WBEZ | Charles Woodyard http://www.wbez.org/tags/charles-woodyard Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Former CHA CEO Woodyard resigned amid sexual harassment allegations http://www.wbez.org/news/former-cha-ceo-woodyard-resigned-amid-sexual-harassment-allegations-109182 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cha_131118_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Charles Woodyard, the former CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority, left the agency amid sexual harassment allegations, WBEZ has learned.</p><p>On Oct. 15, Woodyard abruptly&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-housing-authority-ceo-resigns-108927">resigned</a> after two years on the job. At the time CHA released a statement that quoted Woodyard as saying &ldquo;I am pursuing other opportunities that I hope will benefit my family and my career.&rdquo; Woodyard added he wanted to &ldquo;spend more time guiding&rdquo; his teenage son. But on Oct. 14, CHA signed a $99,000 settlement agreement with a former employee. WBEZ obtained the confidential agreement.</p><p>The female employee &ndash; whose name is redacted in records &ndash; alleges that she was a victim of sexual harassment, including physical contact by Woodyard. She alleges that she continues to require medical treatment for physical and emotional distress.</p><p>CHA and Woodyard deny the allegations.</p><p>&quot;The allegations are false. I never sexually harassed anyone,&quot; Woodyard told WBEZ.</p><p>The agreement says that one of the public housing agency&rsquo;s reasons for settling is to avoid the expense and inconvenience of defending itself. The $99,000 includes back wages, attorneys&rsquo; fees and medical treatment for the former employee.</p><p>&ldquo;The board took this allegation seriously, and determined it was in the best interest of the agency to settle it,&rdquo; CHA board chair Z. Scott said in a statement.</p><p>In August, the female employee filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that said &ldquo;during my employment, I was subject to sexual harassment. I complained to Respondent. Subsequently, I was disciplined and discharged. I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my sex, female, and in retaliation for engaging in protected activity.&rdquo; She indicated that the latest discrimination took place in June.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Woodyard in 2011. Lewis Jordan, the previous CEO, was pushed out amid questions surrounding CHA credit card use. Woodyard had run the public housing authority in Charlotte, N.C. and has an extensive real estate background. His resignation from CHA took effect Nov. 1.</p><p>Beyond the sexual harassment allegations, there had also been concerns about how quickly Woodyard was getting things done. CHA is two years from supposedly finishing its massive original $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation, the blueprint for tearing down public housing and replacing some developments with mixed-income communities. CHA revealed Plan Forward, the second phase of the plan, this past spring. It focuses on acquiring homes in neighborhoods across the city for rehab and boosting economic activity around CHA sites.</p><p>The economy and fickle housing market have slowed down progress especially for selling market-rate units. Meanwhile, CHA promised it would rehabilitate or redevelop 25,000 units for public housing families. For fiscal year 2014, CHA plans to deliver 562 public housing units, but none of them will be on mixed-income sites. Originally, the Plan for Transformation was a five-year plan. Today, it&rsquo;s supposed to be completed by 2015. That would mean the CHA would have to deliver a whopping 7,000 units by then.</p><p>Michael Merchant, former commissioner of the city Department of Buildings, is the new CEO.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. Email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/former-cha-ceo-woodyard-resigned-amid-sexual-harassment-allegations-109182 Mayor picks new CHA chief http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-picks-new-cha-chief-108942 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/1cffc55[1].jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">A day after the resignation of the Chicago Housing Authority CEO, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced his new pick.</p><p dir="ltr">Nominee Michael Merchant, a lawyer, has been the commissioner of the city Department of Buildings since 2011. He has served in former mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s administration and Chicago Public Schools in intergovernmental affairs roles. &nbsp;Merchant has also worked for the U.S. Department of Housing &amp; Urban Development.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Mike is the best type of public servant,&rdquo; Emanuel said in a statement. &ldquo;He is selfless and devoted, he is attentive to detail and ambitious in his thinking. I have been impressed with his leadership at the department of buildings and I look forward to working with him as CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority. I believe Mike will do wonderful things in that role and will help many of Chicago&rsquo;s families on their path to economic stability.