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Posted on: August 28, 2019

Orange County names new Director of Housing and Community Development

Photo of Emila Sutton

Emila Sutton, who has more than 15 years of experience related to affordable housing and community development, has been named Orange County’s next Director of Housing and Community Development.

"Housing is a social determinant of health and has a significant impact on the lives of individuals, families, and children. I am honored and thrilled at the opportunity to serve our community by working with colleagues, stakeholders, and community members to create more safe, quality affordable housing opportunities in Orange County."

Sutton comes to Orange County from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, where she has worked since November 2012. 

At NCHFA, she was responsible for the evaluation and analysis of more than $48 million in federal and state affordable housing funding to include the N.C. Housing Trust Fund, HOME, and the National Housing Trust Fund. She led a successful effort to measure the impact of affordable housing programs on North Carolinians and oversaw the team responsible for research, assessment, data analysis, and policies associated with federal and state funds administered by NCHFA. 

Prior to joining NCHFA, she worked with the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness for two years as a Project Specialist and Balance of State Continuum of Care Coordinator. She coordinated homelessness funding for 79 mostly rural counties in the state. She has managed community development programs and has worked in direct service to those experiencing homelessness.  

“We are excited to have Emila join our team,” said Orange County Manager Bonnie Hammersley. “Her extensive knowledge of Federal and state guidelines and best practices relating to housing and community development will help us bring more affordable housing opportunities to Orange County.”

Sutton earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bridgewater College, a master’s degree in History from James Madison University, and in May 2017 earned a law degree from N.C. Central University.

Sutton was chosen after a nationwide search. Her first day will be Sept. 23.


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