The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council seeks to ensure equal access to housing and places of public accommodation for all people through education, counseling, investigation, and enforcement.

Our Staff

Ch. Will Jordan

Executive Director

Will Jordan is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing & Opportunity Council (EHOC), which works to ensure equal access to housing for all people through education, counseling, investigation, and enforcement. EHOC was recognized in 2008 with HUD’s Blue Ribbon Award and by FOCUS St. Louis in 2003 with a “What’s Right with the Region” Award. Will personally was awarded the 2012 Missouri Commission on Human Rights Fair Housing Advocate Award and the 2005 Governor’s Human Rights Award from the State of Illinois. Will received his B.S. in Psychology from Southeast Missouri State University and his J.D. from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Before coming to EHOC, he served as Program Manager for the Emerson Park Development Corporation’s YouthBuild Program in East St. Louis, as Hearing Officer for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as Regional Trainer for the Missouri Division of Youth Services, and as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He is a member of Stand for Children’s grassroots organizing initiative.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7018

Marissa Cohen, MSW

Director of Education Outreach and Advocacy

Marissa joined EHOC as the Education Coordinator in 2019. Marissa obtained a BS degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Missouri Kansas City, then served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador for two years. Immediately following the Peace Corps, Marissa studied at Washington University and acquired a Masters of Social Work in Domestic Social and Economic Development. Her studies focused on macro-level social work, specifically Housing and Nonprofit Management, where she received certificates in Nonprofit Management and Asset Management for Mixed-Income Housing Development through Neighborworks. Before beginning as the Education Coordinator at EHOC, Marissa supported the redevelopment efforts of Urban Strategies Inc. through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Grant by providing holistic support and programming geared towards the residents’ housing stability. In this role, she served as a Case Manager and also acted as a liaison to the property manager and other community resources. Outside of EHOC, Marissa Cohen works in various capacities assisting with a faith-based non-profit, Higher Ground Economic Development Corporation (HGEDC) which is committed to identifying affordable housing solutions in North County.

314-534-5800 Ext. 2005

Katina Combs

Director of Testing

Katina Combs is the EHOC’s Director of Testing. Katina supervises EHOC’s testing program and is actively involved in all aspects of EHOC’s enforcement activities. Katina has been with EHOC for more than twenty years and previously served as Fair Housing Assistant. She has completed training through the National Fair Housing Alliance in Fair Housing Fundamentals and Real Estate Sales. She has also completed training on accessibility through Fair Housing FIRST and predatory lending at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Katina received her associate degree from St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She has a passion for fair housing and fair lending and is deeply committed to EHOC’s clients.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7015

Kalila Jackson

Director of Legal Services

Kalila Jackson is a native of St. Louis and represents clients with fair housing complaints and other legal issues as EHOC’s Staff Attorney. She earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University.  She is admitted to practice law in Missouri. Before coming to EHOC, Kalila worked as an Associate Attorney at a civil litigation firm, where she represented individuals and businesses in a diverse range of civil litigation matters, including employment and housing discrimination. Kalila is also a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Family Services.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7007

Kara Duncan

Director of Finance

Bio coming soon!

314-534-5800 Ext. 7021

Glenn Burleigh

Community Engagement Specialist

Glenn Burleigh has been EHOC’s Community Engagement Specialist since 2015. Glenn was born in Pine Bluff, AR, and he came to live in St. Louis in 1997, while attending Saint Louis University. Since 2004, Glenn has been an active part of the Missouri progressive movement. Glenn spent many years working for progressive organizations, such as The Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition, SEIU, CWA, and ACORN. Glenn’s focus at EHOC is raising awareness of Fair Housing laws and the services EHOC offers to our clients. Glenn also staffs the St. Louis Equal Housing and Reinvestment Coalition (SLEHCRA), St. Louis’ Community Reinvestment Act coalition of which EHOC was a founding member organization.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7009

Niya Foster

Fair Housing Specialist

Niya Foster is the Fair Housing Specialist for EHOC. She has her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Harris Stowe State University. Her introduction to the organization occurred in 2004 while completing her internship with HUD’s Fair Housing Equal Opportunity Division; this is when she discovered her passion for fair housing. Upon graduation, she was offered a position at EHOC and served as the Landlord Tenant/Fair Housing Assistance from 2005 – 2007. From 2016-2017, Niya served as EHOC’s Testing Coordinator and most recently returned in 2020 as the Fair Housing Specialist. Throughout her 16-year career in public service, Niya has sharpened her skills as a housing and community advocate. In 2019, she was a Neighborhood Leadership Fellow (NLF), a community leadership program in partnership with UMSL Extension. In her various roles, Niya has always made EHOC’s mission to eradicate housing discrimination an integral part of her work. One word she would use to describe herself would be “Connector,” as she considers this to be one of her strongest qualities. Niya believes equitable, affordable, quality housing is the key to sustaining neighborhoods and the foundation to build strong communities. 

