New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Shola Olatoye ’96 as chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority. Olatoye’s last position was vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit organization that advocates affordable housing nationally.
The previous head of the authority was John Rhea ’87. The mayor made the announcement at the Abraham Lincoln Houses in Harlem, a complex of 1,282 apartments in which de Blasio and other Democratic candidates spent a night during the mayoral campaign in order to get a firsthand look at the “moldy walls and broken cabinets” that constitute the disrepair of public housing buildings in New York City.
The New York Times points out that Olatoye faces taking over an authority that covers more than 400,000 residents “as the city’s largest landlord.”
Olatoye and three others were appointed to their leadership positions as part of de Blasio’s plan to expand New York City’s affordable housing stock. Denise Miranda, who works for the Urban Justice Center, which takes legal action for tenants of public housing, says that “Mayor de Blasio and Ms. Olatoye have their work cut out for them,” according to the New York Times article.