President of Proactive Development

Job Type
Senior Level Positions
Contact Name
Whitley Werts
Contact Email

44 Washington Street
Providence, RI
United States

Job Description

RIHousing – President of Proactive Development

Salary Range - $146,478.80-$211,963.44 

RIHousing is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

The Rhode Island Housing Development Corporation (the “Corporation”), a subsidiary of RIHousing, recently has been charged with implementing proactive development activities aimed at catalyzing housing development in Rhode Island.  The Corporation, through its Proactive Development Committee and its President, shall implement these activities, which include:

1.         In cooperation with other governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies, developers of housing and the public, assess and identify barriers to housing production in Rhode Island. 

2.         Identify and screen properties in Rhode Island for housing potential.

3.         Develop or support the development of site plans, including engineering, surveying, architectural and financial planning and models with respect to properties supporting housing.

4.         Make recommendations and assist in the facilitation and navigation of zoning, planning and permitting processes for housing projects.

5.         Assist cities and towns in advancing the location and development of housing in their jurisdictions.

6.         Build developer capacity and attract developers for development of housing in Rhode Island.

7.         Assist in increasing pre-development activities and sites for housing development in Rhode Island.

8.         Support efforts to identify and secure funding sources and opportunities for leasing, acquisition, development, construction, financing, public and private ownership, and management of housing.

9.         Facilitate and implement the financing, assembly, acquisition, leasing, permitting and development of properties for housing, including but not limited to retaining of staff or consultants with respect thereto, in accordance with funding budgeted by the Corporation for such purposes and to the extent consistent with budgets or guidelines approved by the Board.

10.       Utilize and deploy for Proactive Development Activities and Corporation operations the $1,400,000.00 appropriated to the Department of Housing by the General Assembly as reflected in the FY 2024 annual budget in Article 1, Section 1 for the purposes of “Proactive Housing Development” including but not limited to retaining of staff or consultants with respect thereto; provided that (a) expenditures of the Corporation shall be subject to budgets approved by the Board of the Corporation and (b) employees of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation (“RIHousing”) utilized by, retained or otherwise assigned to the Corporation shall be subject to the personnel policies of RIHousing.

What it’s all about: 

The President is responsible for enabling and ensuring that the Housing Development Corporation fulfills its goals of increasing the production of housing in Rhode Island by working collaboratively with municipalities, the Housing Department, other state departments and agencies as well as developers and other housing-related professionals; identifying potential sites and opportunities for housing development; and providing the assistance necessary to move projects forward and accelerate the pace of housing production. This includes undertaking business development activity – supporting and attracting residential developers. This also includes performing due diligence in assessing real estate for use as affordable housing, identifying and helping address potential barriers to development, providing technical assistance and support to help streamline the permitting and approval process, and advising regarding effective development and management of the property. 

This role requires a strategic thinker and problem solver with an exceptional combination of an entrepreneurial drive, relationship development, and a team-oriented approach. The qualifications and experience that would be beneficial for a professional to carry out the role of the President successfully include (1) significant experience successfully leading and managing teams with a focus on quality, efficiency, productivity, and identifying and resolving legal and business issues in connection with various types of complex real estate development, financing, and related matters and/or (2) experience conducting business development work (especially pertaining to real estate development). The President will be critical to cultivating and moving a pipeline of housing development projects statewide and will be a valuable resource to the development community, as well as creating a channel for realtors and brokers to funnel potential sites to the market for affordable housing development.

What you’ll do on a daily basis: 

The President is responsible for strategic leadership of the Corporation in consultation with the Proactive Development Committee of the Board, operational oversight and supervision of the Corporation’s staff, work with Rhode Island Housing to establish budgets and ensure effective financial management of the Corporation, and collaboration with the Housing Department.

The President will lead a business development and real estate development team to identify appropriate sites for housing development and perform predevelopment work to prepare those sites for development. The President will lead the team’s efforts to source parcels of land for potential acquisition or development, facilitate the use of funding opportunities for housing development purposes, help developers navigate regulatory and financing processes, identify obstacles to development and develop and implement strategies to remove those obstacles.  These tasks may include, but are not limited to, partnering with and resolving issues with municipalities, assisting with assembling an appropriate ownership/development/management team, supporting developers’ pursuit of approvals through zoning and permitting processes, supporting developers’ assessment and remediation of environmental issues and joining forces with developers as they shepherd the project through predevelopment, secure project financing, and proceed to construction.

The President will also lead public outreach on this work, help coordinate reporting to state government about the status of projects in the pipeline, produce written material about the programs and processes in the proactive development business unit, and may be called upon to present on these items at internal and external meetings.

