The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) is the largest Public Housing Authority in the Rocky Mountain Region and the largest landlord of subsidized rental housing in the city of Denver with approximately 350 employees and an annual operating budget of $267 million. DHA is award winning and nationally recognized for its innovative approach to neighborhood revitalization and the development of sustainable, transit oriented mixed-income communities of choice.
DHA’s mission is to serve the residents of Denver by developing, owning, and operating safe, decent and affordable housing in a manner that promotes thriving communities. Its vision is that every individual or family shall have quality and affordable housing, in communities offering empowerment, economic opportunity, and a vibrant living environment.
DHA has a portfolio of over 11,000 units and housing choice vouchers, providing affordable housing to more than 26,000 very low-, low- and middle-income individuals representing over 10,000 families. DHA offers a variety of housing programs including subsidized, affordable and market-rate housing and owns and operates approximately 4,000 conventional public housing units that are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), nearly 700 subsidized multi-family units, and about 200 other locally-funded housing units.
DHA also administers the federal Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, formerly known as "Section 8". The HCV program makes it possible for low-income residents to live in privately owned rental housing throughout the city. DHA acts as an agent for HUD in this program, making subsidy payments to the private landlords of HCV program participants. DHA, on behalf of HUD, administers over 7,000 Housing Choice Vouchers.
In addition to federal programs, DHA has created various instrumentalities to explore and develop innovative techniques for providing alternative housing possibilities and avenues for achieving financial self-sufficiency for
the low- to moderate-income residents of Denver. These programs have allowed DHA the flexibility to develop several public/private partnerships providing a variety of housing opportunities for Denver residents.
DHA strives continuously to support our residents towards economic self-sufficiency. DHA offers various programs for the children, youth, adults and seniors of our housing programs, which are designed to improve their quality of life. Innovative social ventures such as the Youth Employment Academy, Friends of DHA, Healthy Living Initiative, Connect Home Denver, the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative, and Osage Café exemplify how DHA has gone beyond housing to make meaningful impacts in the health and quality of lives of Denver’s lowest income and most vulnerable residents.
DHA is a quasi-municipal corporation governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the Mayor of Denver and approved by the City Council.
DHA is the City of Denver’s leading source for premier affordable housing and neighborhood transformation. The agency is a national model for other affordable housing organizations committed to supporting and lifting up entire communities through community partnership that creates healthy housing for healthy people in healthy neighborhoods.
DHA is not just about bricks and mortar – they are “City builders” invested in progressive housing development that is sustainable, energy efficient and utilizes Active Living Guidelines that informs the built environment and building designs, including active stairwells, natural light, bike/pedestrian-friendly, urban gardens and, community gathering spaces.
The development of DHA’s new central office marks the creation of an innovative and resourceful site designed to reflect the agency’s continued focus on housing, people, health and community. The headquarters has been developed as a multi-tenant building, bringing benefits to local nonprofits, small businesses, and Denver residents. This is only one of many examples of how DHA brings a holistic, inclusive and community-focused lens to all of its work.
Deeply engaged in community building work, DHA is always asking the question – what should community look like? DHA provides not only safe and affordable housing, but supportive services to residents in four key areas to help provide a higher quality of life including: economic self-sufficiency, aging in place, leadership and community building, and youth services.
Looking to the future, DHA will create over 2,400 affordable housing units through a unique, City of Denver financed, $130MM affordable housing bond. They are forging new partnerships to make housing and healthcare accessible to seniors and collaborating with community partners to stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods.
Reports to: Board of Commissioners
Direct Reports: Ten (10) direct reports including the Agency Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Housing Choice Vouchers, Director of Housing Management, Director of Resident Community Services, Director of Community Connections, Community Relations & Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, Chief Real Estate Investment Officer, Director – WDRC, and Executive Assistant
Location: Denver, CO
The Executive Director (ED) will provide strategic leadership and support to all DHA departments, programs, and community stakeholders during a time of dynamic change and growth.
They will build upon an incredibly impactful foundation, working closely with the Board of Commissioners and executive team in advancing the agency’s mission and vision to promote thriving communities, and continue a focus on neighborhood revitalization through resident empowerment, community partnerships, social enterprise and sustainable development.
The ED will ensure that this dynamic organization remains fiscally sound and continues to always seek out new entrepreneurial avenues to positively impact Denver in affordable housing and community building to meet the needs and interests of its residents, and the broader Denver Community, and the goals and objectives of DHA.
Priorities of the position include but are not limited to:
Oversee the next iteration of a strategic planning process designed to leverage extraordinary accomplishments made to date and supporting the current trajectory of innovative property development, neighborhood transformation, community development, and resident empowerment.
Oversee the expansion of DHA’s in-house property management capabilities to include third-party managed DHA properties, as well as providing third-party property management services for other housing providers.
Be prepared to undertake growth in real estate development activity as it relates to the closing of a major housing bond last year, and the impact that it will have on the organization and the community moving forward.
Participate in DHA resident engagement activities including attending monthly Resident Council Board executive meetings.
Provide continued support and leadership to DHA staff and residents in relation to the current public health and economic crisis.
Connect and network with city and state government officials and DHA partners.
Strategic Leadership & Board Relations
Drive the vision and strategy for growth; engage both internal and external stakeholders to achieve DHA’s mission and next level of impact.
