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Illinois Housing Development Authority Names Karen Davis as Deputy Executive Director

Published on July 17, 2020 by Illinois Housing Development Authority
Illinois Housing Development Authority Names Karen Davis as Deputy Executive Director

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board has named Karen Davis as the Authority’s next Deputy Executive Director. Davis, who resigned from her position on the IHDA Board earlier this month, brings more than twenty years of affordable housing and community and economic development experience to the organization, most recently serving as the Executive Director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Central Illinois. Davis will help provide leadership in state and local housing policies to advance IHDA’s mission of financing the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Illinois. She will assume her new role on August 18, 2020.

“Whether as Vice Chair of the IHDA Board or through her work in the private sector, Karen Davis has dedicated her career as a housing champion assisting those in need, especially downstate” IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said. “I am thrilled to have Karen join the IHDA leadership team and incorporate her past experiences to help us grow so we can continue to be a positive influence helping Illinois residents and communities”.

As the Executive Director for LISC Central Illinois, Davis helped transform distressed neighborhoods in and around Peoria into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity. One of her last acts before leaving LISC Central Illinois was creating a $10 million program to assist local small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is an honor to have this opportunity to assist Executive Director Faust and Governor Pritzker in enacting and overseeing policies to help families find a place to call home and revitalize communities throughout Illinois,” stated incoming IHDA Deputy Executive Director Karen Davis. “With more families and seniors struggling to find housing and the lasting effects of the pandemic, I look forward to joining IHDA at this critical juncture to help Illinois overcome these challenges”.

Before accepting the position with LISC Central Illinois, Davis was Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Springfield, where she oversaw city planning initiatives for housing and business development. Prior to her position with the City of Springfield, Davis was Senior Vice President and Regional Community Affairs Manager of Regions Bank, where she directed the community and economic development initiatives across the Midwest. Davis, with the help of designated staff, identified and promoted programs that fostered and spurred community and economic development in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas and Arkansas. Davis also served as Executive Director of the Springfield Urban League Community Development Corporation from 1996 to 2003.

Concurrent with her outside work experience, Davis has spent nearly fifteen years, prior to resigning earlier this month, as a member of the IHDA Board, beginning October 2005. Early in her term, Davis was named Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee due to her value and input. Through her IHDA Board tenure, Davis was instrumental in helping IHDA expand its multifamily and single-family portfolios while helping steer IHDA through both the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While it was bittersweet when I received word that Karen was leaving the IHDA Board, I could not think of a better person to serve as Deputy Executive Director,” said IHDA Board Chair King Harris. “During her Board tenure, Karen demonstrated strong leadership, confidence, integrity and passion in ensuring IHDA was continuing its mission; therefore, I know she will be a strong asset to the Authority moving forward”.

Karen received both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and a Master of Arts Degree in Community Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Karen is also the Past President of the National Association of State Housing Boards (NCSHB).

IHDA is an independent, self-supporting body politic and corporate of the State of Illinois agency that issues bonds based on its own strong credit rating to raise private capital to finance the creation and preservation of affordable housing. In addition, IHDA oversees and allocates federal and state resources to community partners to offer affordable mortgages to homebuyers and construction loans and grants to developers of multifamily rental properties.

About the Illinois Housing Development Authority
IHDA ( is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated $18 billion and financed approximately 255,000 affordable housing units for residents of Illinois.