Mayor Continues Search for New CHA Head


Tenants from the Julia C. Lathrop Homes public housing complex on the North Side object to CHA's plans for their development during a recent CHA Board meeting in March. The new CHA CEO will have to decide Lathrop Homes' future. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still searching for the right person to head the Chicago Housing Authority.

Previous CHA CEO Lewis Jordan resigned his position two months ago after questions were raised about his and other CHA employees’ use of government-issued credit cards.

Former CHA board member Carlos Ponce is serving as interim CEO and overseeing the controversial effort to demolish or rehab all of its family and senior housing stock that officially began in January 2000.

The next Chicago Housing Authority chief, has to decide what to do with these vacant Cabrini-Green Rowhouses, awaiting its long overdue expected rehabilitation. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Emanuel’s press secretary, Tarrah C. Cooper, wrote in an e-mail, “The Mayor is looking for a candidate who knows how to manage complex real estate transactions and property in an urban environment. Also the new leader is taking over as the Plan for Transformation hits its 10th birthday and is in need of significant updating given the changing economy and real estate market.”

Other Chicago media outlets recently reported that Emanuel had a list of four candidates to potentially fill the position: Renee Glover, CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority; Lawrence Grisham of the Chicago-based Habitat Company; Keith Kinard, executive director of Newark, N.J., Housing Authority; and Charles Woodyard, president of the Charlotte, North Carolina, Housing Authority.

Cooper neither confirmed nor denied those were the people on Emanuel’s list of candidates to head the CHA. However, Atlanta Housing Authority CEO Glover said she was neither desirous of the CHA’s top position nor seeking to leave her current position: “There is no basis to the assertion that I am or would be interested in leaving AHA. I have absolutely no reason or intention of leaving the important work of community building we have undertaken at AHA.”

Glover’s spokesperson Rick White added, “As rewarding and exciting as it would be to work with Mayor Emanuel and the people of Chicago, Atlanta is Glover’s home and she has no desire or intention to leave,” he wrote in an email sent to Residents’ Journal and other news outlets.

Human rights protestors from around the country, made a detour through the Cabrini-Green Rowhouses, on their way to city hall to protest human right issues in Chicago, on June 21, 2010. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

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