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Ivory Mathews Named Executive Director of Home Forward

Southern PHA leader of 20 years will helm Oregon’s largest provider of low-income housing

January 28, 2022 – Portland – 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 twenty 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. She 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. Thinking of her interest in Home Forward and her enthusiasm for her new role, she reflects, “Home Forward is known as a premier provider of affordable housing and a leader in taking bold steps and shattering the status quo. 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 twenty 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. It is an exciting time in the evolution and growth of Home Forward.” Under Buonocore’s leadership since October 2014, Home Forward has:

• added 3,492 vouchers

• increased revenue by $112,462,340

• increased the value of assets by $546,963,485

• had 7 years of clean financial audits

• added 280 new affordable homes

• preserved 2,213 homes through major rehab

• added at least 1,046 homes to the development pipeline through 2024

• built a solid foundation for racial equity initiatives to reconcile historic harm

As Michael 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.”

Home Forward is also honored to acknowledge the historic appointment of Ivory Mathews as the first Black woman Executive Director in its entire 80 years.

Home Forward is the largest provider of affordable housing in the state of Oregon. The mission of Home Forward is to assure that the people of the community are sheltered. Home Forward has a special responsibility to those who encounter barriers to housing because of income, disability, or special need.

Use (503) 802-8300 or for more information.

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