New OHCS Director Begins

Margaret S. Van Vliet has taken over as director of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS). She was appointed to the post by Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Van Vliet recently served as the first director of the city of Portland's Housing Bureau, where she led the merger of two city agencies. She has also held leadership posts at the Housing Authority of Portland.

A fourth generation native Oregonian, she began her career in banking, advancing to vice president of community development lending and then assuming leadership of Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, the nonprofit bank consortium that specializes in affordable housing finance.

OHCS is the state's housing finance agency. Its role includes allocating lowincome housing tax credits (LIHTCs).

AEGON Names LIHTC Executive

Christopher Long has joined AEGON USA Realty Advisors, LLC, as vice president. He will lead the firm's housing tax credit acquisitions group, which manages the analysis, underwriting, negotiation, documentation, and closing of investments in LIHTC properties.

He was with Bank of America for 20 years, most recently as a senior vice president in the Commercial Real Estate Banking-Community Development division, where he managed a national equity investment group focused on originating direct LIHTC investments.

Since 1987, AEGON has invested more than $2.5 billion in affordable housing partnerships nationwide. As a direct investor for AEGON's life companies, as a guarantor for select third-party institutional clients, and as a syndicator of multi-investor funds, the Community Investments Group invests in LIHTCs and historic tax credit partnerships.

CHA Gets New CEO

Charles Woodyard has become CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).

He will guide the agency as it works to complete its massive $1.6 billion transformation of the city's public housing.

Woodyard arrived in Chicago after holding the top post at the Charlotte Housing Authority since 2002.

He takes over the CHA after Lewis Jordan resigned in mid-June in the wake of questions about his credit card use.

Steele Adds to Acquisitions Team

David Garcia has joined Steele Properties, LLC, as director of acquisitions.

He will identify and execute affordable housing acquisitions to build upon the firm's growth in 2010 and 2011.

The Denver-based firm expects to expand its national affordable housing portfolio, which includes more than $250 million in acquisitions, sales, and development activity involving 29 properties, including 18 LIHTC properties.

Garcia recently served as senior vice president of investments for Summit Housing Partners.

He has brought on Jeffrey Dean as acquisitions manager. Dean recently served as managing director of investments at Summit.

NHC Announces Leadership Change

Jeanne Engel will serve as interim president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, following the resignation of Maureen Friar.

Engel has held senior-level positions in government and in the private sector.

She has held roles at the city of Trenton, N.J., the Rhode Island Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Following Hurricane Katrina, she worked in New Orleans as residential sector lead for the William J. Clinton Foundation.

In Memoriam: Laura McGrath

Laura McGrath, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., died Sept. 22 of colon cancer. She was 46.

She devoted her career to community development and affordable housing. She was vice president of the Knowledge, Impact, and Strategy group at Enterprise.

“Laura engendered deep respect from her Enterprise colleagues as well as those we serve through our work and mission," said Bill Frey, senior vice president at Enterprise. “She took time and listened. She had great compassion that quietly motivated all of us to think bigger about what needed to be done to improve the lives of those we serve."

Early in her career, McGrath worked for Arlington County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md. She then went on to work at several housing and community development nonprofits, including the Community Information Exchange, Fannie Mae Foundation, and McAuley Institute.