The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has tapped public housing veteran Michael P. Kelly as Interim Executive Director. Mr. Kelly comes to PHA with over 25 years of public housing experience, including nearly a decade as executive director of the Washington, DC Housing Authority. Most recently he was the General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority. He is taking leave from that position to serve in the interim PHA post.
“Michael Kelly’s proven track record of handling day-to day operations for the nation’s largest housing authority makes him the perfect person to lead PHA into its new era,” said PHA Board Chairman John F. Street. “PHA and the residents of public housing will both benefit from his strong leadership and housing knowledge. I look forward to working with him.”
Kelly was responsible for 178,000 residential units, overseeing 11,000 employees and managing a budget of $3.4 billion dollars in federal, state and local assistance in New York.
“My expectation is that should a contract be negotiated and approved by the PHA Board, Michael Kelly will be able to reestablish the faith and trust we all want to have in PHA. He is more than qualified to serve as interim executive director at PHA,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, “He has both the creative ideas and the experience. He will work with all the various stakeholders, the board and staff, our administration and HUD. And he’ll put the focus where it really should be on the residents of public housing and the staff.”
The head of the New York City Housing Authority said his agency is flattered that HUD asked to borrow one of its top officials to help out in Philadelphia.
“This request from HUD is a tribute not only to Mike’s ability and expertise. But also a tribute to the superior management staff that we have in place here at NYCHA,” said the New York Housing Authority Chairman John B. Rhea,” While we will miss Mike during this period, we are confident that our very strong team that he has helped put together will continue to operate at the top of their game.”
“I share Chairman Rhea’s confidence in the staff at NYCHA. Drawing on my experience at NYCHA, coupled with my 20+ years managing large and complex housing authorities will allow me to quickly step in and provide temporary leadership at the Philadelphia Housing Authority,” said Kelly.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also signed off on the arrangement, saying that when the federal government has called on New York City to assist other cities, he stands ready to comply. “HUD has requested the interim installment of the General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority, Michael Kelly as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and we have agreed to assist HUD and our sister-city,” said Bloomberg. “For the past year, after I appointed them both, Mike has joined with NYCHA Chairman John Rhea in leading and guiding what is the finest and most innovative public housing authority in the country. Mike is part of a deep bench at NYCHA and we know he will provide excellent leadership in Philadelphia. John Rhea has built a very fine team that can carry on in his stead, and this will be a win-win situation for two cities.”
The terms of Kelly’s agreement will be announced in the near future.