Karen Haycox is an experienced leader in the affordable housing space who joined Habitat NYC and Westchester as CEO in August of 2015. During her tenure at Habitat NYC and Westchester, Karen instituted a bold new vision for the organization, increasing the number of families served through construction and preservation from 550 to 2,021 by the end of 2021. She has also overseen the completion of Sydney House, a 56-unit co-op in the north Bronx, which will be Habitat for Humanity’s largest single-structure, multi-family development ever built.
Previous to Habitat NYC and Westchester, Karen served as Vice President, Fund Development at Southwest Solutions and held a number of senior positions with Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta. At Habitat for Humanity International, Karen served in leadership roles on the organization’s annual Carter Work Projects and on international and domestic disaster relief efforts, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina & Rita, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Midwestern tornados in Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma as well as Superstorm Sandy.
Karen is deeply involved in the LGBTQ+ and housing communities, including as a board member of Rainbow Railroad, an international organization helping people escape state-sponsored violence, and find safety and freedom from persecution as LGBTQ+ individuals; and as a former board member of Stonewall Community Development Corporation, an organization dedicated to providing New York’s LGBTQ+ seniors with supportive, affordable and safe housing options.
She also serves on the boards of the New York City-based Housing Partnership, which assists in the development, promotion, and revitalization of New York City’s affordable homeownership and rental housing and, the New York State CDFI Coalition providing advocacy and resources for New York State Community Development Financial Institutions.
Karen received her degree in Creative Cinematography, Film & Television from Humber College in Toronto, Canada, and enjoyed a successful career as a producer in advertising, film and communications before she transitioned to the affordable housing sector.