• Lissette Castañeda
  • Commissioner
Commissioner Lissette Castañeda

Lissette Castañeda comes to the role of DOH commissioner with two decades of experience in affordable housing development, housing services, and organizational leadership. Castañeda is tasked with streamlining the affordable housing development process as per Mayor Brandon Johnson’s recent executive order and expanding homeownership to Chicagoans in historically disinvested communities.

Castañeda has served as the Executive Director for LUCHA, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling agency as well as a Community Housing Development Organization since 2019, overseeing its affordable real estate portfolio and leading implementation of its strategic plan.

Prior to serving at LUCHA, Castañeda served as the Interim Executive Director and the Director of Community Engagement for the Center for Changing Lives, where she worked to expand economic opportunities and revitalize neighborhoods across Chicago.

Castañeda has served on a number of boards including Palenque LSNA, Chicago Housing Trust, Illinois Housing Council and the Chicago Rehab Network.

For Castañeda, stable, affordable housing is a cornerstone of community safety, economic development and mental health. She is honored to serve in this role where she can spearhead new housing developments while ensuring Chicagoans have the services they need to stay in their homes for the long term.

Jim Horan Portrait

Jim Horan
Managing Deputy Commissioner


Jim Horan serves as Managing Deputy Commissioner, overseeing the Department’s bureaus of Construction and Compliance; Multi-Family Finance; Homeownership; Community Engagement and Racial Equity; Policy; and Housing Preservation. With the City of Chicago since 2001, Horan has worked in community building for over 22 years, long prioritizing the right to quality housing for all Chicagoans.

Between 2018 and 2023, Horan provided leadership, vision, and oversight to ensure efficient and accountable operations within the five units that make up DOH's Construction and Compliance Bureau, including long term monitoring of the over 400 properties within the City’s affordable housing portfolio; oversight and approval of the construction phase, contractor activity and payments for multi-family buildings; monitoring and reporting on minority and woman contractor participation; enforcement of the Davis Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements; and all aspects of construction management for work performed under for the Home Repair Program (HRP), formerly the Roof and Porch Program, and senior small repair program.

For 2024, Horan played an integral role in the expansion of the HRP and the Department’s contractual agreements with seven new delegate agencies and general contractors, six of which are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). These partnerships are just one of the ways the Department has recently scaled up its support of BIPOC communities and wealth building.

Before joining DOH, Horan held positions in various divisions within the Department of Planning and Development. Over the years he has worked on community economic development efforts to revitalize neighborhoods on the south and west sides of the city, including planned developments, economic development, affordable housing, and financial incentives for providers of affordable housing.

Horan holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

 Natashia HamiltonNatasha Hamilton
Managing Deputy Commissioner


Natasha Hamilton (she/her/ella) is imagining a future that centers collective care and liberatory transformation. Natasha is an educator, liberatory coach, facilitator, and consultant who works with people to deepen systems consciousness and to build organizational capacity for equity leadership. As a healing justice professional and a specialist in culturally responsive pedagogy and praxis, Natasha works to disrupt patterns that perpetuate dehumanization and is deeply committed to driving impact through collective care and mindful accountability. She has partnered with nonprofit organizations, postsecondary institutions, school communities, administrators, educators, students, and families locally and nationally, to create equity-centered best practices to guide the implementation of school- and organization-wide initiatives, high quality training, coaching, and intervention programs.

As a Managing Deputy Commissioner within the Department of Housing (DOH), Natasha brings nearly 20 years of educational leadership and program management experience to the Bureau of Community Engagement, Racial Equity, and Strategic Initiatives (CERESI), where she is collaborating across programs, with sister agencies, community partners, and community members to rebuild relationships and plant the seeds for equity, accountability, and repair.


