Pilar Sanchez is a Vice President at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA), where she has served the most vulnerable residents of Austin for over 19 years. Pilar has an entrepreneurial spirit; she has been instrumental in leading, starting or repairing multiple special programs at the Housing Authority. In 1997 she was hired to reorganize the admissions department that was causing bottlenecks and delaying housing assistance to the thousands of families on the waitlist. In 2000 she was tasked with building HACA’s first subsidiary from the ground up. She hired and trained over 50 new employees to carry out a large contract awarded to the Authority. In 2008, she brokered a three-tiered partnership and oversaw the creation of a business development resource center in East Austin. The business incubator was owned and funded by the Authority (her employer), the Hispanic Chamber was responsible for public relations and executive oversight of the incubator (she was a board member), and the Hispanic Technology Institute of Austin was responsible for day to day operations (she was board chair of HTIA). The incubator has since become an independent non- profit, EGB, but is still financially supported by HACA. Most recently, she is co-leading the Authority’s modernization and redevelopment of their 18 affordable housing properties.
Pilar was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and moved to Austin in 1989 to attend the University of Texas. Ms. Sanchez has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, and an Executive Masters in Public Leadership from the UT LBJ School of Public Affairs. The youngest of 8 children, she lives in Austin, Texas with her loving husband, John Hernandez and beautiful 9 year old daughter, Victoria.