New PHA system of governance advances

Posted: June 22, 2012

A major change in how the Philadelphia Housing Authority is governed advanced a step Thursday night after the state House voted, 163-28, to approve a bill that would empower the Mayor's Office to select all of the agency's commissioners.

The Senate must vote again on the House version before it is sent to Gov. Corbett.

Mayor Nutter, who lobbied for the legislation, was hopeful the bill would pass, given that the Senate had approved an earlier version by a 49-0 vote in December, said his spokesman, Mark McDonald.

The bill also would expand the size of the PHA board from five to nine commissioners.

The PHA is the only housing authority in the state not controlled by a mayor's office.

Currently, the mayor picks two commissioners and the city controller selects two, with the fifth elected from the ranks of tenant leaders. After the 2010 termination of former Executive Director Carl R. Greene, critics felt there needed to be more checks and balances with the agency.

The PHA is now under the control of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and has only one HUD-appointed commissioner, former Managing Director Estelle B. Richman.


Contact staff writer Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659 or jlin@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @j_linq.

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