ONE Neighborhood Builders names Michael DeVos new Executive Director
ONE Neighborhood Builders names new Executive Director
PROVIDENCE – ONE Neighborhood Builders, the 28-year-old Olneyville-based community development corporation, announced today that Michael DeVos of Warwick has been appointed its new Executive Director.
Michael DeVos, who begins work with ONE¦NB on August 1st, brings 35 years of experience in real estate, community development, and affordable housing. His experience includes directing Resources for Community Development (RCD) from 1991-1995. RCD is a Berkeley, California nonprofit devoted to creating and preserving affordable housing. The organization’s mission and programs are similar to those of ONE Neighborhood Builders, particularly in terms of community building and affordable housing development.
Additionally, Michael served as the Development Director for the Maine State Housing Authority from 1995-2004 where he administered funds for affordable and supportive housing. He was Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority from 2005-2008. There he was responsible for a variety of policies and programs supporting affordable housing, community development, and urban revitalization. Most recently, Michael has been a self-employed real estate developer and investor in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
DeVos succeeds Frank Shea, who left in October after 17 years with ONE¦NB to lead Urban Edge in Boston. For the past nine months, the day-to-day operations and the talented staff of ONE Neighborhood Builders have been superbly guided by Interim Director Wendy Nicholas.
“We are very excited to have Michael DeVos as our new executive director,” noted Board President Robert F. McMahon, who also chaired the Search Committee. “Michael has exactly the experience and expertise that we need at this time. He is the right person for the job.”
Michael begins his tenure at an exciting and challenging stage in the life of the organization. For the past two years ONE¦NB (formerly Olneyville Housing Corporation) has been engaged in acquiring the assets—housing and commercial properties—of the former Elmwood-based Community Works Rhode Island. The acquisition is expected to be completed by year-end.
The addition of Community Work’s 212 affordable housing units to ONE¦NB’s Olneyville portfolio doubles the number of individual buildings, triples the number of rental apartments, and quadruples the number of real estate partnerships we are responsible for. This consolidation also means ONE¦NB will be challenged to serve twice the geography and five times the population.
Currently, ONE¦NB is completing affordable housing units on Parkis Avenue and Burnside Street in Elmwood and on Audrey Street in Olneyville. Additionally, construction of its new $10.4 million Amherst Gardens project of 36 rental apartments is now under way in Olneyville.
In the pipeline stage of development are the Paragon Mill, a mixed-use project near Olneyville Square, the 60 units of affordable housing ticketed for the former Imperial Knife building off of Manton Avenue, and the renovation of the former St. Teresa’s Church on Manton Avenue into a new home for the Olneyville branch library of the Providence Community Library system. These are all challenging projects for ONE¦NB’s staff and new Executive Director to complete.
DeVos is a graduate of Harvard College and also holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He and his wife Margaret, who is executive director of the Southside Community Land Trust, reside in Warwick, RI, where they occasionally serve as foster parents for newborn children under the auspices of the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families. Michael also has two grown children. His son Tyler is in the mental health field assisting schizophrenic adults in group homes. By night he is the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland, Maine based electro-pop band Forget, Forget. His daughter Dakota, who recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany, works with the modern and contemporary art collection at the Harvard Art Museum.
ONE Neighborhood Builders is a 28-year old community development corporation located in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood. ONE¦NB promotes equity, community health and neighborhood growth through strategic real estate development and a focus on building community assets.
(release from ONE Neighborhood Builders)