In coordination with Board of Commissioners and executive team, commence a strategic planning process rooted in the current SWOT of the organization.
Explore trends within affordable housing and community development; work to develop new programs; develop new strategies to make existing programs more successful.
Maintain entrepreneurial efforts to increase non-HUD revenues through innovative funding initiatives and partnerships with other entities.
Direct fundraising efforts of DHA; ensure that the organization secures the necessary resources through federal financial assistance, capital financing and other financial instruments to meet its goals and objectives.
Oversee the preparation of the annual budget for Board of Commissioners’ approval; keep the Board informed of financial condition of DHA and other significant activities.
Serve as a thought partner to the Board of Commissioners to ensure that relevant, accurate, and timely information is provided to inform and guide the Board’s strategic level thinking.
Secure appointment of new Board Commissioners and ensure a smooth and effective onboarding process.
External Relations, Partnership Development & Marketing
§Promote DHA as one of the City of Denver’s top developers by designing and developing communities that are widely recognized to meet the needs of their residents and neighbors.
§Ensure DHA developments lead to neighborhood revitalization through strategic alliances with community stakeholders and strategic leveraging of mixed-use development opportunities.
§Develop strategic partnerships that lead to the maximum leveraging of financial, human and organizational resources that advance the mission of the agency at every opportunity.
Serve as chief champion and spokesperson representing DHA locally and nationally; leverage public speaking opportunities; communicate with residents, financial partners, business professionals, community leaders, union representatives, funders, legislators, government agencies and all partners involved in DHA programs and projects.
Maintain regular contact with the Mayor of Denver and serve as primary communication link between DHA and officials of HUD.
Community Leadership & Resident Engagement
Maintain strong relationships with Local Residents Councils; empower residents to participate in the governance and oversight of their property and support individual and collective efforts to improve their condition and quality of their neighborhood, and to achieve self-sufficiency.
Strive to make all DHA communities active, vibrant, and healthy places to live while delivering quality training, education, and employment opportunities and other related services to residents of all ages.
Maximize opportunities for disadvantaged residents, businesses and communities; promote resident employment and micro-business formation.
Ensure DHA is recognized for its innovative programs that achieve high levels of MBE/WBE/SBE participation and create economic impact in communities served.
Attend and participate in meetings and other community events; engage with City neighborhood equity and anti-displacement initiatives.
Financial Management & Internal Leadership
Provide general oversight of all DHA’s financial activities; ensure diversity of its revenue generating initiatives and innovative financing strategies with a focus on financial sustainability.
Manage assets responsibly and utilize industry best practices to maintain and modernize DHA’s real estate portfolio; ensure residential properties are healthy, thriving communities and commercial properties are managed and leveraged to maximum benefit to DHA and to the mission.
Align financial resources to best support strategic goals and DHA mission; ensure the effective management of day-to-day operations and a highly functioning and efficient organization.
Together with Chief Financial Officer oversee the development of the annual operating budget for the organization; ensure that the organization is in compliance and operates within approved budget guidelines.
Provide inspirational leadership and management of the staff; support a knowledgeable, effective and trustworthy team, creating continuous opportunities for growth and development across the organization.
Minimum of ten (10) years of executive management and leadership experience including strategic planning and execution in affordable housing, real estate development and property management, community development, public administration or relevant financial services organizations.
Track record of developing and executing strategic plans; creating and monitoring budgets, negotiating complex financial transactions; ability to structure complex development and redevelopment deals.
Broad general management experience in a large complex organization across finance/finance development, human resources, operations/technology, marketing, programming, fundraising and working with Boards.
Demonstrated achievement in change environments, bringing to scale complex organizations and projects; adept at assessing infrastructure/operational requirements necessary to support sustainable growth and healthy organizational culture; experience successfully handling crisis management situations is preferable.
Demonstrated fundraising ability with a track record of building innovative and lasting partnerships and diversifying revenue and other funding streams.
Experience working collaboratively with internal and external constituents including residents, unions, financial institutions, community leaders, politicians, HUD and organizational partners.
Experience working collaboratively with a Board of Commissioners or Directors.
Superior mentoring, professional development, people management and leadership skills; an inspiring team builder who engenders trust and builds group commitment to goals and objectives.
Demonstrated multi-cultural management experience, including recruitment and development of diverse teams.
Passion and commitment to the mission and vision of DHA as a progressive leader in neighborhood transformation and community development.
Strategic/visionary leader open to innovative ideas, able to manage and drive change; willingness to take calculated risks; creative problem-solver.
Growth-oriented with strong organizational and management skills; ability to delegate and roll up one’s sleeves.
Champions inclusivity and equity at all levels of the organization, in the community and especially with DHA residents; committed to maintaining strong resident services and fostering resident engagement.
Experienced community leader comfortable building relationships and strategic partnerships in diverse settings; experienced at community visioning.
Strong business acumen in financial and real estate development; highly numerate, strives for continuous improvement; translates goals/initiatives into action.
Servant leadership approach; authentic and empathic personality, demonstrates high emotional intelligence, conveys respect and leads by example.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, ideally with an MBA or related advanced degree or its equivalent
The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver is an Equal Opportunity Employer
If you or someone in your network is interested in exploring this opportunity, please submit a cover letter and resume to:
Partner, Bridge Partners