Director of Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity
As Director of Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity, an initiative of the non-profit
Housing Collective, Aïcha Woods works at a systems change level to facilitate the production
and preservation of affordable housing. This includes convening multi-sector stakeholders
(over 120 organizations) regionally and providing technical assistance on affordable housing
development projects locally in Fairfield County.
Aïcha is especially interested in the intersection of housing affordability, land conservation,
climate and environmental justice. She is committed to understanding root causes and working
for racial justice on multiple levels. Working with Erin Crosby, in her capacity at FCCHO, Aïcha
has led her steering committee in embarking on a shift in power-sharing and emergent
strategy. With Dr. Vanessa Lyles, Aïcha supports the work of the Housing Equity Coalition. She
has participated in Undoing Racism, Race Forward and AORTA training and is an active member
of the core Equity team for the Housing Collective as well as previously serving on the City of
New Haven JEDI team.
Recently, Aicha co-led the organizing team for the New Haven Climathon, part of a global event,
driven by local community activists and residents. In the past, she has organized and
volunteered for the Mill River Trail, the Under 91 mural project as well as other community art
engagements, and school yard gardens and habitats in New Haven.
Aïcha brings public sector planning leadership experience and a career as an architectural
and urban design consultant. As Executive Director of City Plan for City of New Haven,
Aïcha led community engagement and implemented impactful zoning reforms in support
of housing for all, such as Inclusionary Zoning, Accessory Dwelling Units and reduced
minimum lot sizes, as well as sustainability incentives. Her experience at Pelli Clarke
Architects included large scale urban development projects nationally and internationally.
Aïcha earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a
Master’s in Architecture at Yale University.
Aïcha has lived in New Haven since 1994 and her three children went to New Haven
public schools including Worthington Hooker and Wilbur Cross.
She lives in East Rock with her husband, Dave Coon and youngest son, and enjoys long
walks with her dog in East Rock park, winter sports and making art.