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

Katina Combs

Interim Executive Director / 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.

Marissa Cohen, MSW

Director of Education Outreach and Advocacy

Marissa Cohen is the Director of Education, Outreach, and Advocacy at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC). She has been with EHOC since 2019, teaching Fair Housing and Landlord Tenant rights to community members, nonprofit service providers, grassroots coalitions, and others in the housing industry. Marissa obtained a Bachelor of Science 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’s Brown School of Social Work and acquired a Master of Social Work in Domestic Social and Economic Development with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Mixed-Income Housing Development.. 

Currently, her role consists of representing EHOC in community outreach events, organizing, coordinating and conducting trainings, and developing public facing informational flyers regarding Fair Housing laws. Additionally, Marissa serves as the Co-Convener (co-chair) of the Immigrant Service Providers Network (ISPN) and participates in several other grassroots coalitions focused on housing. Marissa believes access to housing is a human right and is passionate about equipping others with the knowledge and tools to ensure housing stability. 


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.

Kara Duncan

Director of Finance

Kara came to EHOC in 2013 as an Administrative Assistant over the years she has trained next to the Executive and Assistant Directors in learning all things EHOC. Kara has 20+ years of experience in Human Resources, Accounting, and Legal Assistant roles. Kara took over the administrative department and grant reporting in 2021. 

Kara also has degrees in Culinary Arts and Management and Veterinary Technician

Latonya Holmes

Director of Human Resources & Employee Relations

Latonya Holmes started with Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council in January 2022 as an Independent Contractor assisting with Human Resources and advances to Director of Human Resources and Employee Relations in November 2022. Latonya’s role at EHOC is to foster a healthy and supportive working environment where staff can thrive and excel in their roles, implement systems that create a culture of trust and openness, allowing employees to give their best efforts, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the organization’s mission. Latonya’s responsibilities general Human Resource duties, hiring and staffing, employee relations and improvement, and policies and procedures. Latonya received her Associate of Arts – Healthcare Administration – Axia College/University of Phoenix. She has been in various managerial roles in the healthcare and business industries. She also worked in the legal industry in Audits and Trust and Estates. She is excited about the mission of EHOC and is ready help in any way she can.

Niya Foster

Director of Programs and Intake Management

Niya Foster serves as EHOC’s Fair Housing Specialist and Director of the Program and Intake Department. Her roles allow her to serve the community and provide the opportunity to educate, advocate, and empower individuals on their rights under local, state, and federal fair housing laws. She also provides direction and management for EHOC’s Client Intake/Referral process and Data Management System. Throughout her career Niya has worked for various non-profit and government agencies but always returned to EHOC; hence her passion for Civil Rights and Fair Housing. During her tenures with EHOC she has served as Intake Specialist, Fair Housing Assistant, and Testing Coordinator. She has interned with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s, Fair Housing Equal Opportunity Division and has her Certificate of Completion from the National Fair Housing Training Academy in Fair Housing Law, Intake, & Investigations. Niya also has certificates from the National Fair Housing Alliance – Fair Housing School and keeps herself abreast of trends, challenges, and changes in the housing industry. She is a former Neighborhood Leadership Program Fellow through UMSL Extension and has her HCM-H Certification for Managing HUD Compliance. Niya, a St. Louis native, received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Harris Stowe State University and is a Proud Graduate of the Historical Charles Sumner High School…Go Bulldogs!!!…..since 1875.

Rachel Swinney

Program Manager

Rachel Swinney is a tenant advocate who works to assist EHOC client by conducting intakes, sharing resource materials, and assisting in educating them about their Fair housing rights. Rachel believes that true empowerment of a community comes through education and opportunity. Rachel has worked with in community with various organizations over the past 8 years and came to EHOC Feb. 2022. She graduated from University of Missouri St. Louis in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, and recently obtained her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. Rachel has completed trainings through the National Fair Housing Training Academy which included the Fundamentals of Fair housing training and the FHAP Investigations training. One of Rachel’s favorite quotes: “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin

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 from Mississippi State University. Kennedy started her career at EHOC as a summer intern and continued to serve 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 at EHOC, Kennedy works alongside Kalila Jackson and EHOC’s tenant advocates to provide legal counsel to clients facing housing discrimination, eviction, and landlord/tenant issues, seeking to keep the community stably housed and free from discrimination.

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. He spent many years working for labor and community 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. In this role, he does fair housing education and outreach across the St. Louis metropolitan area. Glenn also staffs the St. Louis Equal Housing and Reinvestment Coalition (SLEHCRA), the bi-state region’s Community Reinvestment Act coalition. In addition to these duties, Glenn handles many of EHOC’s communications needs. Engaging with local and national media outlets on fair housing and fair lending issues is an important part of fulfilling EHOC’s mission. EHOC was a founding member organization of SLEHCRA, along with Justine PETERSEN and a handful of other local community organizations and nonprofits. Since then it has grown to two dozen member organizations. In the years following the coalition’s founding, SLEHCRA’s Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) have helped open numerous bank branches in the region’s low-to-moderate income communities and pushed the local banking ecosystem to begin offering far more banking services and lending products targeted at serving the needs of communities that have long been underserved by mainstream financial institutions. This includes getting numerous branches and services locations opened in north St. Louis city, an area that many banks have long avoided properly serving. Even when not in official CBA agreements, SLEHCRA’s advocacy with local lenders has helped them develop products and services that help them better serve the St. Louis region’s LMI communities. SLEHCRA’s advocacy has also led many lenders to improve their staff and board diversity, including at senior corporate positions. Glenn was named 2022 Affordable Housing Advocate of the Year by Empower Missouri.

Board of Directors

  • Nate Johnson (President), Real Estate Solutions
  • Dennis Lavallee (Vice President)
  • Aimee Wehmeier (Treasurer), Paraquad
  • Gail Brown, Brown-Kortkamp Realty
  • Ed Wartts, Retired U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Benjamin Bozicevic, Attorney, (Inactive)
  • Connie Johnson, Attorney
  • Vernon Mitchell, Jr., Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer 
  • Zachary Schmook, General Counsel
  • *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