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Assistant Director, Housing and Planning

Location:  City of Austin, TX Download:  City of Austin, TX - Assistant Director, Housing and Planning Brochure

Assistant Director, Housing and Planning

About Austin, Texas

This vibrant and dynamic city tops numerous lists for business, entertainment, and quality of life. One of the country's most popular, high-profile "green" and culturally diverse cities, Austin was ranked #1 by the Wallstreet Journal in 2020 as the Hottest Job Market in the USA. In support of the LGBTQ people who live and work in Austin, in 2020 and the previous seven years, the City of Austin scored 100 points out of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. Austin was selected as the #1 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #4 on the Best Places to Retire by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 and ranked in the top ten on Forbes list of America's Best Employers in 2017.

Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity: where diversity and creativity are celebrated, where community needs and values are recognized, where leadership comes from its community members, and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all.

Emerging as a player on the international scene with such events as the Austin Marathon, Rodeo Austin, Austin Urban Music Festival, Blues on the Green, Austin Pride Festival, Austin Trail of Lights, SXSW, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1, and being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Oracle, IBM, and Ascension Seton Health. From the home of state government and institutions of higher education to the "Live Music Capital of the World" and its growth as a film center, Austin has gained worldwide attention as a hub for education, business, health, and sustainability. From founding through the year 2000, Austin's population roughly doubled every 20 years.

The city offers a wide range of events, from music concerts, food festivals, and sports competitions to museum displays, exhibits, and family fun. Austin is also home to a wonderful ballet, world-class museums, one-of-a-kind shopping, and beautiful outdoor spaces. You can just as easily spend your morning paddling the lake as you can strolling through a celebrated history museum.

Located at the edge of the Texas Hill Country -- rolling terrain of limestone bluffs, springs, rivers, and lakes -- Austin's climate is ideal for year-round jogging, cycling, hiking on the city's many trails, or swimming at Barton Springs or one of the area's many other swimming holes. There are several excellent golf courses in the area, as well as opportunities for rowing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, disc golf, mountain biking, fishing, and more. Austin has something for everyone. 

Austin City Government

The City of Austin is a progressive, full-service municipal organization operating under the Council-Manager form of government. Austin's mayor is elected from the city at large, and ten council members are elected from single-member districts. Terms of the mayor and council members are four years, and terms are staggered so that a general election is held every two years, with half the council being elected at each election. Term limits for the mayor and council members provide for two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for the appointment of the City Manager, who is the Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the City, City Clerk, City Auditor, Municipal Court Judges, and the Municipal Court Clerk.

To learn more about the dynamic City of Austin, visit

City of Austin Strategic Direction 2023

  • Strategic Outcomes and Indicators: The City Council adopted six Strategic Outcomes and Indicators in 2018 as part of Strategic Direction 2023, a guide to improving the quality of life and civic participation in the Austin Community over the next three to five years. The Assistant Director reports through the Department Director to an Assistant City Manager, who oversees the Economic Opportunity and Affordability Strategic Outcomes. The Assistant Director will be responsible for supporting cross-departmental issues and involving external stakeholders as it relates to all six of the Strategic Outcomes. For more information, visit Austin Strategic Direction 2023.
  • Economic Opportunity and Affordability: Having economic opportunities and resources that enable us to thrive in our community. 
  • Indicators: Employment, Income equity, Cost of Living Compared, Housing, Homelessness, Skill and Capability of our Community Workforce, Economic Mobility

The Housing and Planning Department (HPD)

On October 1, 2020, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department and the Planning and Zoning Department were merged to create the Housing and Planning Department. This resulted in a department that  integrated comprehensive planning, zoning, and displacement prevention, providing an intentional governance structure designed to prevent the displacement of communities of color and Austin's low-income residents. The department provides a number of avenues in which displacement is mitigated and prevented to include the delivery of affordable housing programsresponsive to community and City Council priorities. 

The new departmental structure allows for equitable and inclusive planning, displacement prevention, and related policies, programs, and projects that seek to create a diverse and racially inclusive City by partnering with neighborhoods, businesses, agencies, and residents to bring about positive change for our communities. The merger of these workgrous, an estimated 120 employees, provides an important collaboration of talent and additional regulatory interventions and processes to strengthen the activities described in the Displacement Prevention Strategy. The Strategy guides and identifies actions that prevent the displacement of vulnerable low-income households and communities of color, including tenant stabilization services.

