globe Magazine as a “game changer” for his work with ABC and was the recipient of the Metro Housing’s Champions of Housing Rising Star Award in 2019. He leaves his role as Senior Project Manager at B’nai B’rith Housing to take on this new challenge.
“I am humbled by the opportunity the AHMA board has given me to help build an equity-focused pro-housing movement in Massachusetts,” said Kanson-Benanav. “I look forward to connecting with grassroots housing activists already doing this work in communities across the Commonwealth to help strengthen their work, to seed the creation of new local pro-housing organizations in communities where they don’t already exist, and to boost the voice of our movement in state level policy discussions.”
Board of Directors Vice President, Beyazmin Jimenez said that with his experience with the nuts and bolts of affordable housing development, combined with his extensive experience in community organizing, Kanson-Benanav is the perfect choice to lead AHMA.
“As a fellow organizer for Boston’s 2018 YIMBYtown conference, Jesse and I saw the need for a statewide coalition to harness the power of existing housing groups while bringing new diverse voices into the fold to address the unique needs of all our Massachusetts communities.” said Jimenez. “With Jesse at the helm of AHMA, we’ve taken a huge step in bringing that vision to life and infused new energy to tackle the affordability and supply crisis affecting our housing needs.”
Kanson-Benanav grew up in Saint Paul, MN and currently resides in Jamaica Plain. He received an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and has a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to his work with B’nai B’rith Housing, he worked as a Senior Project Manager for Somerville Community Corporation, a Regional Project Associate for Community Builders, and a public housing management consultant for Edgemere Consulting. He is also a board member at Just-A-Start Corporation in Cambridge.
Abundant Housing Massachusetts is a non-profit organization founded in 2020 to advocate for the creation of abundant housing for all and to develop and support a network of grassroots, pro-housing groups and activists across Massachusetts. AHMA is committed to fostering a movement that includes diverse voices, geography, and people with different lived experiences to help shape an inclusive statewide pro-housing network.