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DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett To Leave Agency

The D.C. Housing Authority headquarters on North Capitol Street

The D.C. Housing Authority, the independent agency behind D.C.'s 8,000-unit public housing portfolio, is in search of a new leader. 

The Washington City Paper reported Monday that the agency's Board of Commissioners notified DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett last week that his contract wouldn't be renewed. In a press release Tuesday morning, Garrett announced he won't seek an extension of his current contract and will look for other opportunities after stepping down June 18.

The board scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday to select an interim executive director and plan its recruitment for a permanent replacement. 

DCHA serves nearly 50,000 residents across its 56-property, 8,000-unit portfolio of public housing. The agency in 2019 launched an effort to renovate at least 2,400 units after an audit found the majority of its portfolio had deteriorated, and repairs to about one-third of it were "extremely urgent."

The agency in October selected a team of Bozzuto, Pennrose and EYA to redevelop the 15-acre Greenleaf Gardens public housing community in Southwest D.C., a project envisioned to total at least 1,400 units. It is also moving forward with a plan to redevelop its NoMa headquarters, a partnership with an MRP Realty-led development team that plans to build 1,200 units on the site. 

DCHA has been the subject of multiple lawsuits over the last year, ranging from the safety of its properties to personnel issues. 

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sued DCHA in June for failing to confront drug- and- firearm-related nuisances at 10 of its properties, incidents he said have put its residents in danger. The parties reached a settlement in September, with DCHA agreeing to invest over $3M in new security measures. 

A separate lawsuit in August came from former DCHA General Counsel Chelsea Andrews, who claimed that Garrett had her fired for questioning the procurement and authenticity of masks purchased to protect employees during the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington City Paper reported. The suit is still active, and Garrett said in sworn testimony during the case that he suspected three now-former DCHA employees of planning a coup.