[caption id="attachment_50652" align="alignright" width="225" caption="John Lowry plans to retire this fall."][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- John Lowry, executive director of Burbank Housing, plans to retire in September after 14 years in that role.

Mr. Lowry, 64, has been with the 140-employee nonprofit affordable dwelling developer and manager for 28 years, becoming executive director in 1998. He started with the organization as a project manager and onsite supervisor of the self-help program. Later, he moved into rental housing development.

Burbank Housing board of directors Chairman Alex Mallonee praised Mr. Lowry for his work as a passionate, longtime advocate for access to home ownership for low-income families, for creating numerous housing units for low- and very low-income individuals and families in Sonoma and adjacent counties, and for the provision of supportive services in rental housing to allow people with disabilities to live independently.

“Creating affordable housing has become much more of a challenge lately," Mr. Mallonee said. "In self-help housing projects the building costs approach or exceed market value. Creation of rental units relied upon subsidies of local government, which no longer have the resources. In spite of this, under John's leadership Burbank has continued to live up to its mission of providing affordable housing."Burbank Housing has begun the search for a new executive officer.