Barbara Adams

Barbara Adams (1)

Pennsylvania’s Housing Champion

Ep. 27 - Barbara Adams is an influential leader in Pennsylvania for her tireless efforts to implement housing projects, help reduce poverty, and advocate for social justice issues.

Top Takeaways:

  • The consequences of a lack of affordable housing for low-income seniors
  • How to manage a huge number of professionals especially as a woman
  • Using energy as a tool to relieve poverty
  • The opportunities in the energy and affordable housing sectors that young people can explore

Listen to the consequences of not having adequate housing for seniors.

“There’s a big challenge on creating enough multifamily housing for the low-income populations who need that product.”

She spent nearly 30 years at a Philadelphia-based law firm where she started as a summer intern and rose through the ranks to tackle complex housing projects that significantly improved the lives in her community. Barbara recounts her journey and discusses how to improve senior housing and the keys to tackling a poverty epidemic in Philadelphia. She also shares her work in clean energy, which she argues is essential for creating jobs and fighting poverty. Barbara Adams is recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s accomplished leaders with decades of experience in law, finance, government, and public service.

Barbara currently serves on the boards of FS KKR Capital Corp (NYSE:FSK) and FS KKR Capital Corp. II, and previously served on the boards of FS Investment Corporation II, FS Investment Corporation III and FS Investment Corporation IV., funds investing primarily in senior debt of middle-market companies. Since 2011, Ms. Adams has also served on the board of the Philadelphia Energy Authority and since 2017, on the board of the Committee of Seventy.

As Executive Vice President-Legal Affairs and General Counsel to the Philadelphia Housing Authority the nation’s fourth largest housing authority, from 2011-2016, Ms. Adams rebuilt the internal legal function for the Authority then in receivership by HUD and structured the settlement with HUD to enable the return of the Authority to local control. She also managed insurance/risk management for the Authority and served on its two pension boards, a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan.

Listen to hear the importance of clean energy and the job opportunities that exist in the sector for young people today.

Key Moments:

She tells the history of her career journey working in the affordable housing sector as a transactional attorney and an implementor of policy outside of Washington DC [4:22]

The crisis that exists now for lack of senior housing and its consequences especially on low income elderly [17:07]

She describes her success story as her accomplishment as a transactional lawyer in the affordable housing and the community development field [21:55]

She explains the difference between an estate and a condo and what it meant back in the 1980s [25:50]

She describes the challenges she faced in her role supervising 500 lawyers at the Commonwealth [27:30]

How she is managing her Energy campaign with some support from the Philadelphia city council [29:22]

The possibilities that exist in the energy sector for young people [32:53]

The need for low-cost housing options to meet the existing demand [35:17]

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