314-534-5800 Ext. 7023

Emma Grady-Pawl

EDP- INTAKE SPECIALIST

Emma Grady-Pawl joined EHOC as the Intake Specialist for the Eviction Defense Team in Winter 2021. Emma received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in Social and Economic Development and her undergraduate degree in Peace and Justice Studies and English from Tufts University. In grad school Emma worked with Mobility Connection, supporting families to realize the full potential of their Housing Vouchers, and with WashU’s Prison Education Project as the Reentry Housing Specialist, focusing on expanding access to reentry housing. Emma is passionate about housing access and equity. As an Intake Specialist, Emma works to connect clients to services and educate them about their rights and options during the eviction process.

314-534-5800 Ext. 1029

Kennedy Moehrs Gardner

Staff Attorney

Kennedy Moehrs Gardner joined EHOC as an Eviction Defense Staff Attorney in 2021, representing tenants in eviction cases and other landlord-tenant disputes. Kennedy received her law degree from Washington University School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mississippi State University. Kennedy started her career at EHOC as a summer intern and also served at EHOC through the law school’s Civil Rights, Community Justice, and Mediation Clinic. While in law school, Kennedy served as the Co-President of the Public Service Advisory Board and interned for the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps as well as the Simon Law Firm. As an attorney for the Eviction Defense Program, Kennedy works alongside EHOC’s housing resource specialists to provide legal counsel to clients facing eviction, seeking to keep the community stably housed.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7014

Michael-John Voss

STAFF ATTORNEY

Michael-John (MJ) Voss joined EHOC in August of 2022. Prior to that he co-founded the local nonprofit ArchCity Defenders in 2009 after graduating from law school. He served in multiple operations, management, and direct service capacities, and most recently was Director of Special Projects. In addition to providing criminal and civil legal services to the unhoused population in St. Louis, working in housing court, as well as family, criminal, and municipal courts. MJ worked in civil rights litigation and partnered with organizers and activists on campaigns including federal and state class action impact litigation on illegal fines and fees, debtors’ prisons, cash bail, and police misconduct.

314-534-5800 Ext. 7012

Ellie Stitzer

Legal Fellow

Ellie Stitzer is a native Missourian who joined EHOC as a Legal Fellow during the summer of 2022 after working as an intern throughout law school. Ellie received her law degree from Washington University School of Law in May of 2022 and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri in 2019. While in law school, Ellie co-founded and served as co-president for the school’s first Disability Law Caucus in addition to serving on the boards of OUTLaw and the Student Bar Association. Ellie works alongside the rest of the legal team in the Eviction Defense Program where she aims to bring justice to clients caught in an unjust system. 

314-534-5800 Ext. 1025

Board of Directors

  • Nate Johnson (President), Real Estate Solutions
  • Dennis Lavallee (Vice President)
  • Vernon Mitchell (Secretary), Washington University in St. Louis
  • Aimee Wehmeier (Treasurer), Paraquad
  • Gail Brown, Brown-Kortkamp Realty
  • Eric Madkins, Regions Bank
  • Ed Wartts, Retired U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Valerie Bell, Attorney, Retired
  • Valerie Marion, Community Resident
  •  Sam Henderson, Attorney
  • Benjamin Bozicevic, Attorney 
  • Jeanette Mott Oxford, Public Policy Advocate & Organizer  
  • *Hedy Epstein, Civil Rights Activist, In Memoriam

     

     

     

(Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)

Our History

EHOC was founded in 1992 as a result of a Confluence St. Louis (now Focus St. Louis) task force on Racial Polarization. By 1994, a dedicated volunteer Board was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to set up an office and hire the first paid staff. By early 1995, EHOC had three full time staff members and the capacity to investigate individual claims of housing discrimination. Since that beginning, EHOC has expanded our funding base to include the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration, St. Louis County Department of Community Development, foundations, corporate contributions, and individual donors.

Heroes’ & History: A Brief Outline of the Struggle for Fair Housing in St. Louis