Grounded Solutions Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to shaping communities to be inclusive and filled with opportunity for all. Where we live matters. It determines what opportunities we have and how our kids grow up. Everyone should be able to live in a place that offers opportunity: access to jobs, parks, public transit, quality schools and stable homes. Strong and inclusive communities provide the foundation that people and families need to thrive, both in the present and for future generations.
As a national membership organization, we support nonprofit and government practitioners, advocates, elected officials, and other housing professionals with the knowledge they need. We promote homes that remain affordable for generations and provide the foundation for our communities to be stable and strong, for good. Our work specifically targets creating and expanding the resources dedicated to community-led housing with lasting affordability, using a racial equity lens. Grounded Solutions defines lasting affordability as both rental housing with an extended or renewable period of compliance and shared equity homeownership models that restrict the resale pricing of homes. This includes models, such as community land trusts, shared equity homeownership programs, and inclusionary housing programs.
Grounded Solutions Network is committed to fostering an organizational culture rooted in critical thinking and consciousness about race and class. We seek candidates who are dedicated to achieving racial equity. We are committed to building a staff team that is as racially and culturally diverse as the communities that we serve. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
About the Position
The National Policy Manager will help to design and lead the short-term and long-term policy agenda for the organization’s priorities for federal legislation, regulations, policies, and programs as well as strategies to increase access to real estate and mortgage financing. Additionally—but secondarily—this position will identify emerging state legislative opportunities that could result in scaling permanently affordable housing and provide support for coalitions and campaigns. The ideal candidate will bring deep experience and a commitment to centering a racial equity lens in strategically advancing innovative housing policy and advocacy solutions that reverse disparities and improve outcomes for communities of color.
Core components of this job are: (1) conducting federal and state legislative, regulatory, and policy analysis, (2) communicating with and mobilizing members and stakeholders on advocacy efforts, including writing policy briefs and support materials for effective advocacy, (3) acting as the representative of Grounded Solutions in coalitions and cultivating strategic partnerships, (4) meeting with Congressional offices, federal agencies, public officials, and financial institutions for education and advocacy, and (5) promoting public awareness of the affordable housing models and solutions the organization represents and the challenges faced by the shared equity housing field.
The National Policy Manager must be able to work independently and collaboratively, have discerning judgement about what should be raised to executive leadership, and—most of all—be driven to accomplish major policy wins for the field, especially at the federal level. This position will work collaboratively with staff, our network members, partners, consultants, and external stakeholders to foster relationships and lead effective partnerships focused on new and improved policies that will increase access to resources at local, state, and national levels.
The National Policy Manager will foster a positive organizational culture and be excellent at cross-department coordination. This position reports to the VP of National Strategy.
Program and Strategy Development
- Establish short-term and long-term policy priorities and a multi-year policy agenda in consultation with executive leadership and key stakeholders.
- Create and manage elements of the annual workplan and budget.
- Track congressional activity, partner communications, and media related to shared equity housing expansion goals and policy priorities.
- Strategically build and maintain relationships with partners, Congress, federal agencies, etc. to advance legislation and rule-making that scales the field.
- Design and implement strategies to increase effective member and stakeholder engagement in advocacy.
- Identify solutions and work in partnership and coalitions for issues impacting the permanently affordable housing field and the broader affordable housing field related to federal programs, funding, and financing.
- Foster new opportunities and strategies to scale housing with lasting affordability, especially those that serve people of color.
- Track and analyze emerging legislation, proposed rules, regulations, and institutional policies to evaluate impact and potential points of intervention and draft appropriate written products (e.g., draft bill proposals, public comments, Congressional meeting protocols, policy briefs).
- Collect targeted data in coordination with the Research Department to meet requests of Congress, federal agencies, and financial institutions.
- Meet with, present to, and establish relationships in Congressional offices and committees, federal agencies, financial institutions, and other strategic partnerships to advance program agenda.
- Oversee all aspects of planning and implementation of organization’s Congressional Conference and other Congressional office meetings (when applicable).
- Support members and field to engage in local and national advocacy.
- Partner with national organizations and participate in coalitions that advance program agenda and recommend what the organization will endorse and what our members should be asked to participate in.
- Coordinate partnerships with the Government Sponsored Enterprises, lending institutions, and trade associations to increase access to sound and competitive financing for shared equity homebuyers and for nonprofits to obtain needed financing and funding.
- Support executive leadership in the pursuit or implementation of special projects aimed at scaling the field.
- Coordinate and collaborate across the organization to maximize the impact of policy work and the goals and priorities of other departments.
- Contribute to thought leadership in the field through presentations, articles, reports, and media coverage.
- Measure and critically evaluate implementation activities and make recommendations for improvements.
Qualifications for Entry into this Position
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The ideal candidate will have 6+ years work experience, preferably in affordable housing and federal policy/government relations. This position is best suited to a person with excellent organizational, project, and time management skills who is also a highly skilled writer, speaker, and presenter.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Government Affairs, or a related field.
- Strong knowledge of many HUD programs, especially HOME and CDBG, and the housing finance system (e.g. FHA, VA, USDA, FHFA & the GSEs).
- Deep understanding of how systemic racism has shaped and continues to shape local, state, and federal housing policy and community development.
- Experience with both federal legislative and rule-making processes; Congressional staff experience preferred.
- Basic knowledge of shared equity homeownership or community land trusts.
- Highly organized, structured and detail oriented. Able to self-manage with minimal supervision.
- Strong analytic and strategic oral and written communication skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to shape bipartisan messages, balance evidence- and advocacy-based rationales, and craft tone, style, and content for various audiences.
- Proven ability to analyze, and formulate implications of/responses to federal legislation, rules, policies, etc.
- Strong ability to build relationships and trust amongst various audiences and stakeholders.
- Proven ability to work successfully in self-directed environments to strategically advance policy goals.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively project manage and manage independent consultants.
- Proven ability to prioritize and concurrently make progress on detail-oriented work, large-scale projects, team-based assignments, and long-term objectives.
- Ability to work and communicate in diverse communities.
- Proficiency in MS Office suite & tech-friendly.
Approximately 4-8 trips per year (post-COVID) of domestic out-of-state, as needed to attend conferences, events, and company meetings.
Location (geographically based or open):
Washington, DC. Grounded Solutions Network has two primary office locations in Oakland, CA and Washington, DC, with additional staff working from home throughout the contiguous 48 states. All staff are working remotely until further notice, but this position will return to the Washington D.C. office with flexibility to work remotely some of the time. Candidates must have direct local access to a major airport. All staff are expected to demonstrate the ability to work remotely while maintaining high levels of efficiency and productivity and communicating effectively with their direct supervisor and colleagues.
Work Environment/Physical Demands
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. All employees are responsible for a clean and safe work area. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, and occasionally required to stand and walk. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
Please submit, as 1 document (PDF or Word), a cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and two (2) writing samples related to policy analysis, policy briefs, advocacy communications or something similar. Please submit application materials to: https://bit.ly/3gHLueO