Kamara remembers the exact moment when she fully realized the difference her work makes in people's lives. It was at the grand opening of an apartment property for low-income seniors in Chicago.
"There was a woman moving in with all of her belongings in grocery bags," she says. "No matter how hard her journey had been up until that moment, there was a good chance the rest of her life would be spent in safety and comfort."
Working in the Targeted Affordable Housing area in Freddie Mac's Multifamily business, Kamara's main focus today: Putting together financing options that will help keep apartments affordable to underserved populations, including low-income individuals and families, seniors, veterans, the homeless, and people with mental and physical disabilities.
Kamara travels coast to coast to craft these solutions. They require a lot of coordination – among lenders, community organizations, government entities, and groups within Freddie Mac. "It's a highly collaborative exercise," she says.
The conversations involved often spark new product ideas or ways to close funding gaps. "When I see people in need, it pulls on my heart strings," says Kamara. "So I ask people I know, 'Hey, have we tried this before? Is it even possible?' And the excitement starts to build at the prospect of innovation taking place."
"When all of the hard work is done and I see the results, it gives me a strong sense of purpose," Kamara says of all of her housing efforts. "It makes me want to do more."