Daniel HertzDaniel Hertz
Director of Policy, Research, and Legislative Affairs 




Daniel Kay Hertz serves as Director of Policy, Research and Legislative Affairs for DOH. He has been a key driver of many of the department’s most impactful policies and programs including the anti-deconversion ordinances for Pilsen and The 606 designed to reduce displacement of low- to moderate-income residents while also maintaining the existing character and housing stock, the Inclusionary
Housing Task Force process leading to the introduction of major revisions to the city's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, and the execution of two rounds of COVID-19 rental assistance grants, which
provided nearly 10,000 households financially impacted by COVID-related shutdowns with much-needed funds. Hertz will lead a third round of assistance beginning Spring 2021.

Prior to joining DOH in 2019, Hertz, a Chicago native, served as Research Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, where he worked on state and local fiscal policy issues, and Senior Fellow at City Observatory, an urban policy think tank.

Hertz is the author of The Battle of Lincoln Park: Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Chicago, about gentrification in Lincoln Park during the 1960s. In his free time, he likes to read novels and books about Chicago history and bike to the bird sanctuary at Montrose Harbor.


Irma MoralesIrma L. Morales
Deputy Commissioner



Irma L. Morales is Deputy Commissioner for DOH’s Bureau of Homeownership Programs. Her experience includes over 25 years working with single family housing and residential lending and has served with the department since 2006.

Morales directly oversees Housing Delegate Agency Contracts, home repair grants for owner-occupants, Purchase Price Assistance, compliance of resale and subordinations of existing affordable homes, and Single-Family Development - City Lots for Working Families.

Prior to joining DOH, Morales served as the Director of New Lending Partnerships and Alliances for Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS). During her tenure at NHS, she maintained public and private partnerships for the Home Ownership Program Initiative, a national laboratory in which non-profits, lenders, and government entities collaborated in innovative solutions for the then-ensuing foreclosure crisis.


Tamra CollinsTamra Collins
Deputy Commissioner



Tamra Collins serves as Deputy Commissioner for the Housing Development Bureau for DOH. The Bureau includes the Housing Finance Division (Multifamily Finance and Asset Management) and the Neighborhood Development and Housing Preservation Division, including the Troubled Buildings Initiative, Micro-Market Recovery Program, Community Receiver, Chicago Neighborhood Rebuild pilot program, and Tax Increment Financing Purchase Rehab.

Prior to her current role, Collins’ nearly two decades of experience includes as Project Coordinator and Financial Planning Analyst (FPA) with both DOH and the Department of Planning and Development, where together with local elected officials, developers, nonprofits, and community organizations she worked to bring safe, decent and affordable housing and economic development to the residents of Chicago. Collins has expertise in the financial analysis and underwriting of multi-family financing projects utilizing private and public resources including land, Tax-Increment Financing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt Bonds, Community Development Block Grants, and HOME Investments Partnership Programs. In addition to her duties as an FPA, Collins served as team lead in technical assistance and departmental liaison to All Chicago’s Continuum of Care, which works to prevent and end homelessness throughout all 77 communities.

Collins is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Baton Rouge, LA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. 


Rima Alsammarae

Rima Alsammarae
Director of Public Affairs


Rima Alsammarae strives to increase and enhance the engagement and communication between the Department of Housing and the public, spreading awareness of the department’s programs, grants, and projects. Creating clear and open pathways to DOH’s work is of paramount importance to her, as she values transparency and equitable accessibility to information.

Prior to joining DOH, Rima worked as a journalist and editor in Dubai and Beirut, where she covered the fields of architecture and development with a particular lens on the Near East and North Africa. Her work has shaped both her understanding of the NENA region’s varied historical development, as well as her passion for global urbanization. To Rima, cities are more than just dense urban centers – they’re the backdrop of the day-to-day for most of the world’s population. Cities are living organisms that need constant care.

Rima received an editorial award for an article she wrote and produced in 2018 on the great Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji, and obtained her Master’s in Urban Resilience from UIC Barcelona in 2022. In 2020, she co-founded a bilingual website named Round City, which publishes academic and journalistic pieces on architecture and development in both English and Arabic.


Department Facts


I Want To