Associate General Counsel (PD14-50)

Kensington, Montgomery, Maryland
Jun 26, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Full Time

Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County

Announcement Number:              PD14-50

Position Title:                                   Associate General Counsel

Division/Department:                   Office of General Counsel

Location of Job:                                Kensington


Associate General Counsel is an executive level professional position, reporting to the General Counsel, the Executive Director, and is one of three principal legal officers for the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. The position provides legal advice to the Commission and related entities and guides and supervises the services of outside counsel performing additional functions for the agency.  The incumbent works under the direction of the General Counsel and supplies advice to the Commission staff and Commissioners, both orally and in writing, regarding matters related to real estate transactions, contracting, procurement, employment, governmental regulations, corporate governance, open meeting requirements, personnel matters, environmental issues, torts, real estate management, landlord tenant matters, regulatory compliance, technology policies, and other legal matters impacting the business of the agency.

The Associate General Counsel will receive assignments from the General Counsel, which may include assisting with the negotiation of corporate/partnership documents, loan documents and real estate matters, including transfers of units, preparation of loan documents, preparation of opinions, review of resolutions, and eventual termination of partnership agreements.  Assist in negotiating low income housing tax credit partnerships, and other partnership arrangements as well as a variety of other developments. Associate General Counsel works with bond counsel in negotiating terms and conditions for bond issues and the preparation of opinions regarding the authority to issue bonds, approval of particular resolutions and actions of the Commission and preparation of certain documents.  Works with staff to negotiate agreements related to both conventional and bond financing of real estate transactions, coordinates with other counsel regarding landlord tenant matters, reviews and prepares contracts, provides counsel regarding personnel and procurement matters and compliance with the regulatory environment for the Commission’s programs and activities.


Please see below for further description of the Housing Opportunities and position responsibilities.

Minimum Qualifications:

·         Graduation from an accredited college or university, a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, and admission to and good standing with a bar of another state, and compliance with MD Code, Section 10-206(d), Business Occupations and Professions, with an understanding that a candidate might be required to gain admittance to the Maryland Bar in the future.  Current admission to the Maryland Bar is a strong preference.

·         Three (3) years or more experience as an attorney with experience in real estate finance and transactions, including preparation, review and negotiation of contracts and other transactional documents; affordable housing, including familiarity with HUD policies and procedures; and community development.

·         Experience with low-income housing or new markets tax credits, litigation (particularly tenant/landlord matters), government relations, administrative law (including land use/zoning matters) and/or personnel and labor relations is preferred.  Prior experience as an in-house attorney for a company in the housing and real estate industry also preferred.

·         Strong analytic, organizational, writing, negotiation and verbal communication skills. 

·         Ability to work independently when required, but also an ability to work well within a team dynamic team and communicate well with the General Counsel.

·         Familiarity with federal laws and regulations with respect to the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program and local government practices.

·         Understanding of Articles 12 and 16 of the Housing & Community Development Article as it applies to the Commission in order to appropriately apply the powers and functions of the agency.

·         Ability to represent the Commission in litigation, administrative, legislative and other public hearings.

·         Familiarity with the requirements for the issuance of various types of tax exempt bonds including public information requirements (TEFRA). 

·         Ability to provide advice to staff on all legal matters relating to its operations and programs, interpret laws, regulations and Court decisions, and be able to prepare advisory opinions on these matters.

·         A positive attitude, willingness to work hard, diligence and thoroughness.

·         Ability to work under pressure and perform efficiently with time-sensitive matters.

·         Flexibility and an ability to learn quickly in a dynamic environment.

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted.   Low income residents in Montgomery County with the above qualifications are encouraged to apply.

The Commission conducts criminal background checks, employment reference checks, and where applicable, reviews driving records in determining suitability for employment.  Selected applicants will be required to submit to pre-employment drug and alcohol screening.  Employment is contingent upon drug and alcohol test results.


Eligible Applicants:                           Unlimited

Minimum Starting Salary:              Salary Commensurate With Experience

Position Number and Grade:         EE08, Grade 30

Driver’s License:                                Required

Financial Disclosure:                        Public

Posting Date:                                    June 20, 2014

Closing Date:                                     Open Until Filled


To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume or application to the Human Resources Office.  Please reference the Position Title and Position Number on your resume and/or cover letter when applying for this position.   

PLEASE NOTE: The Commission’s Career and Term employees must submit employment applications within 5 business days of posting Date in order to receive first consideration.


The Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Housing Opportunities Commission Background and Position Highlights

The Commission has broad authority to perform its mission of providing affordable housing and supportive services.  The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County is a housing authority established under the provisions of Titles 12 and 16 of the Housing and Community Development Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  It initially began operations as a traditional public housing authority in 1966.  In 1974, its powers were expanded to allow it to provide housing for persons of eligible income as determined by the County Executive pursuant to a contract with Montgomery County.  It was enabled to develop mixed income housing known as “Opportunity Housing” provided that at least 20% of the units were occupied by persons eligible for federal subsidy.  At the same time the Commission was empowered to issue tax exempt bonds to provide funds for purchases by qualifying individuals of single family houses and to finance construction of multi-family housing for persons of eligible income.

During the last 35 years, the Commission has acquired and developed and maintained a large inventory of units.  Some were acquired under the County’s MPDU program or through purchases of existing multi-family projects and others were built on land acquired by the agency.  It has also entered into a number of partnerships with private entities to build and/or  acquire and operate mixed income units under a variety of state and federal housing programs while continuing to operate the  public housing and Housing Choice Voucher program in  the County. Further, with the issuance of bonds it has provided financing for individual home loans and for a number of privately operated buildings which offer a portion of the units for the families served by the Commission.

The Commission is governed by a seven member Commission appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the Council.  It has approximately 350 employees working in several locations.  The Executive Director is the highest ranking officer of the agency and serves at the pleasure of the Commission. Its central offices are located at 10400 Detrick Avenue in Kensington, MD.  It also has offices in Gaithersburg and Silver Spring as well as employees stationed as managers of elderly housing and family communities.  The agency operates through various divisions ranging from Property Management to Mortgage Finance to Resident Services.  Currently, the Commission owns or manages some 13,000 units in the County.


The Associate General Counsel will be a member of the Office of General Counsel and will work closely with the General Counsel and senior staff at the agency. There are monthly meetings of the Commission where the Associate General Counsel may be expected to interact with the Commissioners.  The Associate General Counsel must be able to attend and participate in these monthly evening Commission meetings, in addition to any additional Special Session or Executive Sessions of the Commissioners, upon request of the General Counsel or senior Executive Staff members.   


The Commission normally performs its business through committees that review recommendations of the staff.  The committees consist of three Commissioners who meet regularly each month to consider an agenda of items prepared by the staff.  Once approved, the matters are then taken up by the full Commission.  The Associate General Counsel will be expected to attend select committee meetings, occasionally prepare materials for consideration, and serve as the primary Office of General Counsel representative at such committee meetings.

The Office of General Counsel regularly reviews materials and resolutions in advance of presentation to the Commission.  At Commission meetings, the General Counsel assists in answering questions, providing information and offering advice with respect to pending actions.  The Associate General Counsel will be expected to coordinate with the General Counsel in preparation for such Commission meetings and may be called upon to answer specific questions at the Commission meetings. 

The Office of General Counsel advises the Commission staff in connection with a variety of general matters not related to real estate or housing matters, such as general transaction contracts, procurement decisions, agency policies, memoranda of understanding, and licensing matters.   The Office of General Counsel may be involved in all types of operational and governance matters, not just those that are common to the conduct of housing authorities and government agencies, but also to for-profit corporations, educators, developers or non-profits.  The Associate General Counsel will be required to research, review, prepare memos, and respond to inquiries for the Commission staff and the General Counsel.

The Office of General Counsel is expected to provide opinions in a variety of contexts.  Regular audits are made of the Commission finances as well as those of its related entities, which require the disclosure and discussion of pending or threatened litigation.  Opinions are also necessary in connection with the issuance of bonds by the Commission, with lease- purchase and banking relationships, agreements with related entities and for a variety of financial transactions. Familiarity with both County and state law applicable to the agency and the processes for authorizing actions will be required. The Associate General Counsel will be expected to prepare and coordinate with the General Counsel in the issuance of opinions.

The Commission receives regular inquiries from the public for information and documents.  Primarily, the responses are controlled by the State Public Information Act.  However, Office of General Counsel provides interpretations of the requirements and assists in preparation of responses to inquiries, subpoenas, etc.   The Associate General Counsel may be required to research and prepare memoranda on such matters.

The Office of General Counsel coordinates regularly with human resources staff in processing personnel matters.  Chiefly, this involves determinations of appropriate reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and the conduct of disciplinary proceedings for both union represented and non-represented employees. Most disciplinary actions are handled under the Commission’s Personnel Policy by the Human Resources office directly, but on rare occasions, an appeal of a decision of the Executive Director is filed and an arbitrator makes a final decision.  Depending on the circumstances, the Office of General Counsel may represent the agency in these proceedings.  The Associate General Counsel will be required to work independently with the Commission’s staff and the outside counsel in this regard, as well as communicate and coordinate with the General Counsel on these matters.