LOS ANGELES — Laura A. Whittall-Scherfee was named executive director of the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.
Whittall-Scherfee was sworn in on July 17. The California treasurer’s office announced the appointment last week.
She has worked for the state for 22 years on programs that encouraged the development of affordable housing.
Though she has strong ties with affordable housing developers and lenders, she said in a statement she looks “forward to getting to know those of you who issue bonds.”
The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, chaired by Treasurer John Chiang, provides tax-exempt bonds for affordable rental housing, home ownership and industrial development. The financing is an important part of the Treasurer’s continuing efforts to build more rent-subsidized apartments and deal with California’s growing housing crisis.
“Providing families and individuals with safe, affordable housing is one of my highest priorities,” Chiang said. “We cannot have livable communities and a prosperous economy in California if people do not have a decent place to live. That is why I am pleased to have Laura on my team. Her knowledge and experience will be invaluable in furthering my housing goals.
Whittall-Scherfee spent more than two decades at state housing agencies. Most recently, she served five years as deputy director of the Division of Financial Assistance at the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The division, under her leadership, restructured and streamlined the delivery of financing to projects, resulting in the preservation of about 13,000 rental and home ownership units and the creation of 15,000 units of new housing.
Whittall-Scherfee also spent 16 years in positions at the California Housing Finance Agency. She started her career in the private sector as a bank loan officer, handling commercial and single-family clients.
Whittall-Scherfee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Pomona College, said she is ready to use her new position to help build on the Treasurer’s ongoing success in putting more people into decent homes.
“I am excited to work with Treasurer Chiang to do everything we can to help provide affordable housing for all Californians,” she said.
Chiang has made encouraging affordable housing a priority during his time as treasurer. He was elected in 2014 and he is running for governor in 2018 when Jerry Brown terms out.
Jeree Glasser-Hedrick, CDLAC’s former Executive Director, is now serving as the Deputy Treasurer of Retirement Security and Housing Policy.
CDLAC was created in 1985 to set and allocate California’s annual debt ceiling, and administer the State’s tax-exempt bond program to issue the debt.
CDLAC’s programs are used to finance affordable housing developments for low-income Californians, build solid waste disposal and waste recycling facilities, and finance direct loans used by in-need college students and their parents.