Ms. Willis has over 28 years of experience in the housing and community development industry, serving 20 years with Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) and 8 years with the El Paso Housing Authority in Texas. Prior to her employment in housing, she worked in banking and served as a police officer in her hometown of Buffalo, NY. Notable housing accomplishments under her leadership include the transformation of Campostella Square, including single-family home development for sale to low- moderate income families. CRHA, in partnership, built Virginia’s first “green build” project, Oakdale Square, a LIHTC development, providing 40 affordable apartment units to low-moderate income families. CRHA recently completed the revitalization of the Schooner Cove public housing community. CRHA was awarded a $3.3 Million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to substantially rehabilitate or develop “green” public housing units at the Schooner Cove housing community with a primary focus on sustainability. The grant to CRHA is one of 36 awarded of more than 200 housing authorities competing for the funds nationwide, and the only city in Virginia to receive one of these energy conservation grants. CRHA has been designated by HUD as a “High Performer” for the Section 8 and Public Housing programs.
Ms. Willis serves as Chairperson of Community Revitalization and Development for SERC-NAHRO and is a member of VHDA’s Local Government Advisory Board. Ms. Willis is also a founding board member of EarthCraft Virginia (VHDA’s certifying entity for LIHTC “Green building” projects). Ms. Willis recently received the designation of Certified Community Revitalization and Development Professional (CCRDP) through the NAHRO Professional Development System.