Oakland Housing and Community Development Department Welcomes New Deputy Directors to its Executive Leadership Team

Deputy Directors of Housing Development and Community Development to lead strategic efforts throughout Oakland

headshot of Ali and Hugo

Oakland, CA - Housing & Community Development (HCD) Director Emily Weinstein today announced she has enhanced her leadership bench by hiring two deputy directors focused on the department’s core functions: housing and community development. The appointments of Alicia (Ali) Gaylord and Hugo Ramírez will continue the Department’s organizational alignment toward its strategic focus on protection, preservation, and production of housing.

"Today, Oakland takes a significant stride forward in our commitment to housing equity as we proudly announce the appointments of Alicia Gaylord and Hugo Ramírez as Deputy Directors in our Housing and Community Development Department. Ali brings a proven track record in affordable housing development, showcasing her ability to navigate complexities and deliver impactful projects. Hugo's nearly two decades of expertise in public-sector community development, particularly in anti-displacement strategies, align seamlessly with our mission," said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. "Their leadership will play a pivotal role in our strategic focus on the protection, preservation, and production of housing. Congratulations to Ali and Hugo—dedicated leaders who will help us build a more inclusive and thriving Oakland."

Ali Gaylord has a proven track record of leadership and success in the complex field of affordable housing development. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of the industry, she has consistently demonstrated the ability to navigate complex funding sources, manage diverse teams, and deliver impactful projects that address the critical need for affordable homes.

In her most recent role as the Director of Housing Development at the regional nonprofit MidPen Housing, Ali led a dedicated team responsible for the entire spectrum of affordable housing development. Under her guidance, the affordable housing project pipeline in the North Bay and San Francisco region expanded significantly by 793 units from 2018 to 2023. Notably, she played a pivotal role in the successful development of Shirley Chisholm Village, a groundbreaking housing development for educators in collaboration with the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development and San Francisco Unified School District.

Prior to MidPen, Ali served at BRIDGE Housing Corporation, where she held roles ranging from Project Manager to Director of Development, showcasing her expertise in both affordable housing preservation and new construction. Her accomplishments include the successful financial restructuring of properties within the BRIDGE portfolio, ensuring long-term affordability for low-income residents and maximizing the lifespan of housing units.

Ali actively contributes to boards and committees related to housing and community development. Currently serving as a member of the Petaluma General Plan Advisory Committee, she chairs the Land Use Working Group, advocating for policies and practices that promote equity and justice in land use and housing. She currently serves on the board of Generation Housing, a housing advocacy organization covering Sonoma County.

Hugo Ramírez has dedicated his career of almost twenty years to public-sector community development. He most recently served almost ten years with the City and County of San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development where he oversaw one of the most extensive programs of community-based anti-displacement strategies in the U.S.

Strategies included a “right to counsel” program that provides tenants facing eviction with free and comprehensive legal representation, emergency rental assistance and other financial assistance programs, a tenant-landlord mediation program, and tenants’ rights counseling, education, and outreach – all in partnership with the community-based organizations on the front lines of anti-displacement and homelessness prevention.

Hugo was appointed to the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) Advisory Committee for his expertise in tenant protections, which along with preservation and production of housing comprise Oakland HCD’s strategic focus. He is honored to now serve the people and communities of Oakland and is excited to apply his love of community development to his leadership role at Oakland HCD.

About Oakland’s Housing and Community Development Department

Homelessness and housing affordability are top priorities for Oakland residents. To address these challenges, the City is carrying out a multi-pronged approach. The Housing and Community Development Department is addressing housing affordability issues through its “3P” framework: Protect Oaklanders from displacement; Preserve the existing affordable housing stock; and Produce new, deeply affordable housing units. Oakland HCD also aims to prevent homelessness for vulnerable residents through partnerships with and grants to community service organizations. Read more about Oakland HCD and its current priorities in the 2023-2027 Strategic Action Plan.

Part of the City’s approach is to leverage City dollars to maximize State and Federal investments. Since 2020 HCD has secured more than $109 million in State Homekey funds to house residents experiencing homelessness. The City’s nine awarded Homekey projects will provide a total of 467 deeply affordable units for the unhoused. The City has also been awarded a $40.7 million State of California Infill Infrastructure Grant Catalytic (IIGC) program award, a $2.39 million grant from the State’s Prohousing Incentive Pilot Program, and a $10 million Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant to support affordable housing development and Infrastructure improvements throughout Oakland.


Jean Walsh
Public Information Officer


Posted: March 6th, 2024 9:09 AM

Last Updated: March 6th, 2024 4:01 PM

Was this page helpful?

Report a problem with this page

Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.
Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.
Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.