2013 NLC Fellow: Ali Tarzi

Ali Tarzi
AVP of Classes & Coaching, Community HousingWorks/em>

Having fled the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan in 1981, Ali Tarzi’s family fled to Frankfurt, Germany and finally settled in San Diego, California two years later. Arriving in the United States at the age of five, Ali spent his early all his early years in San Diego attending Helix High School in La Mesa and San Diego State University as a Public Administration Major. 2003 marked a pivotal moment in his life when a career opportunity presented itself within the residential real estate industry.

Ali spent the next five years gaining skills and experience in a Real Estate career, working primarily with first time homeowners. This career spanned across two brokerage firms and a private mortgage bank, lasting until the housing crash in 2008. As part of the recovery plan, Congressional appropriations began to make dollars and resources available to select non-profit organizations in early 2008; Ali was hired by one such organization, Community HousingWorks, to use his industry expertise to assist struggling homeowners. Over the next two years he directly counseled over 500 financially distressed San Diego families, serving as a fierce and calculated advocate.

Gaining knowledge in the intricacies of bank loss mitigation procedures, secondary market implications, and housing related bureaucratic complexities, Ali soon oversaw a team of 6 full time counselors, leading his team to local, statewide and even national recognition as a best practice model. Recognitions include appointment to Mayor Jerry Sanders Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, being awarded the San Diego County Bars Distinguished Servicer Award, being highlighted as a Freddie Mac National Spotlight Organization and receiving the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) Affiliate of the year Award. Ali himself was recognized in Sacramento, receiving the Soaring Condor Award from the California Reinvestment Coalition for Leadership and in Washington D.C., receiving a national Counselor of the Year Award for Outreach Efforts and Professional Development from the NeighborWorks America network, a network of over 250 housing focused non-profits. Today, Ali resides in the Hillcrest Neighborhood of San Diego, with his wife Rebekka.

Ali is currently the AVP of Classes and Coaching for Community HousingWorks assisting his department towards a comprehensive service model focused on financial recovery and resiliency for families. He advises on state level housing policy issues to NCLR through the California Housing Committee, sits on the NeighborWorks National Advisory Committee, and is the primary media contact for CHW’s home-ownership lines of business.

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