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Creager announced as new Stardust Center director

May 27, 2008

The College of Design is pleased to announce the appointment of Kurt Creager as the new director of the Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family. Creager was most recently the CEO of the Vancouver Housing Authority in Vancouver, Washington, where he was responsible for producing over 3,500 housing units over a 15-year period. The announcement was made at the Stardust Center Advisory Board meeting on April 29.

Kurt Creager has more than 25 years experience in nonprofit affordable housing, private development and government-based public housing authorities. As the former Chief of Housing and Economic Development for King County, Seattle, Washington, he created a countywide Housing Opportunity Trust Fund, which has since invested $150 million in over 9,000 affordable housing units in over 40 localities. Creager has been active in Phoenix for the past few years as senior vice president for Housing Development for CDK Partners. He also has his own consultancy, Urbanist Housing Solutions LLC, where he is engaged in transit-oriented and sustainable master planned communities in Scottsdale, Arizona; Beaverton, Oregon; and Kootenai County, Idaho. Urbanist Solutions is also retained by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to help diversify their portfolio to include a significant inventory of workforce housing for communities.

“Kurt Creager brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the intersection of public and private enterprise,” says Conrad Egan, President of the National Housing Conference and Stardust board member. “He has a lifelong commitment to increasing and supporting good, affordable homes to families and the organizational, managerial and leadership skills to bring the Stardust Center to a higher level of performance.”

Creager has a vision for the future of the Stardust Center that builds on ASU President Michael Crow’s commitment to social embeddedness and support and mission of founding donor Jerry Bisgrove and founding director, nationally known architect, Michael Pyatok.

“Stewardship is important” says Creager. “The Stardust Center needs to extend its reach into the community to leave it in a better condition than how we find it. We will remain grounded in the local community but will be striving to increase the visibility and applicability of the center’s work to the national and international stages.”

Wellington Reiter, dean of the College of Design, says that Creager is coming to Arizona at an pivotal time for housing and real estate development. “He has the knowledge of the complex financing and development strategies vital to the development of affordable and workforce housing. In today's economic climate, we will need his experience and leadership to ensure that the Stardust Center will continue to be at the forefront of solutions to today’s challenges in housing and sustainable development.”

Creager was a Fannie Mae Fellow in the State and Local Public Executive Program in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a graduate of the Institute for Public Policy and Management at the University of Washington. He received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning & Architectural Graphics at Western Washington University. Creager lends his time and energy to a variety of boards and associations. He was president of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and continues to sit on the board of governors. He represented the organization’s nongovernmental organization at the United Nations. He also serves on the board of the Housing Development Law Institute and on the advisory board for Affordable Housing Finance magazine. He has been an entrepreneurship trainer for Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, and the Public Housing Authority Director’s Association in Washington, DC.

Since January 2005, when it first opened its doors, the Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family has established a strong reputation for applied design and research in affordable, sustainable housing. The Stardust Center has built two successful demonstration projects—in the Phoenix area (Guadalupe) and on the Navajo Nation. Through research, educational outreach, advocacy and design innovation, the Stardust Center supports organizations, neighborhoods and professionals in their efforts to improve the growth of quality affordable homes and sustainable communities.