Alum Pam Dorr's Plan to Solve Bay Area Housing Problem: 10,000 Tiny, Backyard Homes

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Photo of Pam Dorr embracing a man

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- What do these two places have in common: Hale County, Alabama, one of the nation’s poorest communities, and Silicon Valley, one of the nation’s richest?

People can’t afford homes in either place, says Pam Dorr, director of affordable housing at Menlo Park-based nonprofit Soup.

That’s why after spending 15 years helping to produce affordable homes in Hale County, Dorr is bringing the lessons she learned in rural Alabama to the Bay Area, eager to try her hand at solving the region’s housing woes. Her goal is to build 10,000 homes in 10 years, by erecting prefabricated granny flats in backyards or on other unused parcels.

“If we think of each of us as being a partial solution to homelessness, it’s one way we can help,” she says.

Dorr received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University.