Michael NicholsFebruary 29, 2024 — Mayor John Whitmire announced he is appointing Michael C. Nichols, former president and chief executive officer of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, as the City of Houston’s next director of the Housing and Community Development Department (HCD), pending approval from Houston City Council.

Nichols succeeds Keith Bynam, whose retirement Mayor Whitmire accepted Tuesday after 32 years as an HCD employee, the last three as director. Mayor Whitmire’s administration thanked Bynam for his years of service and contributions to the City of Houston.

While at the Coalition, Nichols was credited with building robust financial sustainability and compliance programs, establishing a competent and effective finance and compliance team, and improving the interdisciplinary team’s approach to budgeting and contract processes. Nichols has an exemplary record of service in both the private and nonprofit sectors. He has three decades of experience as a senior officer in Houston’s food distribution industry at SYSCO Corporation and Grocers Supply. He has previously served as interim chief executive officer of the Houston Parks. Nichols graduated from Brown University with a degree in history and received his juris doctorate from Emory University.

“Mike Nichols is the right person to lead the City’s housing department at the right time. We must rebuild Houstonians’ trust and confidence following HCD’s handling of disaster recovery, continue to repair and replace homes lost and damaged during Harvey, and create additional single and multifamily affordable housing options. I expect Mike to work collaboratively with the Houston Housing Authority, Houston Permitting Office, Harris County Community Services Department, and other City, county, state, and federal entities,” Mayor Whitmire said. “I look forward to working with Mike and seeing the positive impact his experience and leadership will create in the department.”

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department focuses on improving opportunities for all Houstonians to access safe homes they can afford in communities where they can thrive. The department works closely with service providers and developers across the City to improve the quality of life for Houston residents.

“I am ready to go to work to implement Mayor Whitmire’s vision to make Houston a better place to work and live. We can do that by improving and revitalizing Houston neighborhoods,” Nichols said. “At the Coalition for the Homeless, I worked to improve the government’s approach to the issue of homelessness and expand private/public partnerships. I will work with Houstonians across the community and with governmental agencies to address one of our City’s most pressing challenges: affordable housing. My goal will be to make Houston the most pro-housing city in the nation by building collaboration and capacity.”

Nichols is expected to begin his new role as Interim Director on Monday, March 4th, 2024. Mayor Whitmire will ask Houston City Council to confirm Nichols as the permanent Director in the next several weeks.