Director, Homeless Housing Initiatives

Position Overview:
Salary: $84,697 – $142,833 DOE/Neg.
Reports to: SVP of Homeless Housing Innovations
Number of direct reports: 1 (Special Programs Manager)
Number of indirect reports: 5


Who We Are:

For nearly 40 years, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) has provided critical housing services to the City’s low-income and homeless individuals and families. The organization is regarded as one of the most innovative and well-managed public housing authorities in the nation, with its success due in part to the application of private sector management principles to public sector services. SDHC has earned a national reputation as a model public housing agency, creating innovative programs to address the housing crisis in the city of San Diego—the eighth-largest city in the nation and second largest in California. Created in 1979, SDHC performs 3 major program functions that create affordable housing opportunities:

  1. Create & Preserve Affordable Housing: Since 1981, SDHC has directed more than $1 billion in loans and bond financing for real estate developments that produced more than 17,000 affordable apartments in the city of San Diego. Currently, the organization owns and/or manages over 3,500 affordable rental units. SDHC’s First-Time Homebuyer Program has helped more than 4,500 low and moderate-income families buy a home since the program’s launch in 1990. SDHC also administers the County of San Diego’s First-Time Homebuyer Program.
  2. Rental Assistance: SDHC provides rental housing assistance for more than 15,000 low-income households each year, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The majority of those served are seniors or individuals with disabilities. Of note, SDHC is one of only 39 housing authorities out of 3,400 nationwide to receive a “Moving to Work” (MTW) designation from HUD. MTW status provides SDHC the flexibility to design and implement innovative approaches to provide Federal housing assistance.
  3. Partner to Address Homelessness: HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s landmark homelessness action plan, is an effective, diverse funding and housing strategy to create permanent housing opportunities for homeless San Diegans. This action plan is rooted in the national “Housing First” model of addressing homelessness – to provide homeless individuals with housing as quickly as possible, with supportive services as needed. Through this program, SDHC will direct $79.7 million in Federal, City of San Diego, and SDHC resources from 2018-2020 to 6 programs to provide permanent housing opportunities for 3,000 homeless San Diegans.

The SDHC is a state-charted public agency, governed by the San Diego City Council. A 7-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the Mayor oversees SDHC’s operations. The organization has over 340 employees, and a total annual budget of approximately $400 million. In 2008 SDHC completed its new corporate office in the East Village area of Downtown San Diego. This innovative project named Smart Corner achieved LEED Silver certification, and it was a key anchor development project for the area, serving as a home to several small businesses and a public transportation hub. This is an exciting time to join SDHC, as the organization prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary and continues to receive national attention.


About The Department:

The Homeless Housing Innovations Team serves homeless individuals and families throughout the City of San Diego using creative strategies and best-practice programming. Specifically, the department provides oversight, and monitoring of the City of San Diego’s Homeless Shelters and Services Programs including, but not limited to: emergency shelters, day centers, interim bed programs, permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing services. The team also supports SDHC’s homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO: 2018-2020, and provides direct service through its Moving Home Rapid Rehousing program, Landlord Engagement and Assistance program, and Prevention & Diversion program.



The SDHC offers an exceptional employee benefits package, including a Compressed Work Schedule (CWS). All employees create a schedule within their core hours, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and work the same days and share the same day off. SDHC’s offices are closed every other Friday. SDHC provides medical, dental and vision insurance coverage with HMO or PPO choices available. Director-level staff receive 28 days of annual leave, with an additional 11 paid holidays per year, and a car allowance. The SDHC also offers a defined contribution pension plan and a 457 tax-deferred savings plan.


Position Summary:

The Director of Homeless Housing Innovations will manage an $18 million contract portfolio of 40+ homeless programs including permanent housing, shelter, and services programs. In addition, she/he will participate in the annual development and monitoring of a $88 million departmental budget. Working closely with the SVP of Homeless Housing Innovations, the Director will assume responsibility for a variety of administrative, coordinative, and analytical tasks. These include coordinating the activities of the department with those of other departments and outside agencies, and managing and overseeing the complex and varied functions of the department. This is a highly external-facing position that interfaces with the following: various SDHC staff, the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, elected officials, HUD Representatives, developers, landlords, service providers and additional partners.

Key areas of responsibility and approximate focus allocation:

  1. External / Stakeholder Interface / Public Speaking – 30%
  2. Staff Management and Development – 20%
  3. Contractor Management – 20%
  4. Strategic Planning – 15%
  5. Administration and Internal meetings – 15%


Strategic Priorities:

In Fiscal Year 2019, the immediate focus for this position includes the following areas:

  1. Foundation building; including developing strong relationships with strategic partners, such as operators, funders, City staff, and SDHC colleagues.
  2. Benchmark program performance, including in-depth research into regulatory requirements, national best practices, and regional influences on performance metrics to re-benchmark contracted program performance metrics for all program types across all current contracts.
  3. Assess and streamline current contracting process, including optimizing utilization of information technologies to support the administrative division’s work activities.
  4. Implement new program frameworks and contracts to support the the City of San Diego’s state funded Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) grant funds.

Longer-term items this position will continuously work on include:

  1. Ensure contracted programs achieve optimum performance with a strong focus on housing stabilization, ensuring instances of homelessness are brief, rare and non-recurring.
  2. Develop innovative ways to leverage both internal and external resources to create and/or enhance programs to bridge system gaps and strengthen the City’s homeless crisis response.
  3. Address a continuum of needs across the Homeless Crisis responses system, including upstream approaches, such as prevention and diversion, and downstream interventions for those in high need, such as rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Oversee 45+ contracts with the City of San Diego, plus SDHC’s service providers.
  • Manage partners and service providers to achieve performance targets and improve outcomes.
  • Assume full management responsibility for all department programs, services, and activities.
  • Play a key role in strategic planning for the department.
  • Assist the SVP with coaching, mentoring, and developing the staff and department.
  • Oversee the development and administration of the department’s annual budget.
  • Serve as the department liaison to a wide range of stakeholders and partners including other departments within SDHC, elected officials, and outside agencies.
  • Conduct a variety of departmental, organizational, and operational studies and investigations, recommending modifications to programs, policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Make presentations to the Housing Authority, Housing Commission, and a variety of boards and commissions.
  • Remain abreast of new trends and innovations with regards to HUD and other federal, state and local regulations; research policy and procedural changes as required.
  • Responds to challenging and sensitive public inquiries and assists with resolutions and alternative recommendations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Education and Other Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Public Administration, or a related field.
  • Seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience, including at least five (5) years in a supervisory or management capacity.
  • Excellent interpersonal and business communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to employ diplomacy and tact as situations require.
  • Team player with the ability to bring all sides together to achieve consensus.


Skills and Experience:

Knowledge of:
  • Contract administration, vendor management, and general principles of risk management.
  • Budget development, management and forecasting.
  • Issues and best practices related to homelessness and affordable housing (very helpful).
  • Public sector/government administration (very helpful).
  • Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting, program development, implementation, evaluation.
  • Supervision of staff, either directly or through subordinate levels of supervision.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the Commission in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, and various business, professional, educational, regulatory, and legislative organizations.
Ability to:
  • Develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls for the department and assigned program areas.
  • Prepare and administer large and complex budgets; allocate limited resources in a cost-effective manner.
  • Conduct effective negotiations and represent the Commission and the department in meetings with governmental agencies, contractors, vendors, and various businesses, professional, regulatory, and legislative organizations.
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and work independently.
  • Prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
  • Conduct complex research projects, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare effective technical reports.


For more information or to apply, please contact:

Trevor Blair, Principal
Blair Search Partners LLC
550 West B Street, 4th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101