Soon after graduating college, Jim Logue landed a job with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA).
It was an unlikely spot for a biology major with a focus on environmental science, but a friend was applying for a job at the agency and suggested Logue also look at opportunities there. Logue would be hired as an entry-level development officer, possibly because his science background was intriguing at a time when many New Jersey projects were being stalled by environmental issues.
The job became a launching pad for a long, notable career with state housing finance agencies (HFAs) and other affordable housing organizations.
“I got into it and found I enjoyed the development process of an apartment complex and the financial structuring of it,” Logue says.
He rose up the ranks at NJHMFA, becoming director of development and then executive director. He was head of the agency in the early years of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), helping to kick-start the federal program in the state after it was established in 1986.
Now entrenched in the affordable housing sector, Logue moved on to become deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and then director of policy and programs at the National Council of State Housing Agencies, where he advocated for improvements to the LIHTC program and helped develop key guidelines for the HFAs allocating the housing credit to developers.
Interested in returning to a state agency, Logue became executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in 1991, serving for 12 years. Michigan had unique challenges with distressed core cities as well as rural communities that had not seen any affordable housing development.
Logue and the MSHDA team worked to redesign the state’s response to all the needs in Michigan. They helped to develop the first tax credit housing development in the Upper Peninsula and other rural areas while also focusing on the needs of Detroit and the big cities.
Another significant accomplishment during Logue’s tenure was the establishment of the Michigan Capital Fund for Housing, now known as Cinnaire. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the nonprofit changed the dynamic for bringing critical equity into the state.
Before the fund, Michigan wasn’t drawing national investors of housing credits. Cinnaire, a LIHTC syndicator and a Community Development Financial Institution, changed that by bringing in new capital sources. Its work was felt beyond the state borders, helping to spur the growth of the state and local equity fund movement.
Logue joined Cinnaire in 2003 and serves as executive vice president. For most of his tenure, he served as the organization’s chief operating officer.
"Jim Logue's unparalleled wisdom and unwavering stability have been a cornerstone of both the national affordable housing industry and Cinnaire's success,” says president and CEO Mark McDaniel. “He has the remarkable ability to bring calm to even the most challenging situations.”
His work at Cinnaire and MSHDA along with his advocacy work in Washington, D.C., have made him an icon in the industry, according to McDaniel.
“Jim Logue's legacy is not just a chapter; it's a cornerstone of the affordable housing industry's enduring progress,” he says.
Over the years, Logue could have changed career paths, but affordable housing continued its hold.
“I can honestly say I’ve never had a boring day in my 47 years of work in this field,” he says. “… I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had multiple arenas to work in, whether they be different states or different organizations. I’ve always had wonderful partners around me. In affordable housing, the accomplishments are so significant. You can see them tangibly any day you want. One of the great things is to go out to a development that we have helped put together and hear the stories from the people who live there and what it means to them.”