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">CEO Charles Woodyard <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-housing-authority-ceo-resigns-108927">resigned</a> Tuesday without a new job and giving boilerplate language in a statement about wanting to spend more time with his family. CHA had said its board and the mayor&rsquo;s office were preparing a national search for Woodyard&rsquo;s replacement. Woodyard&rsquo;s last day is Nov. 1.</p><p dir="ltr">CHA is two years from supposedly finishing its massive $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation &ndash; the blueprint for tearing down public housing and replacing some developments with mixed-income communities. Emanuel served on the CHA board as the Plan, the largest public works housing initiative in the country, was being written.</p><p dir="ltr">The economy and fickle housing market have slowed down the Plan especially for selling market-rate units. Meanwhile, CHA promised it would rehabilitate or redevelop 25,000 units for public housing families. For fiscal year 2014, CHA plans to deliver 562 public housing units, but none of them will be on mixed-income sites. Originally, the Plan for Transformation was a five-year plan. Today, it&rsquo;s supposed to be completed by 2015. That would mean the CHA would have to deliver a whopping 7,000 units by then.</p><p dir="ltr">Merchant will be leading Plan Forward, the second phase of the original plan. It focuses on acquiring homes in neighborhoods across the city for rehab and boosting economic activity around CHA sites. That strategy has been slow.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I look forward to the challenges of this new role,&rdquo; Merchant said in a statement. &ldquo;I believe that we will be able to advance the mission of the Chicago Housing Authority and provide a better future for many of Chicago&rsquo;s most vulnerable residents, and I look forward to working with the mayor and the other leaders in the city to accomplish these goals.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The CHA board of commissioners will meet later this month to consider the candidacy.</p><p><em>Natalie Moore is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">@natalieymoore</a>. </em></p></p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-picks-new-cha-chief-108942 Chicago Housing Authority CEO resigns http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-housing-authority-ceo-resigns-108927 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Woodyard_0021 head shot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The head of the Chicago Housing Authority resigned Tuesday without a new job and giving boilerplate language in a statement about wanting to spend more time with his family.</p><p>Charles Woodyard has been CEO of the public housing agency since 2011. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him after Lewis Jordan, the previous CEO, was pushed out amid questions surrounding CHA credit card use.</p><p>Woodyard had run the public housing authority in Charlotte, N.C. and has an extensive real estate background. &ldquo;He developed programs to encourage the private sector to invest in public housing. That is exactly the type of background I want here for the city of Chicago, to take us to stage two in the Plan for Transformation,&rdquo; Emanuel said at the press conference appointing Woodyard.</p><p>Woodyard&rsquo;s resignation is effective Nov. 1., and rumors have previously swirled about him stepping down. And over the past month or so, the CHA board of commissioners have been meeting behind closed doors over unnamed personnel matters.</p><p>CHA is two years from supposedly finishing its massive $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation &ndash; the blueprint for tearing down public housing and replacing some developments with mixed-income communities. Emanuel served on the CHA board as the Plan, the largest public works housing initiative in the country, was being written.</p><p>The economy and fickle housing market have slowed down the Plan especially for selling market-rate units. Meanwhile, CHA promised it would rehabilitate or redevelop 25,000 units for public housing families. For fiscal year 2014, CHA plans to deliver 562 public housing units, but none of them will be on mixed-income sites. Originally, the Plan for Transformation was a five-year plan. Today, it&rsquo;s supposed to be completed by 2015. That would mean the CHA would have to deliver a whopping 7,000 units by then.</p><p>Woodyard revealed Plan Forward this past spring, the second phase of the original plan. It focuses on acquiring homes in neighborhoods across the city for rehab and boosting economic activity around CHA sites.</p><p>One of Woodyard&rsquo;s goals had been to develop the acres upon acres of idle CHA land for non-housing uses.