Lopa Kolluri has experienced the multifamily world from many different angles.
As the former deputy chief of staff for operations and strategy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kolluri brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role as vice president of operations at Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties, the nation's most active affordable housing developer last year.
A 15-year veteran of the multifamily industry, Kolluri's varied background also includes stints in state government, the nonprofit world, and private developers.
Kolluri started her career serving three years at the U.S. State Department as a financial economist. She also served as the assistant state treasurer for economic development for the State of New Jersey, and director of housing and community resources for New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, from 2003 to 2008.
Kolluri also had a three-year stint as the vice president of development at Lawrenceville, N.J.-based Community Investment Strategies, a developer of mixed-use redevelopments, and market-rate and affordable housing.
As such, Kolluri brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to her new role of managing Pennrose’s development team, evaluating hiring needs and prioritizing employee allocation.
“I think being able to see not only the policy changes that are happening in government, but also being able to implement those policy changes in a practical sense in non-profit and private sectors has been very exciting for me,” Kolluri says.
One of the most important challenges for her, and everyone involved in affordable housing, is the budgetary shift occurring at both a federal and state level. But there’s still plenty of support for affordable housing in all levels of government, and Kolluri plans to tap her deep roots in both to help bridge gaps between the public and private sector.
“Whether its innovation or streamlined programs, I’ve had exposure both in Washington and at the state level in New Jersey to the kinds of changes we’ll likely see for some time,” she says. “What makes my opportunity to work at Pennrose exciting is helping them adapt to these policies and environmental changes.”
Kolluri is quick to point out the successes of Pennrose that were already in place before her arrival. And she merely wants to be a feeder for the company’s long-term growth.
“If I can be an added oar in the water, then I welcome that,” she says.
-Linsey Isaacs is an assistant editor with Multifamily Executive magazine. Follow her on twitter @LinseyI to continue this conversation.