The head of Greater Cincinnati's public housing agency will leave the organization June 30, according to a news release from the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority.
CMHA CEO Gregory Johnson has resigned to take the helm of the Atlanta Housing Authority as its president and CEO.
CMHA administers federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide 5,279 units of subsidized affordable public housing and another 11,000 housing choice vouchers commonly known as Section 8.
Johnson has led the authority for seven years — a time in which the region's affordable housing needs have come starkly into contrast. A recent study by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati suggest Hamilton County faces a 40,000 unit shortage of housing affordable to its lowest income residents.
"Mr. Johnson joined CMHA at a critical time in the organization’s history," CMHA Board of Commissioners Chair William Myles said in a statement. "He has been a dedicated leader, reinvigorating the regional commitment to sustaining quality affordable housing.”
Even as CMHA has provided badly needed subsidized housing, however, it has struggled with more than $100 million in deferred maintenance needs, reductions in federal funding and complaints about conditions in some of its aging complexes. The authority has begun upgrades on three of those sites and has picked contractors to begin work on seven others.
Johnson's tenure with CMHA has also coincided with the authority's first steps in adopting a program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development called Rental Assistance Demonstration. That program seeks to open up public housing complexes to private investment in order to meet looming maintenance needs. CMHA says RAD will bring new capital to fix old buildings and construct new ones. Some residents and affordable housing activists, however, worry that it could mean a reduction of units and the privatization of public housing.
The CMHA Board of Commissioners will conduct a national search for Johnson's replacement, though it has not yet set a time frame for that search.