115 W. Clinton Street
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS), a 47-year-old nonprofit, seeks a new Executive Director to lead our organization and its affiliates into our next 47 years. INHS is an established and well-regarded organization dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, and helping people of modest incomes secure—and stay in—high-quality housing in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
Residents of our seven-county region, whether in the City of Ithaca or in our villages, towns, or rural communities, are surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, and farmland. High quality schools and the abundance of cultural and outdoor recreational activities draw many people to the region.
INHS was successfully led through a period of growth and change over the last 4.5 years by Johanna Anderson, who has recently moved on to a leadership position at Tompkins Community Bank. Patty Paolangeli, INHS’s long-time CFO, is currently serving as Acting Executive Director, while the organization searches for a new leader. INHS' Search Committee, made up of board, staff, and community leaders, is leading this search together with consultant Ann Silverman of Ann L Silverman Consulting, who led our previous Executive Director search.
The Organization and Its Impact
INHS began as a Neighborhood Housing Services program in 1976, aiming to stop neighborhood decline in the City of Ithaca’s blue-collar neighborhoods by renovating dilapidated homes and increasing low- and moderate-income homeownership. INHS later expanded into affordable rental housing production, lending, and property management. Our services have grown almost continuously since the early 1980s, as the affordable housing challenges in the region have increased, and our service area has expanded. Better Housing for Tompkins County (BHTC), which served the County surrounding Ithaca, joined with INHS as an affiliate in 2015. Together, INHS and BHTC (hereinafter referred to collectively as INHS) expanded into Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Seneca, Schuyler, and Tioga counties.
Today, INHS builds new affordable housing, renovates older homes, manages property, provides grants and low-interest loans for home purchase and renovation, counsels first-time homebuyers, and assists seniors with small home repairs. Some key achievements include:
- Rental housing production--developed over 1,245 dwelling units for affordable to low- and moderate-income individuals and households, with 190 units in predevelopment.
- New single-family homes—built 54 Energy Star or LEED-certified new single-family homes, with 19 homes currently under construction and 17 in predevelopment. Homes have been and will be sold to low-income first-time homebuyers and placed into a Community Housing Trust to ensure long-term affordability.
- Home renovation—acquired, renovated, and sold 168 housing units, primarily in Ithaca’s Southside and Northside neighborhoods, with one home currently in predevelopment. These homes have been or will be sold to low-income first-time homebuyers and placed into the Community Housing Trust.
- Manufactured housing—established a Manufactured Home Program in 2021 with the purchase and ongoing rehabilitation of Compass, a 151-pad manufactured-home community in Tompkins and Seneca Counties. Our goal is to develop, restore, and improve manufactured-home communities throughout the INHS service area, protecting and improving this regional affordable housing resource.
- Property management—manage 574 residential, community space, and commercial units in 32 locations.
- Homebuyer lending—issued 1,280 loans to first-time homebuyers totaling nearly $48 million.
- Home improvement loans—provided $38 million in home improvement loans and related project management services to over 1,123 low- and moderate-income clients.
- Homebuyer education—counseled more than 10,000 first-time homebuying households.
- Repairs—made close to 9,000 repairs for elderly and disabled homeowners, allowing people to remain in their homes.
INHS and BHTC have a combined 2023 operating budget of $5 million, and hold over $48 million in total assets. Subsidiaries controlled by INHS and BHTC own real estate that is valued at over $125 million.
Key Challenges and Opportunities
Continued growth and change in the region and in the service area—Ithaca and the surrounding Tompkins County have a vibrant economy and a high quality of life. Tompkins County has a strong job market and a growing population, but rapidly rising housing costs have raised significant concern over housing affordability.
People choose to commute long distances to jobs in Tompkins County and the surrounding counties. INHS has been effectively extending its services into the towns and villages in the surrounding counties, while continuing to address the challenges of providing a range of housing options and related services in Tompkins County.
Community relations—INHS has enjoyed strong community support and effective partnerships with government agencies and elected officials in Ithaca, the seven counties, and New York state, as well as with such local institutions as Cornell University, Ithaca College, and local banks and credit unions. INHS’s Executive Director has been a key spokesperson for affordable housing in the area. A few of our projects faced some local opposition while in development, which the Executive Director effectively navigated. As INHS expands, we will continue to build and maintain strong partnerships to address the varying needs of all of our communities. We aim to bring the benefits of our historically strong national and statewide relationships to our region.
Internal leadership and management--INHS staff enjoy a collegial working environment. There is a strong sense of trust among the Acting Executive Director, senior staff, and the board of directors. Many of the 13 board and 47 staff members have been with INHS for a long time. Staff have been working to collaborate across lines of business and update systems as we grow. INHS has a committed board with many long-time members as well as key new leaders representing areas served by the organization.
