Jack D. Gardner has been actively involved in the financing, development and management of affordable housing since 1985 and has served as President & CEO of the John Stewart Company since 2002. Under Mr. Gardner’s leadership, JSCo has grown to become one of largest managers of affordable housing in the United States, with over 32,000 units under management, and one of the top developers of affordable housing in California, with over 1,000 units of affordable housing under construction or in predevelopment.
Mr. Gardner’s professional background includes the public, non-profit and private sectors. His experience includes serving as Senior Housing Development Analyst for the City of Santa Monica, Southern California Program Manager for the Low Income Investment Fund (for which he established a Southern California office in 1991), founding Executive Director of Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) in Los Angeles, Executive Director of Resources for Community Development (RCD) in Berkeley, and Tax Credit Acquisitions Director for Edison Capital Housing Investments. Following the development of several innovative affordable housing projects, HCHC was named Non-Profit Developer of the Year by the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH) in 1995.
Mr. Gardner is experienced in both the new construction and rehabilitation of residential properties and his historic renovation projects have received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award, the Hollywood Legacy Award, the Los Angeles Conservancy Award and the California Preservation Foundation’s Affordable Housing Award. He is founding President of the Affordable Housing PAC, California’s first affordable housing political action committee, co-chair of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) Housing Policy Board, a member of both the Local Advisory Committee for Bay Area LISC and Lambda Alpha (an international honorary land economics society), and Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of the East Bay (where he was named Volunteer of the Year in 2000). He is an Emeritus Director of the California Housing Consortium (where he served as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Chairperson) and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (2013-18), the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (2005-2012) and the Editorial Advisory Board of Affordable Housing Finance magazine (2004 – 2011). In 2018, Mr. Gardner was recognized as a “Male Champion of Change” by the Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals for “helping to disrupt entrenched workplace cultures” and in 2019, he was inducted into the California Housing Consortium’s Housing Hall of Fame in recognition of his “profound impact on California’s affordable housing industry.”
Mr. Gardner received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In his spare time, he loves to travel, read, hike and climb tall mountains.