Wilmington Housing Authority announces new executive director

Wilmington Housing Authority announces new executive director
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 9:12 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Housing Authority has a new face hoping to turn around the organization which faces unprecedented problems including hundreds of people displaced by mold issues stemming from 2018′s Hurricane Florence.

Tyrone Garrett has been named the new executive director for the Wilmington Housing Authority. After approval at a WHA’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Garrett will take on the role on Monday, May 16.

Garrett knows the issues WHA faces are severe, but says in his 20 years of experience, they’re similar to problems others across the country also has to address.

“What we’re facing here isn’t different or unique from other housing authorities across the country. We all have housing stocks that are built in 1938, before 1950 ages 50 years or more and they haven’t had the capital improvements they have necessarily needed based on lack of funding or other things that have happened or impacted them,” he said.

The Wilmington Housing Authority works with both federal and local governments to provide safe, and affordable housing to low-income families.

But, those residents have been impacted by violence... high unemployment rates, and in the case of residents living in places like the Creekwood community, mold issues.

Garrett says some of the issues require more than just housing assistance community intervention is a must.

“I think initiatives such as those help improve communities across the board and deal with issues of safety at the same time. You might not realize or recognize the correlation but in my 20 years of experience they go hand in hand,” he said.

The Housing Authority Board issued a statement on Garrett’s hiring after officially announcing his selection.

“Mr. Garrett’s first objective will be to accelerate the rehousing of families displaced from homes that have been contaminated by mold. In addition to rebuilding staff, he will need to initiate the rebuilding of the Hillcrest property in coordination with the City of Wilmington, New Hanover Country, HUD and the development partner,” according to a WHA release.

Previously, Garrett worked as the chief executive officer of the District of Columbia Housing Authority. During his first two years there, he lead work on a $2 billion transformation plan to revamp the DCHA portfolio. He also was the executive director for the Housing Authority of the city of Long Branch in New Jersey for 15 years.

“He is the right person to lead WHA to a re-envisioned future. His skills include knowledge of negotiations for redevelopment projects, development and operationalizing resident training programs, and working with city and county partnerships,” said WHA Board of Commissioners chairman Al Sharp. “He has knowledge of our current situation and is ready to join us in building the future.”

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