Efforts to Create Affordable Housing Rewarded : Building industry: Nonprofit developer to honor individuals and groups for their commitment to providing low-income shelter.


Larry Webb and Christine Diemer are good capitalists. The word profit rings musically in their ears.

Webb is president of A-M Homes of Southern California, a major Southland builder of upscale homes. Diemer is executive director of the Orange County Building Industry Assn.

But today Webb and Diemer will be honored for another side of their lives: their commitment to helping create more affordable housing in the county.

They are among several individuals and organizations to be honored by the Orange County Community Housing Corp.--the county's oldest and largest nonprofit housing developer--for their efforts to provide affordable shelter in a county where the average home sells for about $250,000.

When Webb isn't being a for-profit developer, he is active in the HomeAid program sponsored by the Building Industry Assn. In the past three years, HomeAid has raised more than $2.5 million in cash and donated labor and materials for nine shelter facilities in Orange County. Webb is a board member and past chairman of HomeAid and serves on the board of the Interval House Shelter in Midway City.

Diemer serves on the boards of several national, state and local housing groups, including Home-Aid, the Corporate Fund for Housing, the National Equity Fund, the South Orange County YWCA and the Orange County Homeless Issues Task Force advisory board. She also is chairman of Gov. Pete Wilson's California Housing Partnership Corp. and a board member of the Federal National Mortgage Assn.

Other honorees at the eighth annual awards breakfast include:

* The Orange County Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, which works to bring lenders, developers and public agencies together to build and preserve housing for low-income people and others in need of temporary shelter.

* The proposed Mary's Home family hospice in La Habra.

* Tim Shaw, chairman of the affordable housing committee of the county Homeless Issues Task Force and director of Shelter for the Homeless.

* David Quesada, executive director of the Orange County Fair Housing Council.

* Lee Podolak, president of the county Homeless Issues Task Force.

* Jim and Louise Behmerwohld, a Dana Point couple who spend each Christmas season in the guise of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, distributing donated toys and clothing to children in low-income households throughout the county.

The Orange County Community Housing Corp., which hosts the awards breakfast each year, was formed in 1977 as a nonprofit building firm.

It has built and owns and manages 125 units of permanently affordable rental housing in Anaheim, Cypress, Dana Point, Garden Grove, Irvine, Newport Beach, Placentia and Santa Ana.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World