Shaun Donovan named CEO of major housing nonprofit

Former Obama and Bloomberg official to run Enterprise Community Partners

From left: Mike Bloomberg, Shaun Donovan, and Barack Obama (Getty, Enterprise Community Partners)

From left: Mike Bloomberg, Shaun Donovan, and Barack Obama (Getty, Enterprise Community Partners)

Shaun Donovan, a former Obama and Bloomberg administration senior official and New York City mayoral candidate, will be the next CEO and president of Enterprise Community Partners.

The nonprofit, one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations, announced the appointment Monday.

“Housing touches everything in a person’s life. A good education, a good job, a healthy, prosperous life  —  all of it revolves around having a safe, stable place to live,” Donovan said in a press release. “Unlike any other time in my life, housing affordability is on the national radar. It’s a moment I’ve been preparing for throughout my whole career.”

Donovan has extensive experience at the highest levels of the housing policy world. He was secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama and was New York City’s housing commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

During his HUD tenure, Donovan instituted the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, better known as RAD. It was created in 2012 to allow properties to convert public housing units into Section 8 housing.

By switching the apartments to a more reliable funding stream, the program allowed local governments to make long-needed repairs. The New York City Housing Authority is using the program to upgrade tens of thousands of apartments in partnership with private developers, who then manage but do not own the properties.

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Despite the policy’s success, it has received some backlash from critics who viewed it as privatizing public housing. Still, Donovan touts the program as one of his major successes, including when he ran for mayor as a Democrat in 2021. (Donovan raised several million dollars but finished well behind Eric Adams in the primary.)

RAD does not increase rents, as Section 8 limits rents to no more than 30 percent of a tenant’s income, the standard for public housing.

The former cabinet official and national housing leader will begin his new role Sept. 1, replacing interim co-CEOs Lori Chatman and Drew Warshaw, who have been in place since September.

Donovan’s new employer has invested $64 billion and created 1 million affordable homes nationwide over the past 40 years.

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“If you want someone who understands the nation’s current state of housing and where we need to go  —  the history, the challenges we face at the local and state level, the public, private, and philanthropic levers that need to be pulled in order to build a better future  —  Shaun Donovan is the right leader at the right moment,” said former Rep. Rick Lazio, Enterprise’s board chair, in a press release.