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CCRH Rural Housing Visionary Organizational Leadership Program

Applications due: July 15th, 2024.

Please email Gisela Salgado at for any questions.

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About CCRH

Formed in 1976 following a farmworker housing conference, CCRH is one of the oldest state low-income housing coalitions in the country. Through advocacy, organizing, research, and technical assistance, our goal is to make the case for rural housing improvement and strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit and public sectors to provide affordable housing and related facilities. Members are primarily community-based nonprofit and public developers, including the largest self-help housing producers in the United States, as well as local government officials, and local activists concerned about rural quality of life.


Our Mission

To educate and encourage public support on a wide array of housing issues, focusing efforts to promote and preserve affordable housing in rural California.

To assert the importance of developing and preserving safe, healthy, and adequate housing as an integral part of building sustainable rural communities.

To ensure quality of life for rural families and their neighborhoods through smart growth land use principles.

To actively participate at all levels of government to achieve policies for the production and preservation of affordable housing.

About the Organizational Leadership Program

CCRH is thrilled to introduce the CCRH Rural Housing Visionary Organizational Leadership Program, launching Fall 2024. The program’s mission is to accelerate the advancement of emerging BIPOC leaders, help them achieve their full potential, and support organizations thrive by successfully recruiting and retaining them.

Building on nearly 30 years of success with the CCRH Internship Program, which has graduated over 200 interns from partner housing organizations, CCRH is now launching our comprehensive program to help member organizations retain emerging professionals of color currently employed in the real estate development departments. Our curriculum was developed through an intensive 2-year engagement with CCRH member organizations and program alumni.  

Our theory of change highlights that intensive management and leadership training for fellows, combined with allyship training for their immediate supervisors and executive directors, will prepare fellows for more leadership roles at their current organizations, help organizations retain employees, and strengthen organizations overall. Because of this, our leadership program offers a holistic approach offering over 80 hours of training and leadership development for Fellows, along with 16 hours of training for their supervisors, and eight hours for the executive directors over the course of 18 months. 

CCRH follows a cohort-based learning model to foster collaboration, community, and accountability among Fellows from diverse organizations. This approach also enhances learning through peer support and networking opportunities across the cohort. 

Who Should Apply

Rural affordable housing development organizations in California, Oregon, and Washington are encouraged to apply. While our leadership program centers the Fellows' growth, this is an organization program that calls for the participation of at least one Fellow, their Supervisor, and Executive Director per organization to maximize impact. Nominating more than one fellow is strongly encouraged.

Who Are the Fellows?

Our program is for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) individuals in project management roles within real estate development departments at CCRH-member organizations. And, because this Organizational Leadership Program teaches strategic and critical thinking around real estate development and organizational leadership strategies, Fellows will be individuals who already have a strong foundational knowledge of real estate development. While there is no set requirement for years of experience, we recommend proposed Fellows have been in the field for at least 4 years. 

How Does the Leadership Program Work?

The Organizational Leadership Program is an 18-month program with different ‘tracks’ based on the affinity group (i.e., Fellow, supervisor, executive director). A brief snapshot is included below. 


Executive Directors will have their own track for learning opportunities throughout the 18-month program. This will include at least four Zoom sessions covering the topics below and partial participation in two retreats.


The proposed topics covered in the training sessions include:

  • Leadership Mindsets for Equity and Inclusion

  • Using Your Power for Equity

  • Leading Change and Transition Centering Equity and Justice

  • Leading Change and Transition - Practical Application of Liberatory Design and Mindsets


Supervisors will also have their own track for learning opportunities over the full 18-month period. This will include at least nine Zoom sessions covering the topics below and partial participation in two retreats. A full schedule of the sessions are included in this link.

The topics covered in the training sessions include:

  • Introduction to Inclusive Supervision

  • Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Leaders

  • Giving and Receiving Feedback

  • Conflict Resolution for BIPOC Leaders with Race, Gender, Power, and Privilege in Mind

  • Effective 1:1 Supervision Meetings

  • How to Create Growth, Learning, and Opportunity (GLO) Plans

  • Effective Delegation

  • Managing Your Energy and Time: A Way Towards Personal Sustainability

  • How to Have Challenging Conversations


Fellows are the core of the program and will receive over 80 hours of intensive leadership and project management training plus 12 hours of personalized coaching. This translates to roughly 1 hour per week of training during the 18-month program. Training includes three three-day in-person retreats and 24 online sessions over the 18-month program. The in-person retreat dates will be carefully selected at a future date and will not coincide with critical development timelines like TCAC or HCD deadlines. The first retreat is scheduled to take place on September 16-18th, 2024. 


