Housing Director

Arlington County, VA | Full-time


The Position

The Housing Director has the unique opportunity to work on a variety of housing solutions for one of the country’s most densely populated and well-educated communities. Recently, Arlington County has attracted new and expanding companies that have or will be bringing tens of thousands of new, high paying jobs to the County over the coming decade. This significant influx of workers will further stress the region’s already competitive housing market. Leading a new Housing Arlington initiative through a multi-department effort, while remaining responsible for other housing programs and initiatives that serve a diverse community, will be a major focus of this Housing Director. It will require innovation, creativity, continued and expanded partnerships, and regional solutions to solve the complex challenge of serving the growing needs of the low and moderate income residents in the County.

The Housing Director leads one of six divisions in the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) and reports to the Director of CPHD. The Housing Director has four direct reports: Housing Development Supervisor, Housing Planning and Community Section Supervisor, Housing Finance and Asset Management Section Supervisor, and Housing Arlington Coordinator. The Housing Director works closely with the other division heads in the department, especially the Planning Director, as well as the Human Services Department and County Attorney’s Office. Staff members in the Housing Division serve as liaisons to three County Board-appointed citizen committees: Housing Commission, Tenant Landlord Commission, and Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee.

The Organization

Arlington County operates under the County Manager form of government. The five members of the County Board are elected at large to serve staggered, four-year terms. The County Manager works for the County Board and oversees County staff and day-to-day operations.

Services are provided by the County’s 12 departments: Fire; Police; Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management; Environmental Services; Human Services; Economic Development; Community Planning, Housing and Development; Parks and Recreation; Management and Finance; Libraries; Human Resources; and Technology Services.

Arlington County employs approximately 3,967 FTEs, and its total FY 2020 budget is $1.9 billion. The total General Fund budget is $799.8 million.

The Housing Division

The Housing Division has 23 FTEs and is focused on a comprehensive approach to meeting housing needs, which is vital for economic sustainability, diversity, and quality of life. Housing Arlington, a County Board initiative, kicked off this year and is led by the Housing Division. The initiative focuses on increasing supply for low income residents and includes a new focus on moderate income residents who are also impacted by increasing housing prices. A new position, Housing Arlington Coordinator, was added to the Housing Division to help coordinate this multi-department effort and reports directly to the Housing Director.

The Housing Development section (7 FTEs) supports affordable housing by working with developers to access the County’s financing and zoning incentives. The County itself does not operate any housing units but works closely with partners in the community to provide and oversee these units.

The Housing Planning and Community Development section (8 FTEs) oversees the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), and HOME programs. It also oversees the five-year Consolidated Plan and the Annual Plan. It staffs a housing information center that provides information on a wide range of housing services, including tenant-landlord issues, fair housing, affordable housing, rental assistance, and first-time homebuyer programs.

The Housing Finance and Asset Management section (6 FTEs) supports a variety of programs to ensure housing choices for all income levels. The unit manages the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF), a $350 million loan fund that provides gap financing for the development and/or renovation of long-term affordable housing by nonprofit and profit development partners. This year’s annual allocation into the fund is $16 million. The program also provides monitoring and oversight of 8,300 income-restricted units.

Housing Arlington Initiative

Housing Arlington is a County Board and Manager priority due to the importance that housing affordability plays in the County’s ability to remain an equitable, stable, and adaptive community. As Arlington continues to grow in population and employment, its housing stock faces considerable pressure, particularly in its ability to house persons and families with low or fixed wages. People with stable jobs of moderate incomes struggle to move from renting to finding a suitable home to purchase. This led the County Board and Manager to create the Housing Arlington umbrella initiative, which includes six individual initiatives: Land Use Tools, including different forms and types of housing; Financial Tools; Institutional Partnerships; County Employee Housing; Condominium Initiative; and Affordable Housing Master Plan Update.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a collaborative, confident, creative problem-solver who has extensive knowledge of housing and can bring demonstrated successes as well as fresh solutions to the complex housing issues in Arlington County and the region. This person will be able to adapt quickly to Arlington County’s culture, which has high expectations, a fast-paced environment, and the need to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

The next Housing Director will have political savvy and gravitas and be confident as both a leader and a subject matter expert. This person will be able to build relationships with community leaders and housing advocates, housing developers and service providers, the County Board, and County staff. This person will be able to present and explain complex housing and finance issues, help clarify the direction of housing programs and initiatives, and engage key internal and external stakeholders in the vision for housing in Arlington County. The ideal candidate will be a trusted advisor to the Director and County management, be able to lead and foster excellence and innovation in staff, and help the division and department achieve broad County and community goals.

The ideal candidate will understand how housing policy gets developed and will have implemented it successfully, will understand how land use and financial tools can be used to create affordable units, and will have the ability to see both the long-term strategic view and the short-term steps necessary to make concrete progress toward goals.

Experience and Education

The minimum qualifications for this position are a bachelor’s degree and 10 years’ experience in housing policy and/or program administration; supervision/management in a multicultural workplace; housing policy development and implementation; working with government and private sector partners (non-profit, for profit, and philanthropic); and knowledge of federal, state, and local housing programs and land use and financial tools to create affordable housing for a wide range of incomes.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree; five years of supervision; leadership experience within a local government, housing authority, or housing developer in an urbanized area; experience working with volunteer commissions and elected officials; a background building coalitions and consensus on difficult community issues; and experience with strategic planning and implementation, as well as finance and land use tools to achieve housing affordability.

The Community


  • 2019 Population Estimate: 226,400
  • 2019 Employment Estimate: 227,000
  • 2017 Median Household Income: $112,138
  • Median Home Value (owner-occupied): $643,300

Arlington County is situated across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia and is centrally located within the growing Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. With 26 square miles, Arlington is the smallest, self-governing county in the nation and benefits from a civically-engaged population where residents and other stakeholders actively participate in decisions that shape the future of the community. The community’s residential component is defined by transit-oriented, high-density development in its planning corridors, garden apartment and similarly scaled multi-family communities, and single-family neighborhoods. One-half of Arlington’s residents live in the planning corridors, 65% of the housing stock is multi-family, and 60% of units are renter-occupied.

With 42 million square feet of rentable office space, Arlington has more private office space than many U.S. downtowns and central business districts. One of the previously mentioned new companies coming to Arlington is Amazon. Amazon selected Arlington County from more than 200 competing communities as its home of a major new headquarters. Amazon’s headquarters will comprise at least 4,000,000 square feet of office space in Arlington’s Pentagon City and Crystal City areas. The company will invest more than $2 billion to establish its new headquarters, which will create at least 25,000 high wage jobs over the next 12 years.

Arlington’s population is among the most highly-educated in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, 93.9 percent of all household residents age 25 and older were high school graduates, 74.1 percent were college graduates, and 39.4 percent had graduate or professional degrees. Arlington is also a diverse community, where students attending Arlington Public Schools hail from 147 nations and speak 112 languages. Arlington’s households, which have maintained an average size of just over two persons, are also some of the highest-earning in the nation.


The starting salary range is $101,150 - $197,163, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. Details about Arlington County’s benefits are here.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with the first review of applications on December 3, 2019.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at apply@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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