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s more than housing. Housing was the foundation,&rdquo; Woodyard said in April. &ldquo;We will work with the private sector and public sector to see if can have job-creating retail. If we can have retail that provides a needed service for our families. We&rsquo;re going to make sure that the investment that the public makes doesn&rsquo;t wither and die on the vine because we haven&rsquo;t completed the community.&rdquo;</p><p>The Shops &amp; Lofts project is underway at 47th and Cottage Grove, which will include a Wal-Mart and housing. The State Street corridor still has tracts of grassy lots.</p><p>But some CHA residents want the next CEO to focus more on housing - despite the direction Emanuel has moved the housing agency.</p><p>&ldquo;I hope it means we have a CEO who&rsquo;s going to come and take care of business like it&rsquo;s supposed to be taken care of. Bringing back our units that they tore down and promised to build back up, providing more public housing for people,&rdquo; said Natalie Saffold, a resident leader from the former LeClaire Courts. The complex is completely demolished and there are no immediate replacement plans.</p><p>Emanuel and CHA board chair Z. Scott will initiate a national search for Woodyard&rsquo;s successor. CHA released a statement saying: &ldquo;Plan Forward remains fully operational and CHA remains committed to the initiative&rsquo;s vision of coordinating public and private investments to develop strong, vibrant communities as well as to help strengthen economic independence for CHA residents along their road to self-sufficiency.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Natalie Moore is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/natalieymoore" target="_blank">@natalieymoore</a>. </em></p></p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 15:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-housing-authority-ceo-resigns-108927 CHA reveals next phase of massive public housing redevelopment http://www.wbez.org/cha-reveals-next-phase-massive-public-housing-redevelopment-106757 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cha plan_130421_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In 1994, Chicago public housing high rises failed federal government standards. The massive cinder block buildings had become as recognizable as the city&rsquo;s skyline. They were also viewed as a symbol of failed housing policies that resulted in concentrated black poverty. Critics said the notorious high rises warehoused blacks in destitute conditions; residents decried a lack of investment in their apartments and communities.</p><p>Five years later Mayor Richard M. Daley went to Washington, D.C. and got permission to demolish the high rises, most of them erected when his father Richard J. Daley was mayor. Thus, the country&rsquo;s largest public housing redevelopment program &ndash; christened the Plan for Transformation &ndash; was born. Its centerpiece was a plan to build mixed-income housing on the same footprint as the old high rises with the following formula for attracting residents: one-third market rate, one-third affordable and one-third public.</p><p>The controversial $1 billion-plus plan is scheduled to wrap up in 2015. Under the plan, which is 85 percent complete, 25,000 units will be developed or revitalized. CHA has already moved almost 16,000 family households from derelict buildings. Some public housing families moved into brand new units with higher-income earning neighbors. Others were lost in the system or moved into segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods. An economic downturn and housing crash eventually forced the Chicago Housing Authority to change course.</p><p>Now CHA is unveiling &ldquo;Plan Forward,&rdquo; the second phase of the original plan. It focuses on acquiring homes in neighborhoods across the city for rehab, boosting economic activity around CHA sites and providing job/educational training for people with subsidized housing vouchers in the city.</p><p>&ldquo;All residents of public housing had been walled off from the rest of the city both by physical, cultural &ndash;&nbsp; not just geographic &ndash; but services [such as separate security and garbage collection],&rdquo; said Mayor Rahm Emanuel of the CHA conditions pre-Plan for Transformation. &ldquo;Now we&rsquo;ve even got to take the next step further.&rdquo;</p><p>The mayor spoke Saturday at Legends South, on 44th and State Street, a mixed-income development that replaced the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k--Gs1veNYE">Robert Taylor</a> Homes &ndash; formerly the <a href="http://www.chicagoreporter.com/news/2007/09/good-ol-days">world&rsquo;s largest public housing development</a>. Emanuel served as vice chair of the CHA board in the 1990s when the original plan was in formation.</p><p>Multiple tracts of vacant land sit idle on the State Street corridor as development has stalled. One of the new plan&rsquo;s goals is to tailor the mix of what&rsquo;s considered mixed income. Another goal is to use CHA-owned land for non-housing development.