Russ Watson


Russ Watson

Russ Watson
Russ Watson served for ten years as the Housing and Redevelopment Manager for the City of Thousand Oaks (2002 – 2012), and has extensive local government experience with focus on redevelopment, affordable housing, and economic development programs.
Russ has work experience with state-wide professional associations serving as the Deputy Director for the California Redevelopment Association (1997 – 2002).  Russ currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund and Ventura County non-profit known as Housing Opportunities Made Easier and is a volunteer member serving as Chairperson for the Thousand Oaks, Council on Aging, Senior Adult Master Plan – Housing Committee. Other California work experience includes serving as the Economic Development Director, City of Brentwood (1994 – 1997); Assistant Redevelopment Director, City of Lancaster (1983 – 1994); and Redevelopment Program Specialist, City of Eureka (1977 – 1983).



Russ’s work experience and accomplishments include:

  • Preparation and administration of multi-million dollar budgets,
  • Staff supervision,
  • Project and program administration – designed to stimulate economic development and expand affordable housing opportunities.
    (Previously this has lead Russ to secure over $100M in development investments by leveraging $30M local funds and leading to the construction and/or rehabilitation of over 600 affordable housing units),
  • As well as, administering multiple community benefit programs such as Rent Stabilization, Owner Occupancy Exemption, Community Development Block Grant, Residential Rehabilitation, Commercial Revitalization, and Tenant Based Rental Assistance (HCD/HOME Funds).

Russ has managed member services and membership development programs for state-wide professional associations serving over 400 public agency and private associate members, implemented Redevelopment Advisory Service programs securing and leading professional consultants selected to performing site visits designed to identify community problems and solutions, participated in program development and implementation of professional conferences and workshops including program development, monitor and analysis of proposed legislation.

Additionally, Russ has experience with establishing two Business Improvement Districts in downtown business areas, the development of a community homeless shelter, and preparing applications and administration of various Federal Grants and Loan programs including CBBG, HOME and State HCD grants.
Education:  Bachelors of Science Degree – Urban Planning – California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Russ and his wife Lynn live in Thousand Oaks.