The proposed Douglass Community Land Trust (DCLT) is an innovative initiative to establish a non-profit community land trust with an initial focus on the neighborhoods in Ward 8, East of the Anacostia River. The DCLT is intended to fulfill one of the key recommendations of the Equitable Development Plan (EDP) that was created through a comprehensive, community-driven planning process led by the non-profit Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR). BBAR is partnering with the city to transform an old freeway bridge structure into a new civic space. The goal of BBAR's Equitable Development Plan is to ensure that the park is a driver of inclusive development- development that provides opportunities for all residents regardless of income and demography. Over the last several years, BBAR has been working with City First Enterprises, a local CDFI, to engage the community, promote awareness, and begin the process of establishing the DCLT. The DCLT is intended to create and preserve permanently affordable home ownership and rental housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income households by stewarding land as a permanent community asset.
In the initial stage, City First, in conjunction with BBAR, is serving to incubate the project and help to establish a newly formed non-profit organization to serve the DCLT. The position will be part of City First initially, but transition to the DCLT as soon as practicable. This effort is supported by a local Advisory Committee which provides guidance and helps to set priorities until the non-profit is established. The DCLT requires an Executive Director who can build the organization, help to establish its board, and build its staff, assets, and operating support. The Executive Director will also be responsible for the establishment and implementation of annual goals and objectives; programming; and administrative and financial oversight of the organization.
Organization / Executive Functions: Lead the start-up establishment and implementation of the DCLT, including hiring qualified staff and building infrastructure, developing and overseeing relationships with developers, partners, consultants and other stakeholders, and working cooperatively with Advisory Committee, BBAR, City First, District and other stakeholders to establish the governance framework and recruit board members. Lead the execution of the organization's business plan, with a focus on attaining scale via the acquisition and development of DCLT units. Manage the organization, build a diverse DCLT team to execute its growth plan and oversee its stewardship activities. Model and set the DCLT's culture, values and behaviors.
Real Estate: Oversee a range of DCLT developments, directly and in partnership with CLT partner organizations, from acquisition and development of scattered single-family homes to multi-family rental properties, on a standalone basis or in partnership with other developers. Ensure compliance with internal policies and external legal requirements for all DCLT activities.
Public Education and Relationships: Represent the DCLT initiative to the public-including community residents, public officials, funders, lenders, partners, and other stakeholders. Establish trusted relations with key partners and stakeholders and act as a point of contact for all interested parties. Ensure the DCLT's website is up to date. Provide education on DCLTs to organizations and general public-emphasizing how the DCLT addresses the affordable housing needs for low- and middle-income residents, supports neighborhood "in-placement" (rather than displacement), stewards land and property, and other affordable housing issues. Represent DCLT to the media, emphasizing how the real estate activities of the organization meet the needs of neighborhoods and those residents adversely affected by the lack of affordable home ownership opportunities. Collaborate with advocates to and partners to represent the DCLT's interests, including local and national peer groups, such as the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and the Grounded Solutions Network, among others.
Funding Functions: Direct fundraising efforts to support DCLT operations and development. This includes writing and submitting grant requests, soliciting corporate and foundation donations, meeting with individual donors, and raising below market rate debt to expand affordable housing.
Support Functions: Provide support for the board of directors, including development of the board. Assure board members complete the roles and assignments they have accepted; meeting agreed on timelines and assisting with access to resources as needed to complete assignments. Research issues before the board so that all activities flow from informed decisions.
Record Keeping Functions: Public and Private investment-Maintain accurate financial records regarding public and private investment as well as the value of donated properties held in trust, assuring compliance with grantor/donor requirements and government laws. Ensure accurate financial records of resales so that the criteria of the community land trust resale formula can be fulfilled. Annual audit-provide materials for an annual audit to assure compliance with all governmental regulations; also, compliance with private grantor requirements concerning permanent subsidy funds.
Building a successful community land trust requires a leader who understands how community land trusts operate, who is comfortable with new ventures, is a self-starter and is action and results-oriented. More specifically, we look for candidates with experience in these areas:
Executive Leadership - Prior experience in leading organizations, building staff and board capabilities, setting and implementing strategic vision, and directing efficient, effective operations; direct experience in building organizations from inception to fully functioning, sustainable operations highly preferred.
Real Estate Development - Experience in leading residential and/or commercial real estate community development projects in urban neighborhoods undergoing significant transitions; knowledge of effective affordable housing solutions and approaches; hands-on understanding of working with multiple cross sector stakeholders to complete development projects.
Financial Leadership / Fundraising - Experience in working with philanthropic individuals and foundations, corporate investors and other parties to fund large scale projects; demonstrated knowledge of effective financial management techniques and reporting.
Nonprofit or Public Sector Leadership - Experience in working with nonprofit or public sector agencies to deliver high value community service; proven ability to build long-term relationships with wide variety of stakeholders; experience in leading and managing community driven change while working in partnership with board, investors, and staff.
To be successful in this role, candidates must have these personal qualities:
- Integrity: Honest, trustworthy and operates in best interest of organization
- Credibility: Track record of delivering tangible outcomes over time
- Inspiring: Builds enthusiasm and support in others for the effort
- Initiative: Has clear capacity to act and the confidence to act even when there are many unknowns
- Vision: Identifies gaps in community needs and forges a vision to fill them in a timely way; performance driven
- Responsive: Listens to all parties and responds appropriately
- Adaptable: Identifies and works with team to manage change; can implement transformational place-based change.