Vice President of Real Estate Finance & Acquisitions

Compensation: $150,000 – $170,000 DOE/neg.
Benefits Package: 28 days PTO, healthcare, pension, 457 plan, car allowance, phone allowance
Locations: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Executive Vice President, Real Estate

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 has several key programs dedicated to creating affordable housing:

  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 directed $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 $450 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 is celebrating its 40th anniversary and continues to receive national attention.


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. VP-level staff receive 28 days of annual leave, with an additional 11 paid holidays per year, a car allowance, phone allowance and a tuition reimbursement benefit plan for professional development. The SDHC also offers a defined contribution pension plan and a 457 tax-deferred savings plan. Please visit for more information.

Position Summary

The VP of Real Estate Finance & Acquisitions is a new role within the Commission, overseeing the purchase of new properties for affordable housing development by the San Diego Housing Commission. The VP of Real Estate Finance & Acquisitions will assist the Real Estate department to become more proactive by keeping all departments informed as deals are being pursued and structured. They will work closely with the both the Asset Management and Development teams, as well as other departments within the Commission. In this capacity, they will carefully consider the role each department can play within the acquisition process, ensuring strong communication and collaboration at every stage.

The VP of Real Estate Finance & Acquisitions will interface with (but not limited to):

  • Executive VP of Real Estate
  • VP of Real Estate Development
  • VP of Multifamily Finance
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer
  • President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Legal counsel
  • Commercial Real Estate Brokers
  • Appraisers
  • Tax Credit and Bond Specialists
  • Development Specialists
  • Community Planning Groups
  • Banks and Community Development Financial Institutions
  • Affordable Housing Developers
  • Multiple departments within the Commission
  • City Council Member staff
  • Office of the Mayor
  • City Planning Office
  • County of San Diego
  • Other government agencies and funders

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop a deep understanding of the Commission’s various financing options and funding sources, as well as the parameters dictated by each source.
  • Ask questions to uncover new approaches to our work and innovative funding scenarios.
  • Communicate the Commission’s property needs to the local real estate broker community; stay abreast of developments in the local real estate market.
  • Make regular presentations to executive management regarding current and potential deals.
  • Lead the Commission’s response to new request for funding opportunities (RFP’s).
  • Builds and maintains effective working relationships with a wide array of stakeholders including other SDHC managers and executives, staff, service providers and offices of elected officials.
  • Represents the department to a wide range of stakeholders and partners including other departments within SDHC, elected officials, and outside agencies.
  • Makes presentations to the Housing Authority, Housing Commission, City Council, and a variety of boards and commissions.
  • Represents the SDHC in meetings with government agencies, community groups, and various businesses, professional, and regulatory organizations.
  • Lead due diligence on potential real estate acquisitions, including financial modelling; carefully analyze at each deal from multiple vantage points and through different scenarios.
  • Talk through options with the Development and Asset Management teams to ensure each potential deal meets requirements and creates value.
  • Keep detailed timelines and notes for each potential detail, bringing in the right partners at the appropriate stages of the process.
  • Analyze transaction risks and negotiate deal terms under Commission
  • Create and manage forecasting models focusing on cash flow utilizing property financials.
  • Act as a point of contact and collaborate with the deal team to complete due diligence and close transactions.
  • In coordination with the development team to prepare and maintain financial proformas.
  • Prepare and present acquisition recommendations to the Executive Vice President.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate all acquisition closings.
  • Issue Letters of Intent to acquire properties.
  • Conduct additional financial modelling and scenario-based planning before entering into purchase agreements.
  • Mobilize the Commission’s consultants and partner closely with Project Managers as they conduct inspections, complete due diligence, and prepare documentation.
  • Put together complex financing arrangements unique to each property, consisting of bank loans, grants, tax credits and other sources.
  • Ensure all requisite approvals are in place and funding is secured ahead of construction.
  • Detail the compliance requirements for each piece of the funding stack and ensure the Development team adheres to them accordingly.
  • Oversee future direct reports assigned to this position as the department grows, while ensuring a high-quality work product.
  • Manage, coach and mentor assigned staff to maintain a high-performing team.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Skills, Abilities & Knowledge

  • Prior experience with real estate acquisitions within the affordable housing sector (for-profit or not-for-profit).
  • Ability to align interests, structure complex deals and hold them together.
  • Good public speaking skills; comfortable both presenting and taking Q&A.
  • Working knowledge of financial modeling and financial deal structuring
  • Effective negotiation skills and the ability to work with multiple parties.
  • Skilled at managing multiple projects simultaneously, with the ability to work independently.
  • Well-developed communication skills, with the ability to prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
  • Ability to conduct complex research projects, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare effective technical reports.
  • Experience with funding sources prevalent in affordable housing (including but not limited to low-income tax credits, bonds, MHSA, AHP, Section 8 vouchers (tenant and project based) etc.)
  • Ability to operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.

Attributes & Soft Skills

  • Strong understanding and appreciation for good stewardship of public funds.
  • Ability to employ diplomacy and tact as situations require.
  • Team player with the ability to bring all sides together to achieve consensus.
  • An analytical thinker who brings a continuous improvement mindset.
  • Extremely detail-oriented and motivated to achieve measurable outcomes.
  • A creative thinker who is always looking for new approaches to sourcing and structuring deals.
  • Proactive, constantly scanning the market and looking for potential deals, but with the patience to wait for the right project under the right conditions.
  • Leads inclusively by seeking input from others at every stage of the process as potential acquisitions are coming together.
  • A strong communicator with the ability to manage in all directions.
  • Works collaboratively to help team members achieve their goals, while keeping the best interests of the Commission and those we serve paramount.
  • Takes a customer service-based approach in all they do, whether dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, elected officials, or Commission staff.

Education & Additional Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Business, or a related field.
  • 8+ years of progressively responsible experience within the affordable housing sector, which could include for-profit or not-for-profit organizations as well as government agencies.
  • Direct experience with real estate acquisitions.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director
Blair Search Partners
1855 First Avenue, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101