“We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together, black and white, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu—a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
EAH Housing was founded in 1968 to address the needs of low-income families and older adults living in Marin County, California. Originally named the Ecumenical Association for Housing, EAH was organized from grass-roots efforts in response to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The organization soon outgrew the confines of Marin, and currently manages affordable housing communities in 55 municipalities in California and Hawai’i.
The 1967 Kerner Report, commissioned by the federal government in the wake of riots triggered by the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, underscored the fact that violence and poverty arose from the lack of jobs, education and housing. Martin Mackey, EAH Housing's founder, noted in a Pacific Sun interview: “When it came time for us to organize EAH, the groundwork for social action had already been done.”
In 1968, a group of concerned citizens came together with the intention to bring about social change through the creation of housing opportunities that would be available to people regardless of income or ethnic background. As one person said, they “didn’t want to simply be bystanders to the forces of change in the air.”
Soon thereafter a group of 24 organizations, each pledging $200, established the Ecumenical Association for Housing in a donated office, staffed by two capable volunteers. Representatives of many religious, as well as civic organizations played key roles in founding EAH Housing. Several helped to create housing by donating land for affordable developments. Others welcomed low-income people to the community by working to bring affordable housing into their own neighborhoods.
EAH Housing has a tremendous record of success. Starting from humble origins as a community-based, nonprofit organization, EAH has grown to a staff of more than 475 people, managing over 100 properties with a budget of over $101 million.
In 2018, EAH Housing celebrates 50 years of dedication to social justice in creating affordable rental housing on behalf of working families, older adults and the many people that comprise the unique fabric of our community today.
For more detailed information included in our EAH Housing History Book, please contact:
Communications Department, EAH Housing