John K. Stewart, Founder (1934 – 2020)

John Stewart incorporated The John Stewart Company (JSCo) with three employees in 1978, drawing on both his extensive experience in real estate development and his personal commitment to the field of affordable housing. Mr. Stewart was actively involved in the firm’s project acquisition, rehabilitation, syndication, property management, consulting, marketing, and development activities until the final days of his life.

Mr. Stewart provided leadership to JSCo for over 25 years, overseeing its growth to over 1,000 employees and a management portfolio exceeding 20,000 units in over 250 properties (primarily in Northern California).   Passing the CEO role to his successor in 2002, Mr. Stewart transitioned to intensive project development work in San Francisco, Santa Rosa and several other communities, helping develop thousands more units of high-quality affordable housing units throughout the state.  JSCo is now the largest manager of affordable housing in California and one of the ten largest in the United States.

During his career, John was instrumental in building relationships with non-profit entities, public agencies and private lenders to create unique ownership structures, infusing private investor capital into new, existing and troubled housing developments to create, improve and preserve long-term affordable housing. To this end, he utilized both federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Investment Tax Credits.

Prior to starting JSCo, Mr. Stewart was an officer of a TRW-owned subsidiary which developed public and HUD-assisted and insured housing. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Low- and Moderate-Income Housing to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner in Washington, D.C. and in 1988 received a Presidential appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Bank. While at the Bank, John served as Chairman of its Development Corporation, which makes focused loans to low-income housing, medical, and agricultural cooperatives. He also served on multiple non-profit boards throughout his career, including the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), Mercy Housing, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco, the National Housing Conference and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR).  Mr. Stewart was a proud graduate of Stanford University.