Detroit Housing Commission Turns to Gans, Gans & Associates for New Leader

March 1, 2017 – Executive search firm Gans, Gans & Associates has been retained by the Detroit Housing Commission to lead its search for a new executive director. Executive recruiter Diane Martin-Johnson is leading the assignment.

The incoming executive director will serve as chief executive officer for the Detroit Housing Commission. The chosen leader will plan, organize, and direct a comprehensive program of public housing administration and development and neighborhood revitalization while overseeing community, social, cultural, and individual enrichment programs. The director will also manage and participate in establishing public and private partnerships. The position reports to a board of commissioners.

Key Attributes

Comprehensive knowledge of HUD regulations pertaining to public housing, Section 8, capital funds, asset management, HOPE VI Programs, as well as housing finance and development programs is a must. The new leader must also possess knowledge of public sector financing, particularly related to federal, state, and local financing of public housing and redevelopment projects and programs. Skills in budget policy, development, and implementation is preferred along with knowledge of property acquisition and property redevelopment systems, techniques, and practices. This includes knowledge of urban economics, design, and planning.

In 1933, the city of Detroit established the Detroit Housing Commission under the Michigan Housing Facilities Act. Throughout the organization’s 75-year history, it’s mission has been to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for the low and moderate income people. Detroit Housing Commission is the largest owner of rental housing in the city of Detroit, providing approximately 4,000 housing units for seniors and families.


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A Particular Specialty

Gans, Gans & Associates is an executive search, human resources, and information technology consulting firm founded in Chicago in 1986. Today, the firm calls Plant City, FL home. Its consulting team addresses a broad spectrum of clients’ human resources, information technology, and management needs. Clients include companies in the public and private sector, Fortune 500 corporations, large public sector state and local governments, and public housing authorities. Simone Gans Barefield leads the firm as president and CEO.

Gans, Gans is currently heading search assignments for new leaders for a number of other housing authorities, a particular specialty of the firm. They include: Boulder Housing Partners; Orlando Housing Authority; New Orleans Housing Authority; Montgomery Housing Authority; Spartanburg Housing Authority; Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority; and Howard County Housing Commission.

“Gans, Gans & Associates has provided executive search services for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City for more than nine years,” said Kim Washington, chief of staff of Baltimore Housing. “Working with the chief of staff, executive director and board of commissioners, they have successfully placed many of our executives. Their knowledge of the intricacies of the industry is unrivaled. We are always involved in the process, and they understand the public housing industry, as well as, knowing what seems like all of the executives, and their strengths and weaknesses.”

Housing Authorities Turning to Search Firms

All sorts of housing authorities and non-profits emphasizing low cost housing around the U.S., in fact, continue to turn to search firms to find senior talent.

At the beginning of the year, Raffa Nonprofit Search was selected by Victory Housing to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Peggy Sand, Raffa senior search and sustainability consultant, is leading the assignment. The organization serves as the private, non-profit housing affiliate of the Archdiocese of Washington (ADW), specializing in the development and operation of affordable housing.

TalentRISE recently placed Scott Ammarell as CEO of Chicago House. The search was conducted by Carl Kutsmode, partner, and Jennifer Chapman, director of executive search. Chicago House serves individuals and families who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity by providing housing, employment services, medical linkage and retention services, HIV prevention services, legal services and other supportive programs.

Miller Black Associates recruited Andrea Carter as chief people officer of Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta. Managing director Joanna Miller led the search. Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-governmental non-profit organization, founded in 1976. It is devoted to building “simple, decent, and affordable” housing, a self-described Christian housing ministry, and the organization has addressed the issues surrounding poverty housing all over the world.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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