What you’ll bring to the team:

The President will position the Housing Development Corporation team to carry out -- and will lead the undertaking of -- the following principal activities:

  • Business Development: Cultivate a welcoming business environment for new and existing housing production partners by offering navigation services and support to efficiently and expeditiously navigate the regulatory process and access needed financial resources.    
  • Securing Sites: Identify and secure the acquisition of potential properties for redevelopment as affordable housing through market analysis, site visits, and negotiation with property owners.
  • Due Diligence: Conduct comprehensive due diligence on potential properties, including zoning, environmental, and financial assessments.
  • Negotiation: Negotiate or support the negotiation of purchase agreements, contracts, and other legal documents with property owners, brokers, sellers and other potential project partners.
  • Permitting Strategy: Assist in developing a permitting strategy for projects as needed, outlining the required permits, timelines, and potential challenges. Provide technical assistance on the preparation and submittal of permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, ensuring compliance with all regulations, and work with regulatory bodies to facilitate review and approval.
  • Site Readiness:  Develop an actionable strategy to remove obstacles to housing development at selected sites.  Lead or support as appropriate efforts to remediate environmental or structural issues. Oversee architectural and engineering contracts as needed to support site assessment and readiness and work with the design and construction staff to prepare a site for sale and development. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: Stay up to date with changes in zoning and permitting regulations, helping ensure that all projects are in compliance with relevant laws.
  • Stakeholder Management: Collaborate with government officials, regulatory agencies, and consultants to facilitate permit approvals and resolve issues.
  • Budget Management: Manage budgets and resources allocated to property, evaluation, acquisition and permitting activities, ensuring cost-effective execution.
  • Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks associated with potential projects and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  • Team Leadership: Build and manage a team of consultants and professionals involved in property evaluation, acquisition and permitting, providing guidance and fostering collaboration.
  • Development/Ownership Team: Work with municipalities and/or affordable housing developers to identify and assemble effective teams to develop and/or own and manage completed projects.

What you’ll need to succeed:

  • Bachelor's degree in Real Estate Development, Urban Planning, Business, or a field that contributes to this work, or a combination of experience and academic background that evidence knowledge of real estate development or business development (Master's or graduate degree preferred).
  • A minimum of 7+ years of experience in real estate acquisitions, permitting, business development/sales, or a related field, with a proven track record of successful property acquisitions and permitting processes.
  • Strong knowledge of zoning regulations, land use planning, and local permitting processes preferred.
  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams and external partners.
  • Leadership and team management abilities.
  • Proactive problem-solving skills with the ability to assess and mitigate risks.
  • Additional preferred skills/qualifications include: 
  • Demonstrated experience and proficiency in preparing detailed development budgets and operating performance projections.
  • Knowledge of financial underwriting for various types of real estate development.
  • Familiarity with public financing programs and private capital sources used in housing development.
  • Experience and effectiveness in negotiating and managing contracts with land sellers, contractors, and professional service providers needed to carry out real estate development;
  • Familiarity with business development/sales methods and approaches.
  • Experience successfully working through the development permitting process with state and local government.

Not sure you meet all the qualifications? Let us decide! 

Why RIHousing:

  • Mission-Driven Organization
  • Dedicated Workforce
  • Competitive salary
  • Parking Stipend
  • Medical/Dental/Vision/Life Insurance
  • Paid Time Off 
  • Retirement Options
  • Flexible Work Hours
  • If Position Eligible, Future Hybrid Work May Be Available
  • Education Reimbursement
  • Onsite Fitness Classes
  • Volunteer Days
  • Winner of “Best Places to Work” 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023. 
  • PBN’s Worksite Health Award 2013-2023
  • PBN’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Award 2023 

RIHousing strives to ensure that all people who live or work in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs.  A good home provides the foundation upon which individuals and families thrive, children learn and grow, and communities prosper.

 To achieve our mission, we:

  • Offer fair, affordable, and innovative lending programs.
  • Provide housing-related education to consumers and others.
  • Promote and finance sensible development that builds healthy, vibrant communities.
  • Provide housing grants and subsidies to Rhode Islanders with the greatest need.
  • Team up with partners to improve everything we do.

RIHousing uses its resources to provide low-interest loans, grants, education, and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build, and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a privately funded public purpose corporation. RIHousing requires its employees to be highly motivated and knowledgeable, have a sound understanding of the changing needs of Rhode Island's housing market, be willing to work within and toward a smoothly integrated operation, demonstrate a commitment to serve the people of Rhode Island, especially those with low and moderate incomes in need of safe and affordable homes, and possess a high level of integrity and deep respect for all Rhode Islanders, including customers, partners and fellow employees.

Application Instruction

Please apply on our career website: Work with RIHousing | RIHousing