DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo) seeks a Director of Community Development to lead our affordable housing and related community development activities, centered primarily on the West Side of Buffalo, New York.
The Organization and its Programs
PUSH Buffalo was created in 2005 as a nonprofit membership organization that would combine community development and community organizing activities to address displacement and improve Buffalo’s West Side. Our mission today is: to mobilize residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality affordable housing; to expand local hiring opportunities; and to advance social, economic and environmental justice in Buffalo.
PUSH Buffalo created the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company (BNSC) in 2009 to develop affordable housing and to purchase and redevelop vacant land. Today, as an affiliate of PUSH, BNSC undertakes housing and land development, plus sustainability and new economy work, encompassing green housing construction, community-based renewable energy and weatherization projects, land acquisition and holding, and green job training and development.
PUSH Buffalo aims to hold developers, including our affiliates, accountable to our low-income community, through our board and membership, and through extensive outreach and community planning activities. We lead social and environment justice campaigns. We are working to move from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy, in accordance with the Just Transition framework. PUSH seeks to increase the percentage of affordable housing units on the West Side from 15 to 25%.
While our real estate development focuses on the West Side, our advocacy campaigns and work against displacement and for affordable housing, climate justice and green jobs bring us into larger coalitions, and extends our work across the city, regionally and nationally.
PUSH with its affiliates, currently has a $4.5 million operating budget and a staff of approximately 40 people.
Affordable Housing and Community Development at PUSH
PUSH/BSNC has developed 100 units of rental housing on 27 sites (scattered sites that PUSH/BNSC purchased and assembled, plus a school re-use). We have used a wide range of public and private housing resources, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, state, city, bank and philanthropic resources. PUSH/BSNC has several projects in pre-development, including 53 units of tax credit rentals and around 9 units in small properties targeted to first time homebuyers. Our projects have also included a workyard, a workforce training center, our office space, and a nursery/greenhouse.
PUSH has developed some of its projects independently, with consultant support, and some with Syracuse-based Housing Visions. PUSH manages some of its properties itself, and some through Housing Visions.
The Director of Community Development
The Director of Community Development leads PUSH/BNSC’s efforts to create high-quality affordable and sustainable housing for low income households, and community development projects that advance economic justice. The Director works with the PUSH Executive Team and other PUSH staff to grow and manage our existing housing portfolio. As a member of the senior team, they collaborate with other leaders of our organization on programs and policy activities.
The Director of Community Development supervises the Senior Project Manager and the Project Manager. They oversee the Property Manager, who manages the property management and maintenance team. The Deputy Director of Administration supervises the Director of Community Development. The Director of Community Development also reports to the BNSC board of directors on Community Development activities.
We seek a creative, mission driven developer to become our next Director of Community Development. They will be comfortable carrying out comprehensive community planning processes, together with the board, the community and others on staff, in order to determine project priorities. They will work on a variety of projects that reflect the community’s vision for the West Side
Key Duties and Responsibilities
- Pursue new project opportunities and conduct early stage feasibility analysis
- Assemble and manage project teams together with project management staff
- Develop project financing plans and submit applications for grants, equity, and loans
- Coordinate closings for property acquisition, construction, and permanent financing
- Develop and oversee project and departmental budgets
- Ensure compliance with all project funding sources
- Actively participate in visioning and strategizing about neighborhood development goals and priorities, and engage in community planning processes
- Build strong relationships and serve as a primary contact with government officials, local partners, and others who participate in the development process, as well as with other organizations that PUSH partners with and who inform PUSH’s work
- Supervise project managers
- Oversee asset management of PUSH’s existing real estate portfolio, including supervising our property manager and acting as liaison to the third party property management company
- Provide regular reports to the BNSC Board of Directors, PUSH leaders and committees
- Identify and recruit experienced professionals to serve as technical assistance providers, partners and mentors
- Stay current with local, regional, state and federal affordable housing and neighborhood development policies and programs
- Set departmental goals together with program staff and senior management team
- Develop and manage appropriate evaluation and reporting processes, and
- Perform other related duties as assigned.
Our Ideal Candidate
Our ideal candidate will have many of these experiences and qualifications:
- A strong background in real estate, affordable housing or community development, including at least three years of experience developing or funding affordable housing
- Demonstrated commitment to community-based development, and engaging in active community visioning for development
- Knowledge of local, state and national funding sources used to develop affordable housing
- Demonstrated familiarity with regulatory and legal requirements for development in Buffalo or similar communities
- At least two years of staff supervision
- Bachelor’s degree; a Master’s degree in a related field or additional work experience preferred
- Strong financial skills and comfort teaching others about development finance
- Commitment to equitable development and working in a diverse multi-cultural community
- Familiarity with the Just Transition framework or a willingness to embrace this framework
- Emotional intelligence
- Strong listening skills
- Ability to adapt to a dynamic and shifting work environment
- Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to work with MS Office suite and other software
- Experience with horizontal and democratic management structures preferred, and
- Cultural competence and linguistic skills in English plus at least one of Spanish, French, or Arabic languages a plus.