Finally, the creation of the Housing and Planning Department enhances the City's ability to implement the City of Austin's Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing, which highlights the need for continued tenant stabilization.The intervention and investment in tenant stabilization services has increased significantly as a result of the economic impacts from the COVID 19 pandemic, which has positioned government to work in innovative ways not known prior to this global crisis. The Housing and Planning Department is a key avenue for federal funding sources to include funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has been a primary federal partner in addressing the recovery and relief efforts administered at the local level.

The Position

Under the general direction of the Director of the Housing and Planning Department, the Assistant Director will have several exciting challenges to address and areas of opportunity in which to excel. Among these opportunities are the need to support the vision for the department; advance the City's non-discrimination initiatives; and promote outreach, education, and awareness of events for both businesses and community stakeholders. The Assistant Director of the Housing and Planning  Department will be instrumental in developing and administering programs responsive to community input. The Assistant Director will provide oversight and collaborative leadership in areas such as planning, zoning and urban design, annexation, historic preservation, and displacement preventionfor the City of Austin.

Duties, Functions, and Responsibilities:

Essential duties and functions pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act may include the following. Other related duties may be assigned.

  • Establishes goals and objectives for assigned divisions and programs and evaluates achievement.
  • Manages and directs department divisions and programs under general direction of the Director.
  • Resolves sensitive political issues and conflicts and establishes sound management practices. Interprets policies, provides staff direction on policy and recommends changes to policies and procedures.
  • Represents the City before various professional affiliations; the business community; and other public, private, and nonprofit entities to promote the City and respond to the interests of these groups.
  • Cultivates partnerships with outside public and private organizations to access resources, improve the efficiency of service delivery, and carry out planning principles and policies.
  • Participates in the department strategic planning process. Develops and implements assigned business plans that promote completion of the overall City of Austin business/strategic plan and initiatives. Analyzes employee and business needs and develops short- and long-range strategies, goals, and action plans to meet those needs. Develops and monitors the divisions' and business unit budgets.
  • Prepares and reviews reports as part of the process of monitoring and communicating performance results.
  • Recruits, develops, and retains management and senior professional staff to ensure completion of assigned goals and objectives.
  • Presents to City Council, Boards, Commissions, vendors, and the general public regarding Planning and Development Review initiatives. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and Local laws and ordinances governing planning and land development.
  • Knowledge of budgeting methods and systems.
  • Knowledge of municipal planning, zoning, annexation, and historic preservation, and urban design.
  • Knowledge of methods for establishing various policies and procedures governing the conduct of municipal administration.
  • Knowledge of supervisory and managerial techniques and principles.
  • Knowledge of applicable processes, techniques, and methods related to planning, zoning, and permitting.
  • Knowledge of the concepts of equity, including experience in applying equity frameworks to established laws, ordinances, and long-standing practices.
  • Skill in preparing and analyzing budgets, reports, and studies.
  • Skill in planning, organizing, and evaluating the activities of a department or departments.
  • Ability to use an equity lens and framework to create inclusive, diverse, and safe workplaces and community programs.
  • Ability to manage diversity, understand inclusion, and work with diverse communities or populations to build constructive and effective relationships.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective communication and working relationships with City employees and the public. 

Education and Experience

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Urban or Regional Planning, Public Administration, Business Administration, or in a closely related field, plus six (6) years of experience in management of projects and programs related to the job, including two (2) years of experience which were in a managerial capacity. A Master's degree from an accredited college or university may substitute for non-management experience up to a maximum of two (2) years.

The Ideal Candidate 

The ideal candidate will be an empathetic and transformative leader who has experience working with gentrification and displacement prevention strategies and understands the City of Austin's history and racial inequities. The ideal candidate should be a transparent leader with a genuine interest in equitable engagement to support the participation of people of color, immigrant and refugee communities, and low-income people in neighborhood groups' outreach and public engagement processes. The ideal candidate will possess strong coordination and relationship-building skills in working with the entire organization, recognizing the value of participation of people with"lived experience" in the creation of policy, program and practices.  The ideal candidate will have municipal planning experience to include knowledge of land development, zoning, annexation, historic preservation, and urban design.

The ideal candidate must have the capacity, passion and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff. Advanced written and oral communication skills applicable to diverse audiences are imperative. The ideal candidate will value and maintain the prioritization of a collaborative, inclusive culture where diverse expertise is valued and sought at all levels of the organization.


The City of Austin offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and extensive benefits, including a generous pension system. Relocation assistance will be available for a successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume for consideration by May 04, 2021 to:
Reference: COAADHP

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033


The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. 

Posted: 03/22/2022