"Well-crafted housing is a product of the intersection of history, economics, infrastructure, and people in a particular place. Our challenge is to develop high-density housing that reflects the values of home while being embedded in community."
Bruce is a leader in housing and community development in Atlanta. He has both founded and worked in organizations that have developed a remarkably wide range of housing, from affordable rental apartments to luxury condominiums and townhouses to supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness. He has served on numerous boards related to housing and social policy.
A native Atlantan, Bruce graduated with high honors from Georgia Tech and, a few years later, earned an MBA on a Scottish Rite Fellowship at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After bicycling across the country, he began his career with the First National Bank of Atlanta.
Reflecting what became a career-long obsession with directing business means toward social ends, Bruce left the bank after four years to co-found the investment advisory firm, Social Responsibility Investment Group. Shortly thereafter, he began to volunteer with a nonprofit organization that would change his life—Habitat for Humanity. Finding his passion and a match for his organizational and financial skills, Bruce eventually joined the board of Habitat Atlanta and later was honored to serve as Treasurer of the board of Habitat for Humanity International.
His experiences with Habitat, both locally and globally, led him to co-found Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. (PRI), which evolved from a small, neighborhood-based organization into the largest nonprofit developer and owner of affordable housing in Georgia. At its peak, PRI owned 27 apartment complexes and employed 150 people. The company developed and managed more than 4,000 units of affordable housing over its 25 year history.
After earning certificates in the executive programs at the Kennedy School and later at the business school at Harvard University, Bruce took a hiatus from PRI in the late 1990s to join legendary Atlanta developer Blaine Kelley as CFO and partner to pursue Blaine’s vision of developing the finest condominium in the city, 2500 Peachtree. We did just that. After completing the building and selling the partnership, Bruce returned as PRI’s President and CEO in 2001 and subsequently unwound its complex portfolio after the recession. Bruce then developed high-end townhouses for John Wieland's Chattahoochee Enterprises as VP of New Neighborhoods, until he started Civitas Housing Group in 2016. He is currently engaged in housing projects that include mixed-income for-sale houses, a mid-rise rental apartment, and a historic rehab.
He has been deeply involved in housing and civic affairs for decades, chairing the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Board and the inaugural BeltLine Affordable Housing Advisory Board. He has been a member of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia and a national Fannie Mae Fellow. For the past 25 years, Bruce has served on the Carter Center Board of Councilors and also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum and Church of the Common Ground (chair) and the Livable Communities Council of the Urban Land Institute. He has been a faithful member of the downtown Atlanta Rotary Club for over 25 years and St. Luke's Episcopal Church for more than 30 years, where he now serves on its Vestry and Finance Committee. He is happily married living intown with three wonderful children.
Atlanta's neighborhoods are centered on housing, but other essential elements make them thriving communities. Housing should connect to transit, trails and parks, schools, restaurants, places of worship, and grocery stores. Housing grounded in this approach will be more walkable, and its host community should be available to a range of incomes. Not only do people love to live in such housing, it will be more valuable.