Mayor de Blasio selects Gregory Russ as Chair of the New York City Housing Authority

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new leader has been appointed to head the troubled New York City Housing Authority.

The appointment of Gregory Russ as Chair of NYCHA was announced Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Russ has more than 25 years of experience in public housing across the country, most recently as CEO of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and as the former Executive Director of the Cambridge Housing Authority.

De Blasio selected Russ from a slate of candidates jointly approved by himself, HUD, and the Southern District of New York.

"In a national search, Greg Russ stands out as someone with the guts to make big changes and the heart to do right by public housing residents," said de Blasio. "Greg has shown he can secure residents the repairs they've been waiting for and strengthen public housing for the next generation. He's shown again and again that he can listen to residents, build trust and improve people's lives."

"Public housing is a calling. I believe in it. NYCHA and its residents are irreplaceable parts of New York City," said Russ. "My mission is simple: to fix residents' homes today and to leave NYCHA stronger for the next generation."

Russ will take office in mid-August. Kathryn Garcia, who has been serving as Chair on an interim basis, will return to her position as Commissioner of the Sanitation Department.

The federal government has been trying to pressure NYCHA to improve conditions for the 1 in 14 New Yorkers who live in public housing and rely on the department's care.

Recently HUD established an independent monitor to oversee repairs in response to years of mismanagement by the city.

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