Marin Housing Authority chief resigns Las Vegas post

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The head of the Marin Housing Authority has resigned to head the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority in Las Vegas.

Dennis Rodoni, chairman of the Marin County Supervisory Board, said in an email on Wednesday that Lewis Jordan had tendered his resignation on Tuesday and that his last day of work would be December 31.

“I want to thank Lewis Jordan for his service to the Housing Authority and appreciate his hard work during these very difficult times,” Rodoni wrote.

Jordan did not respond to a request for comment. His appointment as executive director was confirmed at a meeting of authorities in Las Vegas on December 16, according to an audio recording released by the agency online.

“I am delighted to be entering here on January 3,” Jordan told the authority commissioners after being introduced at the meeting. “Hit the ground while running.” Have my license changed. Become an official resident here.

Jon Gresley, Acting Director of the Las Vegas Authority, told Commissioners: “I was very impressed with his experience and his journey. I am very familiar with the challenges that the Marin Housing Authority has faced over the years. I strongly support this candidate.

Las Vegas Commissioner Valarie Craig said: “I was impressed with his accolades. I am very comfortable with this choice. I’m just looking forward to a brighter and better day.

Jordan’s warm welcome to Las Vegas contrasts sharply with a vocal group of Marin critics who posted a petition on Change.org on Nov. 21 calling for Jordan’s ouster. The petition has been signed by over 1,500 people.

“I’m glad he’s gone. That’s the bottom line, ”said Royce McLemore, chairman of the Golden Gate Village Residents’ Council and longtime opponent of Jordan.

“He kicked Women Helping All People as well as Performing Stars out of some of the units we were using because he said it was supposed to be to house people,” McLemore said. “He didn’t believe in the resident business, he preferred to hire people from an employment agency.”

The Women Helping All People organization that McLemore helped found ran a small K-8 school in three public housing units until Jordan pulled two out because he said they were needed to house tenants. disabled.

Felecia Gaston, executive director of the nonprofit Performing Stars, said of Jordan’s departure: “It’s a good way to get into 2022. I just feel like the voices of the residents weren’t heard from Jordan. “

The Régie de l’Habitat du Marin is a public establishment governed by a commission appointed by the Supervisory Board. The commission is made up of seven members – five supervisors and two tenants of social housing. The authority oversees 496 public housing units, including 296 in the Golden Gate Village in Marin City, and 2,187 federal housing bonds.

Jordan’s move to Las Vegas will come with a big pay rise. At Marin, Jordan received an annual salary of $ 185,937, plus a monthly car allowance of $ 800. On December 14, the Marin Housing Authority Council of Commissioners awarded him a bonus of $ 7,500.

In Las Vegas, Jordan will receive an annual salary of $ 248,500 plus a monthly car allowance of $ 1,000. He will also receive a one-time payment of $ 16,000 to help him relocate.

The Marin Housing Authority hired Jordan in October 2012 for an annual salary of $ 169,456. He replaced Dan Nackerman, who held the position for four years.

Prior to arriving in Marin, Jordan was the CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority for three and a half years, and before that, he headed the Cook County Housing Authority and the Rockford Housing Authority in Illinois.

According to a June 2011 Chicago Tribune article, Jordan resigned his post with the Chicago Housing Authority “over questions about the use of his credit card.”

The Tribune article said Jordan billed more than $ 12,800 for meals between March 2008 and early April 2011, including a bill of $ 1,008 for 14 people.

Jordan was quoted in the article as saying, “The fees in question amount to approximately $ 15,000 over three years, were not used for any personal expense, and were in accordance with the policies and practices of the CHA and HUD. .

Marin County Administrator Matthew Hymel said supervisors were aware of the issues with Jordan’s credit card use when he was hired, but did not consider them serious enough to derail his hiring.

Jordan’s departure comes at a difficult time for the housing authority as it struggles to meet a federal deadline to develop a rehabilitation plan for a large public housing project in Marin City.

The Change.org petition demanded Jordan’s replacement because he was trying to move forward with a $ 387 million plan that would have rehabilitated all existing apartments in Golden Gate Village and built 156 new affordable residences, including 48 for old people.

The plan called for the demolition of two low-rise buildings and an administration building. The existing tenants would have been temporarily moved to new apartments while theirs was under construction.

The petition says Jordan has ignored the wishes of the Golden Gate Village Residents’ Council, which has strongly opposed any further development.

Pat Ravasio, a Corte Madera real estate agent who organized the petition, said she was among a group of people who took an interest in the matter after George Floyd died in 2020.

“I started this petition because there didn’t seem to be any other way to argue that Marin’s long history of systemic racism cannot continue,” Ravasio said. “I am one of those who believe that repairs must be made to heal our society.”

So far, however, the Residents’ Council’s alternative plan, which focuses strictly on repairing existing units, leaves a number of questions unanswered.

These include how the works would be paid, where residents would live while their homes were being repaired, and where households who illegally occupy homes larger than they need will be accommodated. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development said there were 72 such households, including many seniors.

“I’ll tell you where the money should come from and I think it will come eventually,” Ravasio said. “The Buck Fund”.

Ravasio claimed that there are Marin Community Foundation board members supporting a one-time expenditure of $ 100 million.

Contacted on Wednesday, Rhea Suh, the new CEO of the Marin Community Foundation, said: “To my knowledge, this is not a proposal under consideration.”

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