Emila Sutton, Housing and Neighborhoods Director

Emila Sutton, Housing and Neighborhoods Director

Raleigh Names New Housing and Neighborhoods Director

Emila Sutton Assumes Role October 9

Bringing a full range of experience in affordable housing and homelessness, Emila Sutton will join the City of Raleigh as the new Housing and Neighborhoods Director. The City’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department includes programs for affordable housing, code enforcement, neighborhood enrichment, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and business development. 

Comprehensive Background

Sutton is currently a senior associate with the Technical Assistance Collaborative, a non-profit providing guidance, policy leadership, and consulting services to support the nation’s affordable housing, homelessness, human services, and health care systems.  Her recent projects include supporting implementation of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Housing Voucher program.

Ms. Sutton served at the federal level on HUD’s EHV leadership team and worked directly with groups in Charlotte, Chicago and New York City to roll out the program.  This ARPA-funded program has housed more people more quickly than any other federal voucher program to date. It leverages community partnerships to provide rent assistance and services to people experiencing homelessness.

Prior to joining TAC, Ms. Sutton led Housing and Community Development for Orange County where she quickly merged funding sources and community efforts to prevent residents from losing their homes at the start of the pandemic. Additionally, she initiated and managed a program that swiftly referred and connected people experiencing housing insecurity to stable, permanent housing.

She held several roles with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, ultimately leading policy and research for the self-funding public agency that has financed nearly 300,000 affordable units in the state. In her time with the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, she coordinated the Balance of State Continuum of Care program, which delivers homeless services to the 79 predominantly rural counties in North Carolina.

What Sutton Brings to City of Raleigh

“In Emila, we gain an accomplished housing professional with a diverse background with experience at the local, state, and federal levels.  I am excited to see her implement big ideas that both stabilize housing resources and grow our vibrant neighborhoods across the city,” said City Manager Marchell Adams-David. “We are looking forward to her joining the team.”

“With more people moving to Raleigh every day, we need a leader who understands the challenges of affordable housing, and who can find creative solutions while preserving the qualities that make our city a great place to live, work, play and learn,” said Assistant City Manager Evan Raleigh. “Emila’s in-depth experience shows that she can build the collaborations that will help our most vulnerable residents.”

Sutton began her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at a housing and social services agency and then served as a program manager for a regional United Way. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bridgewater College, a master’s degree in history from James Madison University, and a law degree from North Carolina Central University.

Sutton Assumes Role October 9

Speaking about her new role, Sutton said, “I am honored to accept the role of Director of Housing and Neighborhoods for the City of Raleigh, recognizing the city's dedication to equity and affordable housing. I look forward to listening, learning, and building relationships as we work together to provide safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents.”



Julia Milstead
Public Information Officer

Lead Department:
Housing and NeighborhoodsCommunicationsCommunity EngagementEquity and Inclusion