portrait of ismael guerrero



For Immediate Release: Feb. 24, 2020

Contact: Kate Peterson | 303.830.3443 | kpeterson@mercyhousing.org

Guerrero selected for his extensive experience and visionary leadership in
affordable housing

DENVERMercy Housing, Inc., the nation’s largest affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, has named Ismael Guerrero as its new President and CEO. He will officially assume his role on July 1, 2020, and will lead the organization in its mission to create stable, vibrant and healthy communities. Mercy Housing develops, finances and operates program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs in 41 states.

Following a robust national search, Guerrero was selected based on his extensive track record of success at community-building through housing and neighborhood development, as well as his commitment to excellence, willingness to challenge the status quo and unwavering commitment to empowering the residents of the communities he serves.

Guerrero comes to Mercy Housing from the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA), where he served as executive director for more than 12 years. Under his direction, DHA became a nationally recognized leader in creative affordable housing development, neighborhood transformation initiatives, and entrepreneurial approaches to resident economic empowerment. Prior to DHA, Guerrero helped develop affordable multi-family housing throughout the Western United States as a business development officer with US Bancorp Community Development Corporation. He also spent close to three years as vice president and director of real estate development with Mercy Housing’s Mountain Plains regional office.

“My career has been dedicated to creating housing solutions, empowering residents and building healthy communities,” Guerrero said. “I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to lead Mercy Housing and to do so with a team that has consistently demonstrated a deep passion for and commitment to bringing hope and opportunity to individuals and families across the country.”

Guerrero joins Mercy Housing at a time when the organization is also rolling out a new five-year strategic plan. He will be responsible for overseeing the successful implementation of that plan, which includes five priority areas:

  • Inspire dreams through a refined resident impact model
  • Create and preserve homes for impact and efficiency
  • Proactively pursue strategic partnerships
  • Strengthen fundraising capabilities
  • Approach all of Mercy Housing’s work with racial equity, community partnerships, continuous improvement and guiding values in mind

“Ismael Guerrero truly embodies Mercy Housing’s core values of respect, justice and mercy,” said Sister Linda Werthmann, RSM, chair of the Mercy Housing board of trustees. “We cannot think of a better individual to lead us forward under our new strategic plan, and we have every confidence that he will have a substantial and lasting impact on both the organization and the affordable housing industry as a whole.”

Guerrero serves key roles on a number of affordable housing-related boards and committees, including the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, the National Housing Trust and the Colorado Health Foundation. He was appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock to serve on the City and County of Denver Housing Advisory Committee, and he is the current board chair of Denver Human Services. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Guerrero replaces Jane Graf, who is retiring from Mercy Housing after 33 years. She spent the last six years as the organization’s President and CEO. Guerrero will work closely with the Mercy Housing staff and board of trustees to transition into his new role.

About Mercy Housing, Inc.

Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI) is a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver. Established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1981, and in operation in 41 states, MHI has more than 38 years’ experience developing, preserving, managing and financing affordable housing. MHI supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHI’s subsidiaries further the organization’s mission: Mercy Housing Management Group (MHMG) offers professional property management and Mercy Community Capital (MCC) finances nonprofit organizations.

MHI serves tens of thousands of people with low incomes, including families, seniors, veterans, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. Its mission is to build a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy, and all people can live to their full potential. To learn more about MHI and the services it provides, visit mercyhousing.org.