MAYOR EMANUEL AND CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD CHAIR Z SCOTT ANNOUNCE EUGENE JONES AS ACTING CEO OF THE CHA
Jose Alvarez To Be Promoted to Chief of Staff; New Leadership Team Reaffirms Commitment to Build New Housing Opportunities Outlined in the 2012 Plan Forward
Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) board chair Z Scott today announced the nomination of Eugene Jones as Acting CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority. Jones is replacing Michael Merchant who is the leaving the post for other professional opportunities. Jose Alvarez will be promoted to become the organization’s new Chief of Staff.
“Gene Jones has a proven track record of being a solution driven leader in public housing,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Throughout his 30 year career, Gene has dedicated himself to providing residents’ quality, safe and affordable housing opportunities while building strategic partnerships with community organizations and promoting private sector investment in public housing. His expertise leading public housing authorities across the county is unprecedented and he will be an incredible asset to Chicago.”
Jones has extensive housing and real estate development experience working for public housing authorities in Detroit, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Orleans and California.
Most recently Jones was the CEO of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the largest social housing provider in Canada and the second largest in North America. In Toronto, Jones was instrumental in executing the development of three major housing projects, delivering more than 7,000 affordable housing units.
In Detroit, Gene successfully led the development of three long-outstanding development projects with HUD Hope VI funds that had been delayed for years
Jones is a solid and experienced housing manager having spearheaded turning around the public housing agencies in Detroit, Indianapolis and Kansas City where he was instrumental in improving performance to get them removed from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s trouble list.
As part of CHA’s strategic initiative, Plan Forward, CHA continues to build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago and to increase affordable housing opportunities for low-income families of this great city. CHA has created 9,000 new housing opportunities for Chicago residents since Mayor Emanuel took office. By the end of 2015 CHA plans to provide affordable housing vouchers to more than 43,000 families in need, an increase of more than 8,000 since 2011. The agency’s key mission is to help communities thrive and low-income residents increase their potential for long-term economic success and a high quality of life.
CHA is in the midst of multi-phased renovations for Altgeld Gardens –Murray Homes Development on the city’s Far South Side – that will improve housing options for thousands of families. This is part of CHA’s plan to invest $240M in 2015 to build affordable housing units across the City on top of the $135M spent last year to develop affordable housing for low-income families and seniors. CHA has a pipeline of development and capital projects that will spend existing reserves and maintaining a modest operating reserve in the next two years. In addition to the work beginning at Altgeld this summer, construction of new housing is currently underway at 5 locations across the city including Parkside development on the near north side, Park Boulevard and Legends South on the State Street Corridor in Bronzeville, Rosenwald in Bronzeville and Casa Queretaro in Pilsen.
CHA has also made a commitment to lease an additional 9,000 housing vouchers. A total of 3,000 housing vouchers were leased in 2014 and CHA is on target to lease 6,000 housing vouchers in 2015. So far this year, CHA has leased 2,800 vouchers increasing housing opportunities for those in need.
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