May 20, 2022
Austin Habitat for Humanity Inc. CEO Phyllis Snodgrass, who has been with the organization for seven years, is leaving her role before the end of the year.
It’s not yet clear who will take over for Snodgrass, but she said she will stay involved during the transition period.
During her tenure, Snodgrass has been honored as an Austin Business Journal “Best CEO,” helped expand the organization’s services farther throughout Central Texas and focused on advocating for policies that make affordable development easier, among other achievements. Before taking on her role at Habitat for Humanity, Snodgrass served as the chief operating officer of the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Snodgrass has overseen Habitat for Humanity, which builds and refurbishes affordable housing, among other services, during a critical time in Central Texas.
In January, the city of Austin had only 0.3 months of inventory citywide, about 5% of a healthy market’s stock of six months. Affordable housing was even harder to come by.
In 2017, the city of Austin adopted its Strategic Housing Blueprint, which set a 10-year goal to create 135,000 new housing units, 85,000 of which were set to be affordable to those earning less than 120% of the MFI, which in the Austin metro is $98,900. As of 2020, the city was not on pace to reach this goal.
Of the 25,000 units planned for those earning between 81-120% of the MFI, 7,496 were completed between 2018-2020. Just over 2,000 of the planned 15,000 units for those earning between 61-80% of the MFI were completed in the same time period. Of the 20,000 units set to be built for those earning less than 30% of the MFI, only 238 had been completed. Only 4,886 — out of the 25,000 planned — had been built for residents earning 31-60% of the MFI.
Snodgrass has been a vocal proponent for making affordable development easier in Central Texas, where many developers meet roadblocks at the city and funding levels. In January, she spoke with Austin Business Journal about how Austin can remove obstacles, such as its outdated land development code, to help address the city’s acute need for more housing.
Snodgrass said she has not yet decided on her next career move. She said she’s exploring the possibility of mentoring Christian businesswomen, but that nothing is set in stone.
“I feel that I have accomplished what I came to Austin Habitat to do and it’s time to step down and let them bring in someone new to carry it to the next level,” Snodgrass said in an email. “It is an incredible organization and will be a fantastic opportunity for the right person. I have a strong desire to support and mentor professional women and feel that the path will become clear to me in the coming weeks.”
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