After a national search beginning in late fall, Home Forward selected its next executive director, Ivory Mathews of South Carolina. She has most recently worked as the chief executive officer at Columbia Housing and has spent 20 years leading various housing authorities and affordable housing agencies, honing her expertise at HUD policy, LIHTC, public housing management, Housing Choice Voucher financial management, asset management, government relations, housing development finance, and more. She has also completed the coursework in pursuit of her Ph.D. in public policy and administration.
Mathews will move to Oregon in March, to lead Home Forward in its mission to house Portlanders and model policy and practice that influences rental housing throughout the region.
“Home Forward is known as a premier provider of affordable housing and a leader in taking bold steps and shattering the status quo,” Mathews said in a statement released by the organization. “I am looking forward to joining and leading this extraordinarily talented team in developing, delivering, and scaling new innovative solutions to providing equitable opportunities to affordable housing for Portlanders.”
Ivory Mathews will succeed Michael Buonocore, who announced his resignation in September 2021. He spent 20 years at Home Forward, seven as its executive director.
Home Forward Board Chair Damien Hall remarks that, “Ivory is coming into a good situation, and from day one will have the opportunity to lead a very capable staff team. Home Forward has a strong financial foundation and is making bold moves to reshape the agency’s purpose, culture, and future.”
As Buonocore prepares to exit, he says, “I am thrilled to welcome Ivory to Portland and hand over the reins of this organization that I love to her. She’s incredibly talented and I can’t wait to see how she leads Home Forward into a bright future.”
In a released statement, Home Forward acknowledges the historic appointment of Ivory Mathews as its first Black executive director in its entire 80 years.