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Habitat for Humanity Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, United States (on-site)
8 hours ago


Overview: Habitat for Humanity Chicago (Habitat Chicago), a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit neighborhood investment partner that champions healthy neighborhoods by investing in resident priorities, supporting homeownership, and building quality homes. We believe in a world where everyone has a decent place to live and work towards this vision together with residents in our three focus neighborhoods of West Pullman, Greater Grand Crossing, and Austin.

Position Summary: The Director of Real Estate Development drives the design and execution of Habitat Chicago’s strategic land acquisition, pre-development, construction and preservation, property management, and post-construction activities resulting in new homes, rehabbed homes for sale, owner occupied home repairs, and additional capital projects as identified in Habitat Chicago’s plan. Habitat Chicago’s 5-year plan includes scaling to 400 units by FYE2028 – 100 new and rehab homes for sale; 300 owner-occupied repairs. This role requires excellent leadership and collaboration internally and externally, including embracing the nuances of Habitat for Humanity’s unique program while also setting an ambitious pace of production, developing the people, tools, and policies to make it possible.

Who Should Apply: You are eager to apply your knowledge and skills to a non-traditional builder contributing to the health and vitality of the neighborhoods through:

  • Making homeownership a reality for first-time buyers.
  • Preserving and ensuring safe homes for first-time buyers and current owners.
  • Collaborating with local parties in community planning and place-making efforts.

You understand the critical importance of people development and long-term planning -- and you have the outstanding communication, project management, and leadership skills to execute an effective, quality-oriented operation.

Scope: The Director of Real Estate Development oversees all property improvement projects performed by both our construction team and our home preservation program team. These teams, together with the affordable homeownership, neighborhood engagement, and volunteer programs teams, identify, develop, and execute investments in promotion of neighborhood health in our focus neighborhoods. Investments currently include new home and rehab construction for affordable homeownership, owner-occupied repairs, homeownership education, grants for resident-led projects, and volunteer development. We are committed to operating in relationship with neighborhood and industry partners, with a high-quality standard of performance across all efforts. 

The construction team is principally responsible for the new home construction arm of our investments. We build new, single-family, two-story homes that are of high quality and function for our homebuyers, and we are introducing townhomes and rehabs into our delivery in the current fiscal year. The vital systems of the homes are subcontracted (e.g. excavation, plumbing, electric, etc.) but much of each home is built with unskilled (typically, one-time) volunteers under the direction of our in-house staff. We currently host volunteers three of the five working days per week toward the completion of approximately six to nine homes per year, with up to 14 active worksites at any given time. We are growth-oriented and working to scale our outputs to 30 properties annually through strategic planning, diversifying our delivery, and expanding our operating model.

The structure of the Construction team currently consists of the Construction Manager, who is responsible for team management and construction planning and oversight; two Assistant Construction Managers who

manage on-site activity, one Site Supervisor, one Procurement and Warehouse Specialist, four Senior Crew Leaders and two Crew Leaders. In addition to carrying out new home construction related goals, the team is also active in cross-team planning and communication in consideration of programmatic and funding dependencies.

The Home Preservation Program team is principally responsible for investments made to current housing stock through rehab or repair. The team currently consists of one Manager, who is responsible for acquiring and rehabbing existing homes, and designing and launching an ongoing home repair program.


Key Responsibility: Long-range Planning and Resourcing (30%)

The Director is the key driver of all real estate-related efforts and inspires their teams and the organization in pursuit of our real estate and homeownership goals. In this responsibility area, the Director is expected to:

  • In collaboration with Habitat staff and board, contribute to the strategic (5-year), mid-term (3-year) and annual planning processes, providing real estate development and preservation goals, striving for innovation and production scale in alignment with holistic neighborhood investment plans.
  • Engage with local planners and developers and foster community-based partnerships to encourage and leverage investments for greatest impact.
  • Develop construction and preservation budgets and work with leadership to identify and pursue creative financing solutions, ensuring funding compliance throughout projects.
  • Collaborate with staff to evaluate, recommend, and introduce alternative building models and methodologies that are appropriate for the context of each community (mixed-income development, multi-family units, green building, modular, etc.)
  • Identify the necessary staffing capacity and roles, as well as build site and committee volunteers, needed to achieve real estate development and preservation objectives, meeting current demand, and anticipating/preparing for future growth.
  • Provide the leadership and team building necessary to recruit, hire, and retain a high-performance, diverse workforce – including staff, subcontractors, and vendors – that continuously embraces the mission, vision, and values of Habitat Chicago.
  • Establish and set expectations for quality performance, including standards of accountability, construction methodology, task execution, project management, record keeping, external/internal communication and relationship management.

Key Responsibility: Land acquisition and Predevelopment (30%)

In collaboration with internal team and external counsel, the Director ensures the success of our land acquisition efforts and predevelopment targets. In this responsibility area, the director is expected to:

  • Develop and utilize a site selection process that will help Habitat Chicago identify opportunities that align with larger neighborhood development goals and uniquely contribute to the market health of our focus neighborhoods.
  • Lead land acquisition and banking efforts, leveraging nominal value and donated land resources (with a keen focus on City- and County-owner lots), to ensure a continuous three-year pipeline for development and production goals.
  • Establish engagement process for and lead in the selection of architects, consultants, engineers, and other project specialists and maintain these and additional relationships necessary to influence production (contracted specialists, staff at key City of Chicago departments, inspectors, aldermanic staff, in-kind donors, and volunteers).
  • Work with the Affordable Homeownership and Neighborhood Engagement teams to facilitate community input opportunities on all development projects.
  • Based on annual plan goals, confirm delivery plan, and create and maintain adherence to detailed schedule and total development cost budget for each project, holding all responsible parties accountable to targets and providing progress reports and ongoing forecasts to leadership.
  • Oversee and actively manage through to completion all pre-development activities, including but not limited to master planning, home design, environmental due diligence, subcontracting, and permitting, ensuring compliance in each step.
  • Work with architects and marketing team to prepare illustrative site plans, etc. for marketing, fundraising, and communication purposes.

Key Responsibility: Construction and Property Management (25%)
Together with internal team and external counsel, the Director ensures the construction program has the tools for success while also ensuring properties are maintained from acquisition through sale. In this responsibility area, the director is expected to:

  • Create and/or improve critical tools, programs, and team development opportunities for construction success (e.g. safety management, quality-assurance protocols, material take-off templates, task protocols, Salesforce integrity, project templates, staff training, etc.).
  • Integrate risk management and site security and maintenance protocols into all efforts; constantly evaluate land use and development efforts for potential setbacks and creative opportunities; actively manage issues to adequate resolutions.
  • Oversee the management of all construction activity, ensuring the construction team has adequate material supply and site coverage, timely labor engagement, and is otherwise well-resourced to successfully deliver complete, well-built houses for purchase, providing expertise, counsel, and trouble-shooting resources to team as needed.
  • Work with construction team to meet all deadlines and quality standards required of external funding sources and partners.
  • Establish a structure for project close-out and sale that includes securing as-built surveys, appraisals, inspections, and completing all punch list items, paperwork, checks, due diligence, etc., and managing the property through to the sale.

Key Responsibility: Leadership, Teamwork, and Communication (15%)

As a key Programs Team member, contribute to our organizational health through enthusiastic collaboration, leadership, and personal integrity. In this responsibility area, the director is expected to:

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with internal Habitat Chicago departments, maintaining a “team first” outlook and supporting the success of the mission in attitude, ideas, and actions; lead by example and with curiosity, and active, creative input for growing and improving the organization.
  • Participate in relevant community investment strategy decisions, helping to further define neighborhood and program direction.
  • Participate in cross-organization dependency planning for efficiency (i.e. qualified homebuyer pool –funding source requirements – volunteer numbers – corporate sponsor builds/revenue - construction timelines) and actively communicate needs, changes, and opportunities.
  • Meet and endorse organization standards for record keeping and information sharing.
  • Contribute to organization events, helping as necessary with set up/take down, management, networking, various tasks, etc.
  • Engage with all members of team, program participants, and core volunteers.


Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Experience in developing housing projects within deadlines and budget from start to finish. 
  • Proficient and comfortable with technology-based project management systems and constituent relationship management platforms (Salesforce preferred)
  • Familiarity and knowledge of residential construction building practices and code compliance; interest in emerging practices.
  • Organization, attention to detail, ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
  • Advanced communication abilities for varied situations (e.g. public speaking, coaching, listening, interpreting, advocating, negotiating, etc.)
  • Interpersonal and cultural competency skills facilitating collaboration with a wide spectrum of people.
  • Confidentiality with sensitive information.
  • Ability to manage conflict and act decisively.
  • Ability and willingness to secure and maintain any required licensures and certifications.
  • Commitment to the health of Chicago neighborhoods, with a particular focus on Habitat Chicago’s focus neighborhoods.
  • Exhibit the Habitat Chicago core values.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Familiarity with City of Chicago and State of Illinois requirements (e.g. prevailing wage, environmental reviews, permitting, inspections, etc.)
  • Ability to manage and utilize volunteers effectively.
  • Understanding of the Chicago housing market.
  • Understanding of challenges facing populations with low incomes.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum 8 years’ experience in construction/real estate development, real estate finance, or planning; at least 3 years’ experience in construction project management.
  • 2+ years’ experience leading teams (Collaborative Project Delivery as a preferred model)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management, Real Estate, Architecture, Engineering, Urban Planning or Business Administration, or equivalent combination of education and experience OR
  • Experience on a Habitat construction site preferred.

Successful Habitat team members share the following characteristics:

  • Mission driven: Mission first. We center neighborhood priorities in our relationships, decisions, and actions to advance our shared goals of affordable homeownership and neighborhood health. 
  • Collaboration: We are stronger together. We encourage, welcome, and integrate varied perspectives with intention. 
  • Adaptability: We listen and adjust. We are curious about and responsive to change, and innovative in our solutions. 
  • Trust: We do what we say we will do. We engage in relationships honestly and with integrity, holding ourselves accountable for our decisions and actions as a reliable partner/presence. 
  • Equity:  We promote access and opportunity. We value diversity, create inclusive spaces, and tailor efforts to prioritize practices and resources that meet unique needs, disrupting the harm of racism and other systems of oppression.
  • Respect: We listen to foster understanding. We recognize the inherent worth and value of every individual and honor the various gifts, talents, and perspectives each person brings.

Position Details

Reports To: Programs Director

Supervises: Directly: 3 FT Employees; Indirectly: 7 FT Employees; 2-5 FT Volunteers.

Hours: Full-time. Office hours are M-F 8am-4pm and construction site hours are Tu-Sa 7am-3pm. This position has traditionally followed a M-F schedule, flexing as needed. The successful candidate may choose a schedule to suit their responsibilities. Some weekend and evening work is required on occasion, depending on program and event needs, and adjusting schedules to balance hours is encouraged.  

Environment: Office-based employees may work remotely and/or in the office, with remote work subject to entering into a remote work agreement approval by their Director. The Habitat Chicago office is located at Cermak Rd. and Carpenter St. in Chicago. It is accessible by car or by public transit. This position will have a desk, computer, and phone line in an open office environment. The current construction sites are on S. Union and S. Emerald avenues near 120th St in West Pullman, and near S Chicago and S Ellis avenues in Greater Grand Crossing. The sites have typical construction hazards of uneven ground, etc. Two sites have climate-controlled mobile offices with internet access. The sites are accessible by car or public transit, however use of private or organization vehicle is preferred for site travel.

Conditions: Must be able to lift 50 pounds, walk on uneven ground, climb to and stand at heights, stand for long periods of time, work at a computer for long periods of time, and drive all construction vehicles and trailers.

Compensation: Salaried; $93,000-103,000 depending on experience. 30+ vacation/sick/personal days per year. 90% employer-paid health insurance; access to dental, life and 401k (5% match) plans.

FLSA Status: This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It does not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Training: The position will begin with an onboarding period to become familiar with the organization’s work and policies; they will be trained on the specifics of the role through a combination of in-person, online, and written trainings and will be expected to take the initiative to review materials as needed and seek understanding of new developments in order to perform their responsibilities. Additionally, the successful candidate will be required to seek and secure a Competent Person safety designation and may be asked to attend other training and certification programs as identified.  

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to with “Director of Real Estate Development – Your Name” in the subject line by 12/22/2023. Only successful applicants will be contacted and interviews will take place on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please.

Habitat for Humanity Chicago values a diverse and inclusive workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. 

Habitat for Humanity Chicago is an equal opportunity employer. This organization does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability status, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. 

Job Information

  • Job ID: 71635424
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Habitat for Humanity Chicago
  • Position Title: Director of Real Estate Development
  • Job Function: Program Management
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Min Experience: 3-5 Years
  • Required Travel: 25-50%
  • Salary: $93,000.00 - $103,000.00 (Yearly Salary)

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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