Bringing decades of experience in affordable housing development, financing and advocacy, Sean Spear is joining Community HousingWorks as CEO in October to guide the organization as it fulfills its mission of creating opportunity through safe, stable, affordable homes.
Following current President and CEO Sue Reynolds’s decision to retire, which was announced in January 2020, the organization conducted a national search for candidates. Spear’s extraordinary career in affordable housing – including extensive advocacy work – was a natural fit for Community HousingWorks, which provides and builds life-changing affordable apartment communities with resident-centered services for working families, seniors and people with disabilities to forge stronger futures.
Currently the Assistant General Manager for Housing Development at the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, Spear brings an expansive network both nationally and throughout California with lenders, housing sector leaders, and for-profit and nonprofit developers that will serve the organization’s residents and individuals throughout California in need of an affordable home.
“As I prepare to pass the torch to Sean in October, I know his experience and passion for our mission make him the right leader for a strong future,” Reynolds said. “His direct experience with innovative financing structures and preservation, and his design and implementation of programs that build better communities for people of all races, ethnicities and income levels, align beautifully with Community HousingWorks’ mission and values.”
Spear has served as a local and state government leader in successive community development roles in the cities of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and in Sacramento for the State of California. At the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, Spear was responsible for leading its housing production efforts and directing the operations of its Housing Development Bureau. He also served as the executive director of the California Debt Allocation Committee from 2009 to 2015, administering the $3.8 Billion private activity bond program for California, in addition to his work at Fannie Mae and Hunt Mortgage Group.
“Community HousingWorks’ success is built upon the collective work of a great team of staff and stakeholders, and we believe in Sean’s ability to lead us into this new chapter,” said Robert Gottlieb, board chair of Community HousingWorks and Chief Financial Officer at H.G. Fenton Company. “We are especially excited about his experience navigating legislative issues while advocating for working families and vulnerable households. We are confident that he will expand upon Sue’s legacy, while creating his own imprints on the organization and those that we serve.”
“The current public health crisis, its economic impacts, and the social justice movement have collectively shined a light on our society’s need to treat people with kindness and dignity, as well as the critical importance of Community HousingWorks’ mission,” Spear said. “Sue Reynolds – and all of Community HousingWorks’ stakeholders – have created a legacy that well-positions the organization to not only meet today’s challenges, but also pursue new ways to make positive impacts on the families and communities we serve – and I am both honored and excited to be part of that effort.”
About Community HousingWorks
Founded in 1988, Community HousingWorks is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, rehabilitates, preserves and operates affordable apartment communities in San Diego and throughout California. In addition to providing working families and seniors with stable homes in healthy communities, Community HousingWorks layers in powerful programs, services and connections to resources. These tools help people attain financial stability, improve their health and overall well-being, and set school-age children up for success in the classroom and beyond. Community HousingWorks owns over 3,600 apartments in 42 communities statewide, serving more than 9,000 working families, children and seniors. Community HousingWorks is an exemplary-ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of UnidosUS and a member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. To learn more, visit chworks.org