Search Committee Established by Board

On Nov. 4, 2021, Tom Bledsoe announced plans to step down next summer from his role as President and CEO of Housing Partnership Network, an award-winning national business collaborative of affordable housing and community development member organizations. HPN also serves as an Aeris-rated CDFI and a national HUD-certified housing counseling intermediary.

Bledsoe will continue to lead until a successor is named. The organization’s Board of Directors has established a search committee comprised of Patricia Belden (EVP Real Estate Development of The Community Builders, Ellis Carr (President and CEO of Capital Impact Partners), Priya Jayachandran (President of National Housing Trust), Kevin Nowak (Executive Director of CHN Housing Partners), and Larry Swanson (CEO of ACTION-Housing, Inc.).  

In a letter to staff, members, and partners, Bledsoe writes, “this is the right time for me to pass the baton to new leadership…it has been a tremendous joy and privilege to work with our incredible member organizations, partners, and staff on this exciting journey together to build and scale HPN. This has undoubtedly been the most rewarding and impactful work in my 45-year career. To you all, I express my most sincere gratitude.”   

Under Bledsoe’s leadership, HPN grew from an all-volunteer coalition of a handful of participants to a membership network of over 100 leading mission-driven practitioners -- nonprofit developers and owners, housing counseling agencies, CDFI lenders, and public housing authorities – working in all 50 states, urban and rural communities, and across all housing asset classes. In 2003, HPN launched the International Housing Partnership (IHP), which includes 175 members across four countries -- Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. -- to enable affordable housing networks across the globe to learn beyond borders. 

Notably, HPN emerged as a leader in innovative and scaled partnerships, policy development, and peer exchange to build and sustain affordable housing and improve communities. This includes launch of over a dozen successful social enterprises, including an award-winning CDFI (and one of the first financial intermediaries to provide critical enterprise-level capital to affordable housing owners and developers); a social purpose real estate investment trust (REIT) to preserve at-risk rental housing; two development companies in cities formerly lacking significant non-profit capacity (Gulf Coast Housing Partnership and Develop Detroit); an online education platform helping over a million consumers achieve and maintain homeownership; and a property and casualty insurance company that insures member units at rates reflecting members’ superior performance. 

Recognizing the power and accomplishments of this unique model, HPN has received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, and is a three-time winner of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist award. 

author

Jill Wohl is a seasoned development and communications professional with more than 15 years experience supporting nonprofits focused on health, housing, education, and economic opportunity. She currently serves on the board of the National Center for Healthy Housing and was a founding board member of Raise Your Hand, a grassroots educational equity organization in Illinois.