Supporting our different lines of business—Increased housing production and geographic expansion as well as access to loan capital have presented new opportunities to INHS. And Compass, the recently acquired manufactured home community, has attracted significant state and other funding and added an exciting line of business. This identification of new revenue sources has been prioritized by INHS leadership and the board as key to ensuring the organization’s future fiscal stability.
Nevertheless, such growth presents different operating and capital needs than our traditional rental and ownership housing. Like many property owners in our region and elsewhere, INHS experienced challenges of rent collection and increased resident service needs in its rental properties in recent years, particularly during the pandemic.
INHS plans to further develop systems and structures to effectively maintain high quality property and asset management, and to support resident needs, as we develop new rental and homeownership opportunities and serve as an effective community development financial institution (CDFI). We seek to ensure that all of our lines of business are financially strong, and that all staff are well trained and supported to meet community needs.
Our Ideal Candidate
Our ideal candidate for Executive Director is a strong and experienced leader who is motivated to direct INHS in its next phase of growth and stability. They will enthusiastically embrace this opportunity to make an impact in our region and will demonstrate many of the following skills and qualifications.
Leadership for growth and stability--INHS’s next Executive Director will be an effective leader with strong strategic and critical thinking skills, and balanced risk management abilities. Our new Executive Director will understand growth and change in complex mission-driven nonprofits. They will be adaptable and creative, and able to take the long view while evaluating successes and failures. They will work together with staff and the board to create and implement innovative strategies that effectively evaluate opportunities and challenges in a changing environment. They will actively engage stakeholders in the region to identify new opportunities, whether they be new developments or new lines of business that support both the mission and financial goals of the organization.
Understanding of INHS’s core business and strategy--We seek a leader who possesses knowledge of affordable housing development, community development, lending, and property management, and is driven to improve the quality of life for low- and moderate-income and disenfranchised community members across our region. They will be interested in all aspects of our business and our strategic plan, and see opportunities to both maintain and strengthen our operations and partnerships.
Finance and fundraising strengths--Our next Executive Director will have established relationships with some of the core affordable housing and community development funders locally, regionally, and/or nationally. They will be motivated to lead fundraising and revenue generating activities for INHS, with a particular focus on increasing unrestricted funds. They will bring an in-depth understanding of financial management in multifaceted nonprofits.
External leadership and community relations--INHS’s new Executive Director will carefully balance varying community perceptions of affordable housing, communicating complex information in a sensitive manner. They will create and maintain strong relationships across the region, the state, and the nation. Our ideal candidate will enjoy building community, and demonstrate cultural competency in dealing with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. They will listen carefully and express themselves comfortably one-on-one, in public forums, in writing, and on social media. They will have the ability to read and understand the local, regional, statewide and national political environment, and leverage that knowledge to gain support for INHS objectives, while establishing relationships with elected officials representing the service areas at all levels.
Internal leadership and team management--We seek a leader who has served as an Executive Director or a senior manager. Our next Executive Director will establish trust and respect, and support ongoing growth at the board and staff levels. They will ensure that organizational systems and structures continue to align with the needs of a growing staff in multiple locations.
Our new leader should have the following core qualifications:
- Strong people management and internal communication skills
- An ability to effectively collaborate with the board and with key community leaders
- Experience in fundraising from a variety of sources
- In depth understanding in at least one of the areas of affordable housing development, community development lending and CDFI compliance, property management, or asset management
- A grounding in financial management and a comprehensive understanding of how to maintain INHS’s financial health
- A minimum of ten years of relevant work experience, at least five of which will be at the senior management or Executive Director level, and
- A Master’s degree in city planning, business, real estate, or a related field, or the equivalent in additional work and training experience is preferred.
INHS offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes: 11 holidays, 4 weeks of vacation, contributions to a health plan and a SEP/IRA, as well as a 403b retirement plan. The salary range for this full-time position is $130,000-160,000, depending on qualifications and experience.
This is not a remote work position. The Executive Director is expected to both work and live in the region once they assume this position. For more information about INHS, see https://www.ithacanhs.org.
Please submit a cover letter, detailing your interest and qualifications for this position and an up-to-date resume as one document to: Ann L Silverman Consulting, at https://annlsilverman.com/inhs-executive-director/. Questions can be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that if you have a strong interest in this position, but do not have all of the skills and experiences sought, we would still like to hear from you. In your cover letter, please describe what particular characteristics you bring to this position, and how you would propose to add to your skills. All applications will be reviewed and acknowledged as they are received. INHS seeks to fill this position by early 2024.
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures.