After around three and a half years in the position, the director of New York City's public housing organization is leaving.
At the Thursday board meeting, NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ will formally submit his resignation, the organization announced. His impending resignation was originally mentioned by news source The City on Wednesday morning.
In August 2019, former mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Russ chair and CEO of the extensive public housing system of the city.
As numerous complexes implemented the contentious Rental Assistance Demonstration-Permanent Affordability Commitment Together, or RAD-PACT, scheme, Russ assumed control.
NYCHA Needs $40-Billion
Under Russ, NYCHA unveiled a new scheme to hand over some structures to a public "Preservation Trust," which would then use Section 8 cash as the primary source of federal support for units.
The expected capital needs for NYCHA are $40 billion, and the organization anticipates a wider budget imbalance for the following year as a result of unpaid rent.
After decades of underfunding, NYCHA and city officials, including Mayor Eric Adams, claim that the Preservation Trust and RAD-PACT plans are meant to generate revenue for the cash-strapped agency. However, both have come under fire from locals worried about privatization, evictions, and future conditions.
The Preservation Trust concept was formally adopted by state lawmakers last year.
As The Agency Director, Russ Might Reach $430,000 Annually
Though many more call NYCHA home, only over 370,000 New Yorkers are officially allowed to reside in the 177,000 apartments of the public housing agency.
Russ commuted from his home in Minnesota, where he had previously run the public housing agency for Minneapolis, throughout his stint as the agency's director. His salary as the CEO and chair of NYCHA might reach $430,000 annually.
In September 2022, NYCHA divided the roles; Russ remained chair while Lisa Bova-Hiatt, the organization's former lawyer, assumed the role of temporary CEO and reduced Russ' pay to $258,000.
As a result of a lead paint crisis, NYCHA was under increased federal scrutiny throughout Russ' tenure as chair and CEO. In November, a federal monitor said the agency had made progress in addressing some infrastructure problems.
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