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Donicia Irizarry - Director of Operations at One Wall Communities

Mission Success: Serving Middle-Income Residents When Costs Increase

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OneWall’s Donicia Irizarry talks about what it’s like to work in workforce housing today and shares details about her two-decade-long career.

Donicia Irizarry grew up in the real estate industry, climbing the corporate ladder one step at a time. After spending a few years in hospitality and banking, she accepted a multifamily sales and leasing consultant role in 2007. Throughout the years, she also served as a community manager, maintenance specialist, customer service professional and others. Today, she is the Director of Operations at OneWall Communities, a workforce housing owner, investor and manager in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

As she reflects on her career so far, Irizarry remembers how hard it was for her as an African American woman to find someone in a leadership role that shared her background and that she could look up to. Although the industry changed a lot and more women have assumed executive roles in the past decade, she says there’s still a long way to go to improve representation at an executive level.

Among the most challenging things about working in the workforce housing industry today, she mentions the balancing act of offering affordable housing to a renter base that underpins the U.S. economy while still maintaining the properties in this high-cost environment.

Press play for the September episode of Mission Success: Women in Multifamily, hosted by Multi-Housing News Senior Editor Laura Calugar! Here’s what you’ll hear about:

  • Donicia’s professional journey (0:58)
  • Most difficult things throughout her career (4:17)
  • The impact of her onsite experience (6:48)
  • Top challenges for workforce housing owner-operators today (9:22)
  • Defining characteristics of workforce housing properties (12:05)
  • Strategies to attract and retain workforce housing residents (14:03)
  • How to help residents build credit (15:49)
  • The most in-demand amenities at OneWall properties (18:57)
  • Donicia’s plans for the rest of the year (20:30)
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (22:00)

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