Philadelphia Housing Authority board nominees get past council committee

A Philadelphia City Council committee has approved ten nominees to the Philadelphia Housing Authority board.

The nominations range from Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman to former Judge Nelson Diaz, who grew up in public housing.

Diaz is suggesting hiring a full time overseer to watch PHA’s day to day operations.

“We’re all part time and we all have other duties to comply with, but somebody has to hold the executive director answerable to the board and to the public and the federal government,” said Diaz.

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Activist Asia Coney of the Residents Advisory Board came to the council hearing to complain about major issues at the authority.

“We have been denied resources and our First Amendment right of association, been treated in a very [disconcerning] manner,” said Coney. “Once again we want to repeat denied resources that HUD has allocated as well as a process outlined by HUD for input into the day to day operations and access to the authority.”

The reconstitution of the PHA board should occur next year if the members are approved by the full council. Adding new members to the board is part of preparing it to return to local control. Since 2011, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has controlled PHA.

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