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Houston Housing Authority Hires New CEO As City Faces Slew Of Evictions

David A. Northern Sr. has been named president and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority, stepping in at a critical time as the city deals with mounting evictions and homelessness.

David Northern

Northern was previously CEO and president at the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District in Alabama, and he is also president of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, which represents housing agencies.

He was also previously executive director and CEO of the Housing Authority of Champaign County in Illinois, among other roles in housing organizations in Illinois.

"Northern is a proactive and decisive leader who has successfully advanced affordable housing initiatives with his expansive knowledge, personal commitment and professional integrity," said HHA Board of Commissioners Chairman LaRence Snowden in a release. "I'm confident he will guide the agency with forward-thinking, people-first leadership as we strive to build upon our mission to improve lives by providing quality, affordable housing options and promoting education and economic self-sufficiency.”

Northern's appointment to the affordable housing organization comes amid a wave of evictions as federal Covid-19 relief runs dry. On Jan. 26, Houston and Harris County announced a $100M funding effort to reduce homelessness in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported, as early 2022 average rent owed topped $2,455.70 and thousands of Houstonians faced eviction.

The $100M is slated to help people living in homeless encampments find housing, as well as help those who are chronically homeless find permanent housing, with the addition of services. Further funds will go to help people who are at risk of homelessness.

Houston's growing roster of affordable housing projects still lags demand, Bisnow reported last year. Waiting lists are bloated with tens of thousands of people, and Houston only reported 19 affordable housing units for every 100 households in need, according to data at the time.