Fellows will receive training in two areas: 1) technical skills for affordable housing leaders; and 2) cultivating a leadership mindset. A high-level description of the sessions are listed below and a full schedule of the sessions are included in this link

  • Technical Skills for Affordable Housing Leaders focused on strategic project management in rural housing that center the following key topics. The 24 sessions will focus on the following categories:

    • Understanding and Leveraging Your Role as Project Manager 

    • Optimizing for Organizational Strategy

    • Understanding Organizational Finance

    • Best Practices for Project Development

    • Understanding Strategies for How to Mobilize Stakeholders

    • Exploring Affordable Housing Frameworks in Rural Communities

  • Cultivating a Leadership Mindset

    • Inclusive Leadership and Supervision

    • Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Leaders

    • Conflict Resolution for BIPOC Leaders 

    • Regenerative Practices for Sustainability for Self and Others

    • Power and Authority, and Liberatory Leadership

    • Roadmapping your Development Within and Outside of this Program

    • Embracing Your Whole Self as a Leader in Affordable Housing

    • Organizational Change - Liberatory Mindsets & Design

    • Inclusive Leadership & Design

Program Cost

Based on the content and the specific instructors on board for this opportunity, the value of this program is estimated this year at $35,000 per organization. Through generous donations and investments from our incredible partners, we are eager to offer this program this year for CCRH member organizations for only $15,000.


CCRH has additional scholarships based on the applicant’s organizational size and current financial capacity. If interested in scholarship support, please contact Gisela Salgado at to schedule a conversation. 

Information Sessions

The program team will host information sessions via Zoom to walk prospective applicants through the program and answer questions. The information sessions will be held at the following dates and times. Please use the links below to register. Note that the first information session will be recorded and made available on our website. 

  • Information Session #1: Thursday, June 27th at 3:00 PM PT

  • Information Session #2: Tuesday, July 2nd at 2:00 PM PT

Please click here to watch one of the information sessionsTo watch, enter password "nJhRp+60" when prompted.

Organizational Leadership Program Team

CCRH leveraged nearly 30 years of experience from designing and managing the CCRH Internship Program to curate a team of housing and leadership professionals with decades of combined expertise. This team, led by Matt Huerta and Nelson Layag, provides valuable curriculum insights and guidance for our program. CCRH will also bring other leaders in affordable housing to facilitate workshops. These trainers will include Community Economics, Goldfarb and Lipman, Susan Reynolds, Joanna Mack, and Nadia Villagran. 

Matt Huerta

With over 23 years of experience in Affordable Housing and Community Development, Matt Huerta as Owner and Principal of MHC, LLC advises and supports affordable housing and community development initiatives aimed at creating self-sufficiency. Areas of focus are program development, affordable housing development, organizational management improvement, and human capital development through leadership coaching and collaboration.

Nelson Layag

In his 25 years of work in organizational development, he has supported organizations in a wide range of issues that include performance management/staffing, coaching and communications, project management, organizational change, boards of directors, strategy, and leadership development. At the core of all his consulting, facilitation and training engagements is equity and justice. Nelson is also a certified leadership coach through Leadership That Works and not only brings his coaching to individuals but also with teams.  


Before starting his own consulting firm in 2018, he spent 24 years at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and served in various roles including directing the public training program, leading consulting projects, and designing and leading leadership development initiatives.

Application Process

The application must be submitted by July 15th. The application requires an application form and narrative statement from each participant (i.e., Fellow, Supervisor, Executive Director), as well as a statement from the organization. The application document itself with instructions can be found on the CCRH website and downloaded here.

Summary of Timeline

  • Application Open: June 15th 

  • Information Session #1: June 27th

  • Information Session #2: July 2nd 

  • Application Due: July 15th

  • Cohort Decision: August 15th 

  • Orientation Session: Late August

  • Retreat #1 (Fellows only): September 16-18

    • Location TBD. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we apply if our Executive Director or Supervisors cannot participate due to time commitments? 

The Supervisor and Executive Director’s participation is integral to our program and our theory of change. As a result, we are only able to get applications from organizations whose Supervisor and Executive Directors will be participating in the program. 

Can we apply if we do not have BIPOC staff to serve as Fellows?

No. The Organizational Leadership Program is centered around BIPOC staff and, therefore, only BIPOC staff can be a Fellow. 

Can we apply if the Fellow has experience in real estate development but is currently in a related department? 

We strongly prefer Fellows to be in the real estate development department, but we will consider candidates from related departments on a case-by-case basis. 

Is this program similar to the CCRH Internship Program where an intern is hired and placed at our organization?  

No, this program supports and uplifts current internal staff. All participants (Fellows, Supervisors, and Executive Directors) must be existing employees of the organization. 

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