New Housing Director with Production and Preservation Experience Joins San Jose
City Manager Jennifer Maguire Appoints Erik Louis Soliván
Photo of Erik Louis Soliván

SAN JOSE, Calif. – After a nationwide recruitment, City Manager Jennifer Maguire has appointed Erik Louis Soliván as the City’s new Director of Housing to lead the Housing Department. Erik will assume the Director role on May 13.

“Erik’s experience in delivering affordable housing developments to help prevent homelessness will help us with what is one of the biggest challenges of our generation,” said Maguire. “Erik’s background in housing production and preservation alongside diverse groups of partners coupled with life experience is what San José needs to provide homes for all.”

“No issues matter more to our residents than homelessness and housing affordability, and I look forward to Erik driving the change we need to deliver better, faster results for our community,” Mayor Matt Mahan said. “He and his team will play a vital role in ending the era of encampments in San José and delivering desperately needed affordable housing for our working families.”

The Housing Director leads a department with an annual operating budget of $19 million and more than 100 employees. The Housing Department’s mission is to strengthen and revitalize our community through housing and neighborhood investments and the core services include affordable housing portfolio management; affordable housing production and preservation; homelessness interventions and solutions; neighborhood capital investment and public services; and rent stabilization and tenant protection.

With over 17 years of public and private sector experience in housing, Erik has demonstrated the importance of collaborating with diverse public, private and community partners to preserve and produce housing for families at all income levels. He began his career in 2003 in the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development where he administered federal and state housing programs and housing policies in collaboration with the Legislature, County and City governments, and the Housing Finance Agency. As Executive Vice President, and then Senior Vice President for the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Erik directed the organization’s highest priority initiatives including a $500 million investment in the designated Choice Neighborhood Initiatives to revitalize two communities in North Philadelphia and to preserve 3500 affordable housing units. As Executive Director of Denver’s Office of Housing and Opportunity, Erik led Denver’s first $150 million Housing Fund for the production of 400 workforce housing units and the acquisition and preservation of 600 affordable housing units. As CEO of his own company, Soliván, LLC, Erik served as Attorney and Consultant to several clients seeking affordable housing development through mixed-source project financing, real estate acquisition and development. As Chief Development Officer and then Chief of Staff of the Tulsa Housing Authority, Erik led the efforts to add and preserve over 1700 units to Tulsa’s affordable housing stock.

“I look forward to cultivating an ecosystem of relationships that foster candid conversations and build trust across all stakeholders including staff, homeowners, tenants, housing providers, landlords, for-profit and non-profit developers, unhoused people, advocates, and local jurisdictions with the goals of creating abundant housing stock, ending homelessness and creating equitable neighborhoods in San José,” said Soliván.

Erik was born and raised in public housing and is the grandson of migrants to the United States from Puerto Rico, his personal story drives his professional pursuits. He holds a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University Law School in Camden, New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

About the City of San José
With almost one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 12th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world.