Houston mayor overhauls city’s housing agency

March 8, 2024

The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) is now operating with an almost entirely new set of board of commissioners after Houston Mayor John Whitmire replaced five members. The HHA provides quality, affordable housing options, promotes education and prioritizes economic self-sufficiency for Houston residents.

Mayor Whitmire, who took office at the start of 2024 after four decades in the Texas Senate, made the move after HHA President and CEO David Northern Sr. informed him in a Feb. 14 letter that the agency was over budget. The HHA immediately stopped issuing vouchers that typically support the housing needs of veterans, persons with disabilities and the homeless.

“Some of HHA’s recent missteps are unacceptable, including a recent decision to approve more than ten affordable housing deals (PFCs) with developers,” Mayor Whitmire said in a release. The HHA changes are a part of the mayor’s plan to increase affordable housing options and make Houston the nation’s most affordable big city. “The HHA is moving in the opposite direction, so I am making immediate changes.”

The new commissioners are:

  • Joseph “Jody” Proler, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2026.
  • Kenneth C. Li, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2026.
  • Alton Smith, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2026.
  • Cynthia Aceves-Lewis, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2025.
  • Darryl Wilson, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2026.

The mayor also reappointed Stephanie A. G. Ballard and Kristy Kirkendoll, with both terms expiring Jan. 31, 2025. Mayoral appointments took effect immediately and do not require City Council approval.

The HHA’s services support more than 60,000 low-income Houstonians, including more than 17,000 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Approximately 4,200 of those families live in 19 public housing and tax credit developments. An additional 716 live in project-based voucher developments around the city.

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Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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