Portland’s New Housing Director: Central City Concern’s Traci Manning

From the Portland Mercury, September 23, 2011

Traci Manning

Traci Manning

Commissioner Nick Fish announced Portland’s new housing director in an email to his colleagues on the city council, the [Portland] Mercury learned this morning. And the name should be familiar to anyone who follows homelessness issues in Portland.

It’s Traci Manning, chief operating officer for Central City Concern and a member of the Portland Housing Advisory Commission (PHAC). Manning will take over in October, according to Fish’s office. She’ll replace outgoing director Margaret Van Vliet, who was tapped by Governor John Kitzhaber this summer to lead the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.

Manning has worked at Central City Concern since 1993 and recently has helped the nonprofit on projects like the new Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center in inner Southeast. CCC also is building a $19 million clinic over what once was an infamously troubled Burger King at Broadway and Burnside downtown.

Update: I just spoke with Manning, who said her colleagues at CCC were just getting the news and reacting with “mixed emotions.” She said she approached the city about the post—adding that she was “incredibly intrigued with the idea of working on the same issues, but from a public service angle.”

At CCC, Manning ran operations for an organization with a $41 million budget and 600 employees. At Housing, she’ll preside over just 62 workers but a $99 million budget. Manning prides herself on building relationships with the Portland Police Bureau, local governments, other nonprofits, and the Portland Business Alliance. She says that will remain her focus at the Housing Bureau.

“It’s a direction I’ve seen them starting to go, and it’s one that hopefully I can continue,” she said.

Moreover, Manning says, serving on the bureau’s advisory committee means she’s already familiar with the bureau’s newly adopted strategic plan—as well as with the challenges of finding new cash once the bureau’s urban renewal tax spigot starts going dry after this fiscal year.

READ – announcement from Nick Fish’s office.
READ – Manning named Portland housing boss, Portland Business Journal
READ – Traci Manning to Serve on Portland Housing Advisory Commission, press release from CCC, 11 15 2010