Formerly the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund, the California Housing Defense Fund’s core mission is to make lasting impacts to improve the affordability and accessibility of housing to current and future Californians, especially low- and moderate-income people and communities of color.

CalHDF uses legal advocacy and education to ensure all cities comply with their own zoning and state housing laws and do their part to help solve the state’s housing shortage.

In addition to housing impact litigation, we provide free legal aid, education and workshops, counseling and advocacy to advocates, homeowners, small developers, and city and state government officials.

We are CalHDF 

Dylan Casey

Dylan Casey

Executive Director

Dylan Casey moved to Oakland to join CalHDF in early 2017. Dylan’s work at CalHDF has focused on ensuring local compliance with state housing law, including the Housing Accountability Act and Accessory Dwelling Unit Law. Before joining CalHDF, Dylan worked as a land use lawyer for New York City government since graduating law school from New York University in 2012. Dylan worked on permitting the public review process for individual developments, neighborhood rezonings, and helped develop the city’s inclusionary housing program first at the Department of City Planning and later at the New York City Council.

Greg Magofña

Greg Magofña

Director of Development & Outreach

A Hawai’i and Bay Area native, Greg was previously the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, an organization that works with and for homeless, formerly incarcerated, and/or low-income populations. In addition, he is one of the co-founders and Co-Executives of the social equity nonprofit East Bay for Everyone, once served as Senior Aide to former Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and has served as both a Berkeley Housing Commissioner and Environmental Commissioner. Greg has a Master of Urban Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.

Courtney Welch

Courtney Welch

Director of Investigations & Enforcement

Courtney Welch is an East Bay native, experienced civic leader, proud mother of two, and member of the Emeryville City Council. Previously, she was the Director of Policy and Communications with the Bay Area Community Land Trust, (BACLT) where she helped create permanently affordable housing through cooperatively-run land stewardship projects. Prior to BACLT, Courtney was a Continuum of Care Specialist with EveryOne Home, working to end homelessness in Alameda County. In 2015, she founded Courtney Consulting Agency, a virtual assistant firm dedicated to assisting minority-owned startups and small businesses with administrative and operations needs. 

Nick Eckenwiler

Legal Fellow

Nick moved to Oakland in the spring of 2022 and joined CalHDF that fall. Before then, he worked as an eviction defense attorney at the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York.  Now that he is back in the Bay Area, he is excited to help tackle California’s housing crisis and enforce state housing laws.  In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing fiction, and rock climbing.  Nick has a BA in mathematics and political science from Yale University and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Kate Goldmann

Planning & Research Associate

Kate Goldmann is an Oakland native and 2022 UC Berkeley graduate with a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies with a concentration in sustainable city design and development. At Berkeley, Kate conducted field research in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and participated in the Berkeley Urban Studies Student Association. Kate is interested in how planning can combat the climate crisis and make the built environment more sustainable, livable, and equitable. Kate’s desire to increase housing density, availability, and affordability is what led her to CalHDF!

Jobs + Internships

There are currently no job openings. If you are think you are a good fit and potentially interested in a future job, you can email hi@calhdf.org with some information.  We will be looking for Legal Interns in the summer.

 

Board of Directors

Kate Downing

Attorney at Law Offices of Kate Downing

Alex Gourse

Associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Stephen Menendian

 Assistant Director and Director of Research at UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute

Luis Villa

Co-Founder and General Counsel at Tidelift

 

Supported by you

CalHDF relies on individual donations and membership subscriptions from regular people like you.

There is no California statewide agency charged with enforcing the laws like we do, which makes our work all the more valuable.

Donate to CalHDF and help us restore a legal environment in which California builds housing equal to its needs.