Housing & Community Development Director

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Housing and Community Development Director
DEPARTMENT: Housing and Community Development
REPORTS TO: City Manager
DATE: 04/2009
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Under administrative direction, manages the operations of the Housing and Community Development Department consisting of the Affordable Housing, Code Enforcement, Community Development, and Landlord Tenant Affairs Divisions. The position is responsible for ensuring that appropriate administrative, technical, and planning support is provided to the City Council, review boards, statutory committees, and other community based organizations and committee. This position also oversees the economic development functions of the department.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Follows up in a timely fashion on requests for service filed through ACTion. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the  public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.


Budgets/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates departmental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.


Manages and supervises the City’s code enforcement, rental housing licensing, landlord tenant affairs, affordable housing, grants administration, neighborhood and commercial revitalization, economic development, business retention, transportation planning, arts and humanities, long and short term land use planning, committee support and other related programming.

Plans and implements short and medium range goals, objectives, and strategies for the department, projects, and programs to ensure efficient organization and completion of work.

Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality customer service.

Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with City policies, procedures and applicable laws including: interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Oversees the City’s Community and Economic Development Programs.

Oversees the City’s Code Enforcement Program for both residential and commercial properties.

Oversees the development and implementation of the City’s Affordable Housing Program.

Oversees the City’s landlord/tenant program and rent stabilization program.

Plans long-range goals, objectives, organizational structure, and overall direction for the teams.

Plans, coordinates, assigns, and monitors performance and coaches, counsels, mentors, trains, and advises employees in department for the dual goals of meeting departmental goals and employee career development.

Establishes vision and departmental mission involving employees, residents, property owners, elected and appointed officials.

Develops and recommends budget for the department annually; monitors and administers approved budget.

Provides or facilitates provision of technical advice to City Manager, City Council and department heads on planning, zoning, economic and community development matters, code enforcement, affordable housing and landlord/tenant matters.

Advises and works with the City Manager to develop strategies and initiate projects for economic development which are ultimately submitted to City Council for review and approval.

Manages the grant administration of the department. Identifies grant opportunities, oversees application process, serves as project manager for awarded grants, monitors contracts with outside vendors, and monitors progress of grant activities.

Provides oversight of various committee meetings. Responds to complaints, questions and other calls from residents, business owners, property owners, and the general public; consults with stake holders on a continuing basis regarding community needs.

Provides appropriate staff support for City Council appointed committees and statutory committees.

Works with advisory groups, civic organizations and associations to develop and implement short-term and long-term economic and community development objectives and programs.

Confers with upper management to keep them informed on key issues and progress toward objectives and to gain their support and approval; makes recommendations to assist management in making needed improvements.


Coordinates staffing of various appointed commissions, advisory boards, work groups, task forces, business associations. Acts as staff liaison to the Arts and Humanities Commission.

Manages the City’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Acts as liaison to Federal, State, County and regional governmental bodies on related activities and projects.

Monitors ordinances, regulations, policies, and procedures for relevancy. Coordinates the amendment of existing regulations and ordinances.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment


Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in business administration, public administration, economic development or a related field, supplemented by a Master's degree in public administration, economic development, business administration, public policy, or a related field; and,

Five to seven years of progressively responsible experience including a minimum of three years in a management or supervisory position.

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

American Institute of Certified Planners, Economic Developers Certification, or Housing Certification is desirable


Knowledge of:

Principles and practices of planning, finance, logistics, team building, delegation, organizational development, research, and data analysis.

Principals, practices, techniques and objectives of community planning, community and economic development and affordable housing.

Procurement procedures, contracts, payment procedures and requests for proposal process.

Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting and implementation.

Administration of staff and activities, either directly or through subordinate supervision.

Methods and techniques of research, statistical analysis and report preparation.

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Project management.

Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Basic budgetary principles and practices.

Skill in:

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Analyzing and resolving office administrative situations and problems.

Interpersonal skills necessary to provide effective leadership to subordinate personnel and to develop cooperative working relationships with staff, senior management, elected officials and residents.

Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials, and preparing reports.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up on assignments with a minimum of direction.

Applying logical thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks; to understand, interpret and communicate complicated policies, procedures and protocols.

Using mathematics.

Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Communicating clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.

Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations.

Ability to speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Ability to comprehend and interpret codes and regulations.

Ability to develop complex reports and position papers.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, speak and hear, and lift up to 10 pounds.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment with little exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet.

file: Housing and Community Development Director

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.