</p><p>CHA CEO Charles Woodyard said various city agencies in the next few weeks will start approaching the vacant land as an asset.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s more than housing. Housing was the foundation. We will work with the private sector and public sector to see if can have job-creating retail. If we can have retail that provides a needed service for our families. We&rsquo;re going to make sure that the investment that the public makes doesn&rsquo;t wither and die on the vine because we haven&rsquo;t completed the community,&rdquo; Woodyard said.</p><p>Thousands of CHA families rent in the private market with subsidized housing vouchers. A recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/report-cha-plan-has-improved-residents%E2%80%99-lives-106036">Urban Institute report</a> praised the inroads CHA has made with resident services but said children have still suffered. New CHA strategies include improved early childhood education, connecting teens to extra-curricular activities and new youth programs for up to 5,000 kids.</p><p>One of the problems with the existing voucher program is that many poor families live in distressed neighborhoods such as Englewood or Austin where there&rsquo;s high crime and few amenities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/local/housing-vouchers-clustered-certain-neighborhoods">doesn&rsquo;t provide enough money</a> for people to live in less segregated, more affluent areas.</p><p>To counter that, Woodyard says CHA will acquire and rehabilitate homes and apartments in a variety of neighborhoods.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the things we&rsquo;re really trying to achieve is to integrate affordable housing into the larger community that is Chicago,&rdquo; Woodyard said. &ldquo;It means not just sticking to the South Side. The South Side and the West Side have a fair amount of affordable housing. We&rsquo;re going to do everything we can to make sure families have opportunities in neighborhoods that give them opportunities.</p><p>&ldquo;One thing we have to understand is our families are used to support systems and familiarity. So some of them may prefer to live on the South Side.&rdquo; But Woodyard said CHA will give them incentives.</p><p>Other highlights from the new plan include an adult literacy pilot program and a recalibrated <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cha-residents-want-housing-agency-supply-more-jobs-89205">federal jobs program</a>.</p><p>Resident activist Carol Steele runs the Coalition to Protect Public Housing out of Cabrini-Green. She said she&rsquo;s still concerned about <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Where-Are-Poor-People-Live/dp/0765610760">poor residents</a> who lived in CHA back when the plan started in 1999.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s not even enough housing for the people that have the right to return. That&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m looking forward to hearing about,&rdquo; Steele said. &ldquo;When are we going to complete these 25,000 replacement units for the residents that are out there waiting to return to their communities?&rdquo;</p><p><em>Natalie Moore is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">@natalieymoore</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 18:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/cha-reveals-next-phase-massive-public-housing-redevelopment-106757 CHA, HUD pen agreement on program http://www.wbez.org/news/cha-hud-pen-agreement-program-105616 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS4349_Charles Woodyard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79992570" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The Chicago Housing Authority has entered into an agreement with the federal government that aims to provide more jobs and contracts to public housing and low-income residents.</p><p>The program, known as Section 3, started in 1968. Last year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found Chicago noncompliant with Section 3. Residents have also filed lawsuits related to the program.</p><p>Now the local and federal housing agencies are embarking on a five-year deal. The end goal is for at least 10 percent of the total dollar amount of all contracts covered by Section 3 go to Section 3 hires.</p><p>&ldquo;CHA&rsquo;s excited about this new partnership with HUD,&rdquo; said Charles Woodyard, CEO of CHA. &ldquo;Together we will ensure that goals of this new initiative are met so that Section 3 residents and other low-income Chicagoans are provided opportunities to advance their business and their careers.&rdquo;</p><p>CHA&rsquo;s track record on Section 3 is a mixed bag. A <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cha-residents-want-housing-agency-supply-more-jobs-89205">2011 WBEZ report</a> found that several years ago, 30 percent of new hires were designated Section 3 &ndash; the federal minimum. But in 2008 and 2009, for example, more than 70 percent of CHA new hires were Section 3. Still, in those two years, hundreds of millions of dollars were awarded in contracts, yet none of those involved Section 3-owned businesses. Other public housing agencies around the country have had much worse track records.