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Housing Community Development Assistant Director


Listing Summary

Housing and Community Development Assistant Director (Job Number: 230522)

Posting:  Open Until Filled

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

General Description and Classification Standards

The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) is a policy and implementation team in the Department of City Planning that is tasked with interpreting and executing the goals of The Atlanta City Design as they relate to the equitable growth and development of Atlanta’s neighborhoods and residents. OHCD’s two explicit goals are supporting a healthy housing ecosystem and supporting neighborhood-scale economies through cutting-edge policy development and the implementation of impactful programs and initiatives.

The Economic Development Assistant Director will lead a workstream in OHCD composed of 6 staff in 3 distinct program areas: Urban Agriculture, Business Districts, and Small Business Services. The goal of the team is to support neighborhood-scale economies by creating and pursuing impactful initiatives that provide opportunities for residents to become personally invested and financially profitable in their local communities and fostering a deep sense of connection and identity for every resident.

City data indicates that small businesses (defined as organizations with less than 50 employees) constitute 90% of the total number of businesses in Atlanta and 83% of all legacy businesses (defined as businesses in continuous existence for at least 15 years or more).  OHCD believes that these organizations represent the heartbeat of our cultural identity in Atlanta.  However, these businesses, and the neighborhood economies they constitute, face unique challenges specific to their size – from navigating permitting, zoning, and licensing requirements, to finding affordable brick-and-mortar locations, to developing voices to advocate for their interests in local decision-making.

The Economic Development Assistant Director will work to empower and expand the number, longevity, and influence of our local businesses and districts by working alongside the Housing Policy and Programs Assistant Director and the Assistant Director of the Housing Innovation Lab to cross-functionally leverage the skills and experience of each team. The Assistant Director will also collaborate with other offices in the Department of City Planning including Historic Preservation and the Office of Design.

The Assistant Director will also form relationships with other public agencies like Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing, Workforce Atlanta, and other public and private sector partners to identify and advance neighborhood-scale opportunities and innovation in publicly supported projects. The Assistant Director will serve as a representative of the office in various public meetings and may serve as project lead on major initiatives.

Supervision Received

This position reports to the Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development. Direction received is general and focuses on end results and the implementation of the vision, goals, and objectives of the Housing and Community Development team. This is a fully seasoned professional position capable of independently carrying out most of the assignments typical of urban planning and community development.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.  May perform other duties as assigned.

The Economic Development Assistant Director will work collaboratively with internal/external stakeholders to achieve the following:

  • Lead a dynamic team of professionals to pursue innovative neighborhood-scale planning through a commercial and place-based lens, and work alongside partners and funders to ensure sustainable and successful long-term outcomes for small businesses and districts.
  • Select, develop, and manage new staff as needed, and identify the appropriate expertise for particular roles.
  • Develop research-based, locally-adapted, economic development policy solutions to increase and diversify the number of businesses, the economic health of commercial districts, and the participation in urban agriculture across the City’s public and private sites.
  • Identify and implement strategies to connect businesses with available tax and financial incentives from municipal, state, and federal sources.
  • Develop relationships with local commercial leaders and individual residents to understand the needs and challenges in their neighborhoods.
  • Lead the development of toolkits and other resources targeted to local residents.
  • Engage and educate communities and neighborhoods about adjacent issues (permitting, zoning, etc.) in a meaningful way that empowers them to participate in local decision-making processes by creating presentations, workshops, focus groups, etc.
  • Extend the awareness and reach of the City’s Urban Agriculture program to achieve its goals of providing accessible fresh food, minimizing waste, and creating workforce opportunities across multiple local food sectors and industries.
  • Educate and engage public stakeholders and activate a team across the City in other department that can break down barriers to neighborhood economic development that arise from educational, technological, financial, land access, and other constraints.
  • Act as a thought leader for place-based economic development, representing the Department of City Planning in economic development discussions, gathering research and proposing policy solutions that could increase equity and representation in local businesses and districts.
  • Support other programs throughout the department as needed by supplying a unique perspective and familiarity with the perspectives of stakeholders served by the team’s initiatives and using it to evaluate other programs and policies.

Decision Making

Analyzes complex challenges and applies sound judgment. Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks. Establishes work methods, timetables, performance standards, etc.

Leadership Provided

Routinely provides work group leadership, guidance, and/or training to less experienced staff. May act as team lead on large projects.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

This is a partial listing of the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully.  It is not an exhaustive list.

  • Knowledge of urban planning, building and permitting processes, neighborhood development, and economic development principles.
  • Knowledge of innovative practices for neighborhood commercial development.
  • Demonstrated creative ability in programmatic design, including the ability to design and launch programs independently as well as adapt and improve existing programming.
  • Familiarity with grant funding sources, both public and private.
  • Experience writing policy and knowledge of the legislative process.
  • Ability to manage complex projects and work with a team to achieve results.
  • Strong verbal, written and presentation skills. Ability to work collaboratively to arrive at constructive solutions.
  • Strong sense of graphic design in layout, color palette, organization, and communication of design ideas
  • Strong ability to communicate verbally, in writing, and through drawing
  • Expert community engagement capabilities

Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, public administration, economics, social work, or related field (Equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis).

5-7 years of progressive project management experience in a related field, including 3 years of supervisory experience.

Preferred Education & Experience

Master’s degree in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, public administration, economics, social work, or related field  (Equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis).

7+ years of progressive project management experience in a related field, including 5 years of supervisory experience.

Licensures and Certifications


Essential Capabilities and Work Environment

Required physical, lifting, and sensory capabilities are requirements to perform the job successfully. Typical environmental conditions associated with the job.

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