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Chief Executive Officer

Houston Land Bank
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Oct 20, 2021

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Focus Areas
Government, Housing / Shelter
Job Function
Executive / Senior Management
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level
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Job Details


Houston Land Bank (HLB) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader to serve as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  HLB is a local government corporation created by the City of Houston to strategically acquire, dispose, and steward vacant, abandoned, and damaged properties, to convey them into productive use, and to catalyze transformative community and economic development for the City of Houston.


The CEO of HLB will manage a growing team to ensure that HLB continues to meet its goals.  Working closely with partners like the City of Houston, Houston Community Land Trust, HISD and Harris County, the CEO will ensure that HLB’s impact includes better quality of life for historically underserved communities and preservation of housing affordability in Houston.  


HLB has transformed more than $76 million worth of property over the past 15 years, helping to eliminate illegal dumping and blighted lots while generating millions of dollars in revenue to help improve our schools and local government services.  In 2019 alone, former HLB properties generated $1 million in revenue for better education and public services in Houston.  In addition, since 2004, HLB (formerly known as Land Assemblage & Redevelopment Authority “LARA”) has created sales and construction activity resulting in over 500 (and growing) new affordable homes for income-limited Houstonians.


Together with a strong Board, the CEO will help position HLB as a key instrument for further neighborhood revitalization for the City, supporting homeownership and neighborhood-based revitalization strategies.  The HLB Board of Directors is composed of appointees from the City of Houston, Harris County, and the Houston Independent School District. The Directors work with the CEO to set direction, goals and accountabilities for the organization.  




This leadership position is a unique opportunity to help expand the work of the HLB team and help shape the organization and its future impact.  The CEO will be the public face of the organization and will work closely with private and non-profit builders, government leaders, real estate professionals, developers, community leaders and homeowners to ensure that HLB reaches its single-family housing development goals. In addition, the CEO will ensure that HLB has the operational practices and fiscal controls necessary to maximize impact and that are aligned with the expectations set in core grant agreements with the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department.  The CEO will also advance inclusive and equitable community redevelopment outcomes and expand the work of the organization.




The responsibilities of the CEO include the following:


  • Be the public face of the organization at community events, government meetings and various stakeholder meetings.
  • Develop key relationships with stakeholders that can lead to more funding, sustainability and ultimately greater impact for the organization.
  • Hire, supervise and support a diverse professional and administrative team, assuring accountability, a culture of trust and collaboration, and meaningful professional development for staff.
  • Operate a well-managed, mission-driven, and fiscally strong organization, diversifying revenue and identifying ways for increased productivity.
  • With HLB Chair, supported by Board Counsel and staff, establish Board meeting agendas, goals and committee assignments, assure timely delivery of materials, and provide ongoing support to the Board of Directors.  
  • Build strong relationships with appropriate leaders within the City of Houston, Harris County and HISD.


  • Support the Board Chair and Board of Directors with professional recommendations for program operations to support increased affordable housing options, including the production of single-family homeownership options.
  • Manage the acquisition, maintenance/upkeep, and disposition of property as outlined by the Strategic Plan and allowed by HLB by-laws, governing grant agreements, HLB Policies & Procedures, and other governing instruments.
  • Review and recommend the approval of contracts for services, land acquisition and land disposition and ensure vendor performance standards are met. 
  • Ensure a proactive approach to property management operations including asset management and routine maintenance of property inventory.
  • Improve organizational procedures for daily activities to ensure accurate and reliable data for monitoring and reporting.
  • Generate additional revenue for HLB through core programs and by identifying new revenue-generating programming.
  • Oversee grants and contract management, procurement, and related procedures to ensure an efficient and legally compliant organization.



  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to execute on the current strategic plan and facilitate refinement of long-term organizational goals, objectives, policies, and HLB operations. 
  • Align activities with the City’s policy initiatives such as affordable housing production and the goals outlined in the Complete Communities and Resilient Houston action plans.
  • Oversee accounting and financial systems for budget monitoring and oversight and prepare annual budgets and cash flow projections.
  • Prepare reports of program activities and outcomes, including an annual report to the Mayor of the City of Houston, Houston City Council and the Board.  
  • Develop and support the legislative agenda of the organization, including direct oversight of consultant/lobbying efforts.



  • Formulate and implement a comprehensive communication strategy regarding HLB activities to educate key stakeholders and the public about HLB opportunities and activities. 
  • Develop marketing materials, an improved website, newsletters, press releases, and other media to promote accomplishments. 
  • Develop and maintain a KPI/impact dashboard for the organization and provide regular reporting and communications to increase the visibility of the organization’s results. 
  • Establish and maintain relationships with various public, private and governmental entities locally and throughout the state to strategically enhance HLB opportunities. 
  • Convene/coordinate/represent HLB in various inter-governmental or community-based working groups/committees.




The ideal candidate will possess many of the following qualities, experiences and skills: 

  • A bachelor’s degree in business or public administration, urban planning, law, real estate, finance, or a related field is required.  A master’s degree or Juris Doctor degree is preferred.
  • At least ten years of related professional experience, with at least five years in a supervisory role and three years in an executive management role responsible for complex budgets and project management, preferably within a public-sector organization.  
  • Strong passion, commitment and understanding of housing development for income-constrained communities.
  • A demonstrated approach to prior work through an equity lens.
  • Strong knowledge of the City of Houston and Harris County or desire to learn and influence the City of Houston.
  • Ability to lead and nurture a productive culture with a diverse and distributed or remote team. 
  • Demonstrated effectiveness at working with or on a Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships, particularly with community organizations and elected and appointed officials. 
  • Proven ability to navigate the acquisition and disposition of real property and the associated logistical and financial issues.
  • Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, public speaking) while working with diverse stakeholders. 
  • Experience writing and managing grants and contracts from public grant-making organizations and entities. 
  • Ability to navigate political situations and government programs and processes, including procurement and contract compliance.
  • Knowledge and experience in some of the following areas: affordable housing; real estate development and finance; economic and community development; public administration; sustainability; environmental issues or urban planning.
  • Understanding of land banks and community economic development in distressed communities, preferably in Houston or a similar city, is a plus. 


For more information on the Houston Land Bank, please see our 2020 Year-End Review.




Interested candidates should apply here. We will receive letters of interest and resumes until October 8, 2021.  Salary will be commensurate with the successful candidate’s experience. All full-time employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including health and dental benefits, paid-time-off (PTO), and a retirement savings plan. The position is located in Houston, Texas.



Equal Opportunity


Houston Land Bank seeks to fully represent our community and constituencies, particularly low-income communities and communities of color.  Therefore, we actively encourage candidates from broad, diverse backgrounds to apply. 


The Houston Land Bank is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a veteran, disability, or other federal, state or local protected class.


Denise Smith Consulting is an executive search firm located in Houston, TX.  We match great leaders with mission-driven organizations.

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