Following a number of closed meeting sessions dealing with “personnel-related matters,” Chicago Housing Authority officials Tuesday announced Charles Woodyard’s resignation as CEO following his two-year stint with the city agency.
Having held board positions on other housing authority associations along the East Coast, Woodyard was appointed to the position September 2011, following the controversial resignation of his successor, Lewis Jordan. Jordan held the CEO position from 2007 until his resignation in June 2011, when speculation began circulating that Jordan was using his government issued credit card for questionable purposes.
Though Woodyard was not present during the meeting to announce his resignation in person, CHA Chairman Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott read from a letter in which Woodyard stated his reasoning for leaving was because he wanted to assist his son, who’s soon to pursue a college degree, as well as wanting to look for additional professional opportunities.
“On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, I would like to personally thank Charles Woodyard for his two years of service as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Housing Authority,” said Scott, following Woodyard’s announcement. “Charles has dutifully guided CHA through the implementation of the agency’s new strategic initiative – Plan Forward – and was instrumental in creating many of its primary components to help build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago.”
Robert Whitfield, attorney for the CHA’s Central Advisory Council said there had been rumors about Woodyard’s possible resignation and the reasoning behind it, but did not want to speculate.
“I think he did as best as he could be expected under the circumstances,” said Whitfield, who has worked for the resident advisory board for several years. “I will say, in my opinion, that he could have gone out more to the city’s developments and spoken with residents about the ongoing plans.”
When asked about the reaction to Woodyard’s CEO resignation Myra King, CHA Board Commissioner and president of the Central Advisory Council, said she was instructed by the housing authority to refer all questions regarding his resignation to housing authority press contact, Wendy Parks.
Though unable to speak about Woodyard’s departure, King explained why she chose not to vote on two measures presented during CHA’s monthly meeting regarding the proposed 2014 fiscal year Moving to Work plan and an application that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development suggested be sent for the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD).
Moving to Work is an annual plan the housing authority is expected to submit every fiscal year as a part of the larger, well-known renovation strategy, the Plan for Transformation, which has been in the works since 2000. King’s major concern with the plan and RAD, an additional means of funding for public housing maintenance, is that residents have been unable to receive all the information included with the plans because of the length and detail of the documents.
“[The housing authority] is going into these senior housing locations, and all they are getting is that this [plan] seems great,” said King. “But they’re only getting certain parts of this plan. It’s a 200-page document, and they haven’t been giving [residents] all the information for years.”
Despite King’s objections, the remaining board members passed the two measures.