Family Housing Fund Names Ellen Sahli as President (Press Release)

Chicago housing leader to head Twin Cities housing intermediary

Minneapolis, MN | November 20, 2015 – The Family Housing Fund (FHFund) is excited to announce the appointment of its new president, Ellen Sahli. Sahli, who will join the organization on November 30, brings more than 25 years of experience in housing, community development, and social services to the Twin Cities organization.

As a housing intermediary, funder, convener, facilitator, and educator, FHFund’s work is wide-ranging. “Ellen brings the necessary experience in the affordable housing system, finance, place-making, and collaboration needed to lead the Family Housing Fund,” says FHFund Board Chair Maureen Warren. “Her knowledge, coupled with her creativity and energy, will be a real strength for us, as we implement our 2015-2019 Strategic Framework.”

Sahli joins the Family Housing Fund after serving as Chief Housing Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority. In addition to overseeing the operations that ensured quality affordable housing and social services, Sahli worked through public-private partnerships to achieve the Housing Authority’s strategic plan to transform Chicago’s public housing.

Prior to joining the Chicago Housing Authority, Sahli honed her place-making skills as Assistant Vice President at the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement. Sahli worked with neighbors and elected officials on new University projects and earned recognition from community organizations for collaborative efforts.

Sahli also brings important experience from city government to the FHFund. Prior to the her work at the University of Chicago, Sahli worked for the City of Chicago for 12 years, including serving as Chicago’s Department of Housing Commissioner, her tenure starting as the foreclosure crisis hit Chicago. Her leadership positioned Chicago as a national example of foreclosure remediation, securing the largest award of federal funds in the country and working collaboratively with nonprofit developers, neighborhood organizations, and teams of lenders.

Sahli also served as the lead for the City of Chicago’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness and played a leadership role in the exponential growth of the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, a locally funded rental subsidy program serving very low income Chicagoans.

Beginning her career in social services, working with homeless individuals, Sahli later moved to the Corporation for Supportive Housing, where she began to pursue systems level change to support the housing needs of Chicago’s residents. Trained as a social worker, Sahli says she “came to housing through people,” and that is what continues to motivate her work today. “I am excited to join an organization with such a strong reputation and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Sahli. “I look forward to building on the Family Housing Fund’s impressive history.”

Sahli succeeds Thomas Fulton who retired in August 2015, after serving as the President of the Family Housing Fund since its founding in 1980. Elizabeth Ryan, who served as Interim President during the transition, will return to her role as Vice President of the Family Housing Fund.