**FILE** D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson introduced Thursday a bill to overhaul the city’s beleaguered housing authority board.

The D.C. Housing Authority came under intense scrutiny two months ago when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a report describing the board’s shortcomings in performing its duties. Council members expressed serious concerns about the board at a hearing of the Committee on Housing and Executive Administration on Wednesday.

Under the bill, which will be considered Tuesday before the council, the temporary new panel will be known formally as the Stabilization and Reform Board and is modeled after the group that stabilized the finances of the United Medical Center a few years ago. It will operational for three years and will have a significant impact on who future board members are.

“The streamlined reform board will ensure that we are not only addressing the issues raised by HUD, but that the agency is living up to our belief that a safe and stable life begins with safe and stable housing,” Bowser said. “DCHA needs an agile board, comprised of experts who understand these issues deeply, so that we can deliver the housing DCHA residents deserve and that our community deserves.”

Mendelson said it was well known that the board was not functioning as it should.

“The challenge for us is to turn the authority around and do it in an orderly fashion while we get a new executive director,” he said.

The seven new voting members include affordable housing entrepreneur and MANNA founder the Rev. Jim Dickerson; former HUD staffer and real estate professional Jessica Haynes-Franklin; senior vice president of capital and investments at The Menkiti Group Melissa Lee; Georgetown University vice president for government relations and community engagement Christopher Murphy; former Maryland secretary of housing Raymond Skinner as well as the leader of the DCHA City Wide Advisory Board and the D.C. director of the Office of Budget and Performance Management.

Skinner will chair the board, while the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer or the agency’s designee will serve as an ex officio, or nonvoting, member.  

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