Director Office of Housing

  • City of Seattle, WA
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Apr 18, 2019
Full Time Administration and Management Housing Human and Social Services Real Estate
  • Salary: $120,936.95 - $199,591.91 Annually

Job Description

Position Description

The City of Seattle is recruiting for a collaborative, innovative leader with a passion for creating affordable and inclusive communities to lead the Office of Housing (O H ) . As a visionary leader, the OH Director will lead the City's efforts to increase opportunities for people of all incomes to live in our city. The Director must be a strong steward of City resources to increase permanently affordable housing for low-income individuals and families, must lead innovative strategies to build affordable housing throughout Seattle for all residents, and must help center strategies to combat and mitigate displacement. A successful candidate must show demonstrated leadership and a commitment to equity.

Over the past 37 years, OH has funded over 16,000 affordable rental homes with the Seattle Housing Levy and other local funds, and created nearly 6,000 affordable apartments through incentives. In addition, OH has helped over 1,050 homebuyers purchase their first homes with affordable City-funded loans and invested in 300 permanently affordable homeownership opportunities.
The mission of the Office of Housing (OH) is to build strong healthy communities and increase opportunities for people of all background and income levels to live in our city. To accomplish this mission, OH includes four program areas:

  • Multi-Family Production and Preservation;
  • Homeownership and Sustainability;

  • Policy and Program Development; and
  • Administration and Management.

The Multi-Family Production and Preservation Program employs the Seattle Housing Levy, Mandatory Housing Affordability funds and other federal and local funding to make low-interest loans to non-profit and for-profit developers to develop or preserve affordable multi-family rental housing. A particular focus will of this program will be on implementing Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation recently adopted by the City. In addition, OH oversees the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) units in market-rate development. To ensure that the policy objectives of the City are achieved the for the long-term, OH monitors its housing portfolio for compliance and to make sure the units remain in good condition.

The Homeownership and Sustainability Program includes three sub-programs to assist low-income households:

  • The Homeownership Assistance Program supports first-time homebuyers and existing low-income homeowners through down-payment assistance loans, funding for permanently affordable homeownership opportunities, and foreclosure prevention loans.

  • The Home Repair Program provides grants and no- to low-interest loans to assist with critical life safety home repairs.
  • The HomeWise Weatherization Program provides grants to increase energy efficiency and lower utility costs for low-income residents in both single-family and multifamily properties.

The Policy and Program Development Program establishes long-term strategic plans, develops and implements policy-based tools, and addresses housing-related aspects of citywide land use and community development planning in partnership with the Office of Planning and Community Development. Key components of this program include expanding resources for affordable housing and homelessness programs, working with communities to develop anti-displacement strategies, creating and administering incentive programs to advance housing affordability goals, developing innovative housing models, pursuing strategic real estate opportunities to increase housing opportunities for Seattle residents, and working with the Affordable Middle Income Housing Advisory Council to partner on this work.

The Administration and Management Program provides centralized leadership, coordination, technology, contracting, and financial management services to OH programs and capital projects.

Job Responsibilities

Appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by City Council, the Director serves as the highest executive authority at the Office of Housing and will have full planning, operations, and financial responsibility. The Director is responsible for planning, organizing, and administering the City's investment in affordable housing. OH oversees a portfolio of more than 22,000 affordable housing units consistent with best practices, environmental stewardship, and an unwavering commitment to the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative. Key Priorities of the Director will include:
  • Stewardship of the City's investment in affordable housing. Provide executive leadership and oversight of the Seattle Housing Levy , the seven-year, $290 Million housing levy funding affordable rental housing for low-income Seattle residents, and implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability Program.
  • Support for the City's Affordable Middle Income Housing Advisory Council. OH supports this volunteer Committee whose members have expertise in both investment and housing development. The mission of the Affordable Middle Income Housing Advisory Council is to elevate a suite of housing models and financing tools designed to serve moderate income households in both rental and home ownership options.
  • Development of innovative housing models and strategic real estate opportunities. Explore innovative housing models (e.g. modular, pre-fab, etc.) that have the potential to add to the affordable housing stock. Develop and pursue strategic and innovative approaches to real estate opportunities that increase affordable housing.
  • Promotion of racial and social equity. Develop and promote polices to prevent displacement. Rising housing costs are leading to displacement of Seattle's lower-income residents, who are disproportionately people of color. Investment in affordable housing both creates opportunities and allows long-term residents to stay in the communities they call home.

  • Collaboration across City departments. Work in partnership with key City departments, such as the Office of Planning and Community Development, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, and the Human Services Department, to plan for and deploy strategic housing actions.
  • Coordinate on the regional approach to homelessness. Support regional efforts to address homelessness through creating and collaborating on housing strategies and projects that promise permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Effective and efficient operations. Direct "best in class" administrative and operational functions that demonstrate excellence in budgeting and fiscal management; program and project planning; capital projects and system-wide maintenance; technology; marketing and civic engagement; and performance-based management.
  • Development valued partners. Collaborate with community stakeholders, agency partners, developers, property managers, and funding partners to increase the supply of quality affordable housing. Represent the City with government stakeholders, housing providers, community activists, funders, executive-level leadership with non-profits, and other important partners. Explore new partnerships in coordination with the regional approach to homelessness that address housing stability, such as colocation of housing and healthcare for highly vulnerable populations.
  • Program management excellence. Manage all business functions and affordable housing strategies, including improving financial processes, streamlining reporting, and continuing to professionalize housing provider engagement.

  • Inspire a culture of excellence. Establish performance benchmarks, design and implement quality controls, and cultivate leadership through systematic professional development for staff.


A successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial, innovative, and experienced leader with a demonstrated commitment to affordable housing and welcoming communities. They must possess diverse public and/or private sector experience with knowledge of affordable housing development focused on governmental funding sources, philanthropic investment, public-private partnerships, and public administration. Their work must be centered in racial, social, and economic justice and demonstrate strong operational ability as well as analytical skills and understanding of the housing market and public policy. The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills with a variety of audiences in multiple settings. Legislative advocacy, effective business communications and relationship building will all be required to effectively lead and advocate for the region. The candidate must have a reputation for exercising a high level of tact, good judgment, discretion, and diplomacy and have cooperative working relationships with diverse groups of people. Additionally, the successful candidate must have the ability to:
  • Manage complex agency, community, and political relationships
  • Effectively resolve conflicts to the benefit of all parties
  • Build strategic coalitions

  • Participate in complex collaborations and lead major projects
  • Influence strategic partners and stakeholders
  • Convene community and business leaders and facilitate project meetings

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Additional Information

Please submit the following with your online application:
  • A cover letter in which you clearly describe how your knowledge, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and qualifications outlined in the job announcement. Please discuss each element completely and succinctly. Include in this letter, an example of how you identified and addressed a significant equity issue.
  • A resume of your educational and professional work experience.

Please submit your application, resume and cover letter to . If you have questions, please contact Pam Inch, Senior Executive Recruiter at .

Who May Apply: This position is open to all candidates that meet the qualifications. The Seattle Department of Human Resources values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans and those with diverse life experiences.

Due to the fiduciary nature of the work, job offers are contingent on review of criminal history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process. In compliance with Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17 applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.
Closing Date/Time: Continuous