Housing Works has named former Redmond City Manager David Brandt to lead the regional housing authority, making him the third executive director in its history, the agency announced Thursday.
Brandt said May 2 he would retire as city manager in Cupertino, California, where he’s been the top administrator for six years. Brandt replaces Tom Kemper, 65, who retired in March, after leading the agency since 2013. Cyndy Cook led the agency before that.
“I plan to continue the legacy of Tom Kemper,” Brandt said Thursday in an interview. “Those are big shoes to fill. But I plan to keep the focus that’s been developed on being client-focused. We’re alleviating poverty through housing and it’s all about people.”
Housing Works has been the housing authority for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties since 1977. Its mission is to help residents find stable housing and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
More than 2,600 people receive assistance through the management of 1,203 federal housing vouchers.
It uses public funding from federal, state and local governments to leverage private capital from local financial institutions and foundations to provide affordable housing, said Laura Craska Cooper, board vice chairwoman of Housing Works. In addition to the federal housing voucher program, Housing Works partners with other agencies and either owns or administers an additional 900 units of affordable housing. Housing Works has a wholly owned subsidiary, EPIC Property Management LLC, which manages the units.
“Issuing housing vouchers is only part of what we do,” said Craska Cooper. “We do so much more than that. We help our residents with partnerships and other programs. We run this like a private business where there’s a lot of creativity.”
The board selected Brandt because he’ll be able to continue partnership building and bring his knowledge of the community and connections.
“We think we need a good manager who will build communication and relationships,” Craska Cooper said. “We hope that’s what he brings. The big role of the position is partnerships.”
Brandt plans to start in July. Accepting the position allows him to return to Central Oregon, he said, where is ex-wife and children live.
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