Margaret Salazar has been appointed director of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).

Margaret Salazar
Margaret Salazar

“Margaret has extensive leadership and expertise in housing issues at the local, statewide, and national levels, and I am pleased she will join me in addressing the unprecedented housing challenges Oregonians face,” said Gov. Kate Brown, who made the appointment. “Housing stability is fundamental, and we'll work together to continue increasing housing supply, look for tools that meet local communities' needs, and strengthen tenant protections.”

Salazar is scheduled to begin her new job Nov. 1. OHCS is the state’s housing finance agency. It administers several major housing programs, including allocating low-income housing tax credits in Oregon.

Salazar joins the agency with extensive housing experience. For the past two years, she has been director of the Portland, Ore., field office for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), representing the federal agency to housing providers and government officials throughout Oregon. She has convened providers, local governments, and housing authorities to share and adopt best practices for ending veteran homelessness in communities across Oregon.

She also spurred the creation of the Springfield Manufactured Housing Solutions Collaborative, an Oregon Solutions project that created a toolkit for local agencies to prevent and address the closures of manufactured home parks and assist tenants facing displacement from their homes.

Salazar joined HUD in 2006 and has helped finance the development of multifamily rental housing units across California, Hawaii, and Nevada. She later served as associate deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing in HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she designed and led national programs to preserve and revitalize affordable and public housing.

Salazar began her career as a foundation program officer and housing advocate working with community-based organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her master’s of public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and her bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University.

She joins OHCS with deep roots in Oregon having grown up in Hood River and Portland.

She replaces Margaret Van Vliet, who left the agency earlier this year after nearly five years in the top post.