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Community Development Commission

For Immediate Release

Michelle Whitman selected as executive director of Sonoma County Community Development Commission

SANTA ROSA, CA | April 05, 2023

Michelle Whitman, executive director for the Renewal Enterprise District since 2019, has been selected to lead the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. The appointment by County Administrator Maria Christina Rivera is scheduled to be approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 18.

As executive director of Renewal Enterprise District, a joint powers authority founded by the County of Sonoma and City of Santa Rosa, Whitman earned a reputation for innovation and collaboration that resulted in more $100 million in grant awards and investments, investments that could provide an estimated 1,597 units of local housing. She returns to Sonoma County government where she previously served for eight years as district director for Sonoma County’s Third District.

"Michelle’s extensive experience, proven results and passion for equity-centered housing has earned her regional recognition,” said Rivera. “She has a collaborative leadership style that will be key in leading CDC’s professional and dedicated team in its mission. Michelle’s deep understanding of our community will be instrumental in supporting the county’s Strategic Plan goal of building healthy and safe communities through collaboration with cities in increasing affordable housing development.”

Established in 1978 as Sonoma County’s public housing authority, the Sonoma County Community Development Commission is a separate public and corporate entity with the Board of Supervisors serving both as the Board of Commissioners and as the governing board of the Housing Authority.

"I look forward to joining the agency team in addressing our housing crisis and ensuring that every member of our community has access to safe, equitable, affordable housing,” said Whitman. “As CDC executive director, my goal is to demonstrate that housing solutions can be not just tolerable but even desirable. Utilizing principles of collaborative public administration, the CDC will achieve success as a best practices-oriented effort to develop housing for all.”

The CDC administers a range of programs designed to assist low- to moderate-income homeowners and tenants and to encourage community and commercial revitalization. Programs include rental assistance, development loans, homebuyer loans, grants and activities to improve commercial centers in unincorporated areas, including streets, sidewalks, sewer and drainage systems, in conjunction with other agencies.

The CDC also manages the assets and obligations of the Successor Agency and the Housing Successor Agency, which were established with the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2012.

CDC resources include a staff of 52 full-time employees and a FY 22-23 budget of approximately $100 million. Whitman is expected to begin her new position on April 18 with a base annual salary of $163,275.

For more information about the Community Development Commission, please visit:

Media Contact: 
Dan Virkstis
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403