John founded Oculus CAS, LLC in 2019 to provide targeted, value-added support to participants in the affordable housing and community development sector. With a focus on delivering practical, hands-on service in a cost-effective manner, Oculus enables its clients to achieve greater results, outcomes and profitability.
John has over 25 years of professional experience in a variety of capacities within the housing and community development arena, including as a senior executive within a State Housing Finance Agency, the lending director for a national Community Development Financial Institution, director of affordable housing development for a nationally-focused non-profit developer, and as an affordable housing consultant.
Throughout his career, John has played a key role in the planning, design, financing and implementation of numerous housing and community development programs that have resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of units of affordable rental housing, the growth of non-profits and small businesses, the implementation of large-scale redevelopment projects, and other high profile and high impact projects and programs.
During 16+ years of service at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, John served in a variety of positions, rising to the level of Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Community Development Administration (CDA), the State’s Housing Finance Agency and Housing Credit Agency. In that capacity, John oversaw of a staff of over 150 professionals running programs that provided nearly $1 billion in financing annually for homebuyers, low- and moderate-income renters, energy efficiency and small business lending.
John also served as Director of Lending for NeighborWorks Capital, a nationally-focused Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing real estate development capital for the 250+ members of the NeighborWorks America network. In that role, he was responsible for business development activities, as well as ensuring credit quality of lending. While operating in a highly competitive marketplace, annual lending volume nearly tripled to $44 million during his tenure.
John was Director of New Project Development for HELP USA, a nationally-focused non-profit developer of supportive housing for the homeless from 1997-2001, and from 1992-1997 was a financial and management consultant specializing in affordable housing for non-profit and government clients.
· University of Pennsylvania – Master of City Planning
· University of Pennsylvania – Certificate of Urban Design
· University of Virginia – Bachelor of City Planning
· National Housing Trust Community Development Fund (current)
· Institute for Community Economics (current)
· Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (current)
· Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (former)
· Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Community Investment Council (former)
· Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development – 2001 to 2012; 2015 to 2019
· NeighborWorks Capital – 2012 to 2015
· HELP USA / HELP Development Corporation – 1997 to 2001
· Fairmount Ventures – 1992 to 1997