Helen Lehman – Executive Director


Executive Director of New Development since 2001, Helen loves housing. She works with paid contractors, realtors, appraisers and volunteers to acquire, rehab and sell houses to eager homeowners. Prior to that she worked for the Creston Neighborhood Association, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and as a consultant.
A graduate of Aquinas College, Helen hails originally from Cadillac.  Helen is on the board of the Mi State Land Bank Authority, is a volunteer for Catherine’s Health Center and is on the Policy Committee for the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.  Helen spends free time with husband James and their assorted critters – two dogs, cat, grandson Harvey  and multiple chickens.

Get to know Helen:

What do you actually do all day?
No two days are alike, but I generally work with our team – contractors, grantors, neighbors – to acquire and build affordable housing.

What is the best part of your job?
Going to the closing table and handing someone keys to their first house. It gives me goosebumps every time!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would clone previously adored pets and people so that I could spend time with them again.

What does “Home” mean to you?

It means kicking off the shoes and relaxing with friends and family.

If your house could talk, what would it say to you?
“PLEASE, fill the nail holes in my trim and finish the final coat of paint”

If you could have dinner with any community activist, past or present, who would it be? What would you ask him or her?
I would love to spend and afternoon with Eleanor Roosevelt and would ask about her what she thinks we should do to protect our world.