Deborah Ruane


Founder of Norwood Development Strategies LLC and Middlemarch Fund LLC

  • 30 years of experience in housing finance, government, and real estate development.
  • Experienced in financial markets including asset and risk management, compliance, and strategy.
  • Specialize in working with both private and public sectors, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Deborah N. Ruane is the President and Founder of Norwood Development Strategies, a consulting firm that specializes in providing solutions for the creation of multifamily housing to serve workforce families. Norwood Development Strategies was created to optimize Ms. Ruane’s experience in finance, real estate development and government by facilitating collaborative solutions for developers, financial institutions, and local jurisdictions to address housing shortages in major metropolitan areas.

Over the past three years, Norwood Development Strategies has been working with the Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate and the Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action at the University of San Diego to research housing production, with a primary focus on the impact of housing creation on our local middle-income community and economy. Through a partnership with Civic Communities, Ms. Ruane’s Middlemarch Fund closed on its first development transaction in January 2021. Apartment complexes that utilize Middlemarch Funds provide housing to middle-income individuals and families and is the first of its kind in San Diego. The Middlemarch Fund was created to address the housing crisis by creating a continuum of rental options between subsidized, low-income housing and market rate units. Ms. Ruane is currently fundraising for the third group of middle-income developments in San Diego County and intends to continue scaling throughout other major markets.

Ms. Ruane has been in the real estate and financial markets for over 30 years, with the last 20 years spent exclusively on affordable housing finance and development. As Senior Vice President with Bank of America’s Community Development Banking Group, she managed a team to provide loans to the for-profit and non-profit development community to create affordable housing in Southern California. Following Bank of America, Ms. Ruane was Vice President of Affordable Housing Development at Fairfield Residential, a nationwide developer of multifamily housing and had responsibility for the Pacific Northwest regions. In this capacity, Ms. Ruane worked on the financing and development of affordable housing in partnership with cities/counties and non-profit organizations.

Most recently, Ms. Ruane was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for the San Diego Housing Commission and oversaw Real Estate Development, Policy, and Strategy for the agency. She studied Business Administration and Engineering and has a Master of Science degree from the Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego. Ms. Ruane has served as Adjunct Professor of Real Estate at the Point Loma Nazarene University and is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of San Diego’s Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate and the Knauss School of Business. She is a member of real estate organizations focused on housing policy in California, in addition to participating as a Chair of the Finance Committee for the San Diego Building Industry Association and a board member of The Lucky Duck Foundation (focused on homelessness).