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Minneapolis Public Housing Head Reportedly Set To Become New NYCHA Chair

Campos Plaza, a public housing building in New York City, as of September 2017

There could soon be a new boss for the troubled New York City Housing Authority, with Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly choosing the head of the Minneapolis public housing system for the role.

Though the city denies that it has made any decision on who to appoint to the position, The City reports the mayor offered Gregory Russ the job of NYCHA chairman last week.

Russ came from a list of possible candidates vetted by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman and U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson, per The City. 

“No decision has been made on any candidate,” a de Blasio spokesperson told the publication.

In his current role, Russ oversees 6,259 public housing units with 10,500 residents, as well as 15,500 people in subsidized housing. NYCHA, the biggest public housing authority in the country has around 400,000 residents.

NYCHA's vast portfolio has been in a state of disrepair, and last year the city said it needs $32B worth of upgrades over the next five years to bring it up to standard. In January, the federal government and the city reached a deal for HUD to take greater control of NYCHA.

As well as the city agreeing to find a new head of NYCHA, a federal monitor was appointed, and the city agreed to spend $2.2B over the next 10 years to fix buildings.

Russ has advocated for private developers to take on more repairs of Minneapolis's public housing, a move de Blasio has been reticent to advocate for, but last year set in motion a plan for private developers to take over management of a third of NYCHA's housing stock.

Related Topics: public housing, NYCHA