Manager, Innovation and Public Policy

  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
  • 1279 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA
  • Feb 23, 2018
Full time Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

Are you excited about translating local power and influence into transformational public policy that will rebuild and reinvigorate Chicago’s challenged neighborhoods?


Are you a strategic thinker/leader interested in creating an innovative environment that grows creative and dynamic leaders in the field of affordable housing?


NHS is looking for you………….



Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. ("NHS") is a nationally recognized nonprofit housing, counseling, lending, and community development organization which has loaned and leveraged investment of more than $1.1 billion in Chicago’s neighborhoods since its founding in 1975. The mission of NHS is “to create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen their neighborhoods.” NHS has four major areas of program activity: 


Neighborhood Strategy/Community Building

NHS promotes community development through six neighborhood-based and two regional offices, offering home ownership, lending, and home rehabilitation services. Through these offices, NHS builds powerful and enduring community partnerships to stabilize and transform the neighborhoods which it serves.


Neighborhood Lending

Neighborhood Lending Services (NLS), a nonprofit formed in 1986, is a Community Development Financial Institution ("CDFI") and an Illinois Residential Mortgage licensee. NLS originates loans that finance home improvement, home purchase, refinance, and home rehabilitation for low- and moderate-income families in NHS' geographies.


Home Ownership Education and Counseling

NHS’s Home Ownership Education and Counseling program educates and prepares new low- and moderate income homeowners for success and sustains home ownership through post-purchase education and foreclosure prevention. It represents an innovative approach to providing services and training to help low and moderate-income families to purchase, rehabilitate, insure, and maintain a home.


Real Estate Development

The NHS Redevelopment Corporation (NHSRC), a nonprofit formed in 1985, has historically purchased and redeveloped single- and multi-family properties, and builds and sells new homes. Redevelopment activity has been strategically targeted to support the work of the neighborhood-based programs and promote neighborhood development. NHSRC currently owns and manages 295 units of multi-family and single-family low-income rental housing, but is in the process of exiting its multifamily business. In addition to improving neighborhoods through development, the NHSRC looks to address blighted and troubled buildings through its receivership and developer loan programs.


 The Manager is responsible for positioning NHS as a community development leader in creating innovative and community responsive policies and programs, and building the political will for the funding and implementation of those programs. The individual will work closely with NHS management and neighborhood staff to research and identify emerging trends, issues and needs. The Manager is responsible for convening internal staff, external partners, and government officials around developing, implementing and funding new programs and strategies.  Works closely with Resource Development to develop and manage relationships with foundations, universities, think tanks and peer organizations that will support NHS’ Innovation and Policy work.


Specific Responsibilities: 

  • Works with Program Team (Neighborhoods, Lending, Home Ownership, Construction Services and Redevelopment) and neighborhood staff to create a Policy and Innovation program agenda – e.g. aging in place, addressing the racial wealth gap.
  • Links neighborhood needs with creative and sustainable strategies while building relationships for program and loan capital development and public policy.
  • Develops overall innovation plan and timeline for exploring programmatic implications and opportunities around program agenda.
  • Convenes internal and external stakeholders to develop strategy, goals and assessment criteria for outcomes. Develops clear plans for program development and resource development and works with Program Analyst to implement.
  • Explores new business development and builds partnerships with public and private sector, including universities, think tanks, peer organizations, and external consultants to achieve objectives, (for example, developing partnerships with advocacy organizations and foundations around the issue of the racial wealth gap or 2-4 unit buildings and their role in affordable housing.)
  • Represents NHS and its mission to senior level officials, industry task forces and committees to increase support and visibility of NHS’s position and activities. Current coalition memberships include: NNA, NCRC, HPN, CRN and HAI.
  • Manages the Affordable Housing Task Force and its subcommittees related to issues of affordability, housing costs, regulatory change and Aging in Place.
  • Works with President, Board members, and program managers to develop an annual framework of policy priorities, informed by program data and impact evaluation learnings. Co-manages the relationship with DePaul’s Housing Institute for our data needs. Translates program data into local and national policy recommendations related to NHS programs, products, and service delivery with LMI clients and within LMI geographies.
  •  Develops and coordinates government relations and public policy initiatives. Develops and maintains relationships with local, state, and federal government officials. Keeps abreast of and advocates for public policy and legislative activities that promote community revitalization and expand resources.  Synthesizes NHS experiences with policy initiatives and develops supportive materials.
  • Communicates NHS activities and mission to external partners and governmental agencies. Uses program impact data to develop materials to assist with outreach and lead the development of written responses to proposed policy and program changes (e.g. public comment letters, opportunities for testimony).
  • Develops and manages special projects and programs as assigned.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



  • Develops and leads several key innovation programs that lead to increased recognition and support for NHS and increased positive impact in the neighborhoods we work in measured by specific outcomes
  • Assists in identifying and obtaining funding resources.
  • Meets or exceeds program goals on a timely basis.
  • Maintains effective public policy and government relations strategies with external partners.
  • Presents the desired image of NHS to all of its publics.
  • Follows and coordinates assigned projects to completion


Bachelor's degree required.  Master’s degree preferred.

Four to six years of experience in community development, urban planning, public policy. 

Special Knowledge and Skills           

  • Has the ability to work with senior level elected and governmental officials and staff, and to work independently with a broad range of people to create cooperative efforts, multi-task oriented, able to think broadly about strategy and policy issues and incorporate them into specific projects and overall mission.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills with the ability to persuade
  • Has the ability to leverage key relationships between a range of sectors for building organizational power and influence to have real impact.
  • Has vision and has the understanding of the intersection between policy, research, organizing and building influence as a tool for social change.
  • Has proven ability to develop and manage programs and public policy initiatives in relation to community development. 

NHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse and talented workforce. 

Contact information:

 Interested applicants should apply via the following url for consideration: