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City of Palo Alto Logo

Senior Planner
City of Palo Alto, San Francisco/Peninsula


For more info contact:
[email protected]
(650) 329-2427
Close Date: Apr 12, 2011
Salary: $39.76 - $48.81 Hourly


The City of palo Alto Advance Planning Division is currently recruiting for a Senior Planner (Housing Coordinator).  If you are selected for this position, you will develop, implement, administer, and monitor the City’s Below Market Rate (BMR) inclusionary housing program and the affordable rental housing construction program under the direction of the Advance Planning Manager.
The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic and highly skilled housing and planning professional with the ability to work independently implementing complex affordable housing programs and projects.  The successful candidate will be well organized, have the ability to analyze and interpret complex information, regulations, and data, write clear and concise staff reports and letters, and draft funding and regulatory agreements.  The candidate should be skilled at building collaborative working relationships and providing excellent customer service.  The candidate will have excellent written and verbal communication skills and a thorough knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and database software programs.
This position requires a Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning, Architecture, or a directly related field from an accredited college or university, and five years of suitable professional experience in affordable housing, community development, urban planning, or related field.  An advanced degree is highly desirable; a master's degree in planning or a related field may substitute for up to two years of experience.
About palo Alto’s Inclusionary Housing Program:
palo Alto’s inclusionary housing program was initiated in 1974 and is one of the oldest in California.  There are currently 322 owner and rental units and another 112 units in development.  The Housing Coordinator works closely with palo Alto Housing Corporation on program administration and monitoring.  The new Housing Coordinator will also be responsible for implementation of improvements to the program resulting from a recently completed BMR study.  The City also funds the development of new rental housing with its local housing trust funds and with CDBG funds.  Affordable housing is also facilitated through innovative agreements through the entitlement review process and development agreements.
Projects and Programs of the Senior Planner (Housing Coordinator)
New Affordable Rental Housing Construction:
Work with developers to create new, subsidized housing units to meet the City’s Housing Element and CDBG program goals, review and make recommendations on funding applications from housing non-profits, assist in the preparation and review of loan documents and regulatory agreements for City financing of affordable housing, and conduct periodic compliance reviews of City funded affordable rental projects.
Affordable Housing Program Implementation:
Provide information to developers and the public regarding the Below Market Rate (BMR) requirements, review residential and commercial development plans to determine the BMR obligations, participate in the negotiation and preparation of BMR agreements, and administer the contract for BMR program administration with palo Alto Housing Corporation.
CDBG Program Assistance:
Assist the Advance Planning Manager in providing general oversight, advice, and assistance to the CDBG Program Coordinator in the development and administration of CDBG program activities and housing projects, as well as other federal, state and local assistance programs.
Housing Trust Fund Administration:
Coordinate the City’s housing financial resources in an effective and efficient manner, establish budgets & monitor contracts, loans, and expenditures for the City’s housing trust funds, monitor the collection of BMR and commercial housing in-lieu fees, research opportunities for housing grant funding and prepare, manage, and monitor grant applications as necessary.
Housing Programs Liaison and Housing Element Implementation:
Provide technical housing expertise to other planning staff and work with Planning and Building Division staff to implement the Housing Element.
General Housing Program Duties:
Represent the City’s housing programs at meetings and conferences, train Planning staff on the housing program, and provide information and referral to the public.
Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of affordable rental housing financing programs such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit , CDBG, Multifamily Family Housing
Program, HOME, Tax-Exempt Bond Financing and HUD Programs such as 202
Working knowledge of local inclusionary housing programs and their administration
Understanding of single- and multi-family affordable housing finance and familiarity with underwriting/loan terms
Experience with residential real estate procedures, documents, and escrow practices
Knowledge of Federal real estate and environmental laws, regulations, and practices
Familiarity with local land use planning, zoning, development, and environmental review procedures
Knowledge of federal and state housing and CDBG program regulations, and grant application and administrative procedures
Skill at negotiating contracts, scopes of services, regulatory agreements, and loan documents
Understanding of current practices in housing policy development and California Housing Element law
Experience with monitoring funding agreements and enforcement of affordability and occupancy restrictions
Coordinate and manage the development of affordable rental housing projects
Understand and interpret federal, state, and local laws, policies, regulations, and procedures for affordable housing
Conduct research, analyze, and evaluate facts and data on complex issues, draw logical conclusions, and recommend an effective course of action
Prepare clear and readable comprehensive written staff reports and make effective oral presentations
Maintain productive working relationships with a diverse variety of people in stressful situations
Deal effectively with non-profit and market rate developers, BMR owners, attorneys, lenders, consultants, outside agencies, internal staff, and the general public.
This is a Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) position.
Please review the job description for more details.



The City of Palo Alto offers generous benefits that include Retiree Medical and Dependent Coverage;
Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS);
2% at 60 formula for Miscellaneous employees;
One-year final compensation; Pre-Retirement survivor benefits;  
Non-Contributory Deferred Compensation Plan.
Fully paid medical (employee contribution to be effective April 1, 2011);
Fully Paid Dental & Vision Plans;
Fully paid Life and AD&D insurance
For more Benefits information, please check our website at:
The City of Palo Alto is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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