</p><p>Four residents from the Altgeld Gardens development have filed a lawsuit under Section 3. A judge has ruled that one of those lawsuits can go forward. The resident involved in that case alleges that she hasn&rsquo;t been hired under the program.</p><p>This new Section 3 agreement with HUD states CHA will require building trade contractors to submit payroll and hiring reports on a weekly basis. HUD will monitor progress. When it is infeasible for CHA to meet the numerical goals for employment, the housing agency must show HUD other economic opportunities that it provides to its resident and the community. Those opportunities may be educational, recreational, or youth-oriented. They can also involve learning enrichment, after-school programs, child care, senior services, and job preparation programs, as well as other economic opportunities. Noncompliance could cost CHA competitive grant funding.</p><p>Residents and stakeholders are skeptical about the agreement.</p><p>&ldquo;Seems like a decision has been [made] and we haven&rsquo;t be included in it. Once again we&rsquo;ve been left behind,&rdquo; said Dennis Hood, a CHA resident and owner of a contracting business.</p><p>Robert Whitfield is the attorney for the umbrella CHA tenants&rsquo; group. He said he&rsquo;s not sure whether the voluntary agreement will turn the dime of resident hiring. The issue is bigger than CHA.</p><p>&ldquo;I would like to see [CHA] use a lot more of their procurement power to force the union to get more residents into the unions as apprentices,&rdquo; Whitfield said. &ldquo;Until that happens they [HUD, CHA] can sign all the agreements they want but it&rsquo;ll run into a dead end when contractors say they aren&rsquo;t in the union.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s a huge concern for Thomas Harris, secretary-treasurer of the American Allied Workers International Union. He said organized labor dictates the contracts. He said he&rsquo;s trying to get his union to represent CHA residents so they aren&rsquo;t shut out.</p><p>&ldquo;Labor dictates what&rsquo;s going to happen with the contracts and who the workers are going to be. They&rsquo;ve been closed out of workplace because they&rsquo;ve never been at the table to be represented in terms of their trades,&rdquo; Harris said.</p><p>Follow Natalie on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 17:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cha-hud-pen-agreement-program-105616 CHA transforming its Plan for Transformation http://www.wbez.org/story/cha-transforming-its-plan-transformation-97032 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-08/AP96053101020.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Housing Authority has spent almost 13 years implementing a sweeping and controversial effort to remake public housing. Among other things, this Plan for Transformation tore down public housing high-rises and in their place put up mixed-income developments. The idea was to de-concentrate pockets of poverty in public housing. CHA is now rethinking its Plan for Transformation amid an economic downturn.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-08/AP96053101020.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 384px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="This 1996 photo shows some of the Chicago Housing Authority’s former South Side high-rises, including the Robert Taylor homes, shortly before the agency unveiled its ambitious blueprint for transformation. (AP/Beth A. Keiser, file)">The Chicago Housing Authority dubbed the new plan "2.0," and Charles Woodyard is leading this recalibration.&nbsp;Last fall Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made Woodyard the new CEO. He came from the housing authority in Charlotte, N. C. He’s got an extensive background in real estate, and he’s brought that outlook to Chicago.</p><p>WOODYARD: A public real estate company looks at a community as an asset and tries to determine if the asset is economically performing.</p><p>To many residents and housing advocates, the answer is no.</p><p>CHA built market-rate housing in mixed-income neighborhoods, but it’s had trouble selling some of these properties because of the housing slump. Many public housing residents got housing vouchers so they could move out of high-rises, but many moved into poor neighborhoods. And CHA demolished thousands of public housing units in areas that already have too much vacant land.</p><p>In fact, Woodyard says CHA controls 400 acres, an area bigger than Chicago’s Grant Park. Woodyard says the agency won’t plop houses or apartment complexes on each acre.</p><p>WOODYARD: We don’t need to be driven solely by the single-minded goal of tearing down public housing communities and building back public housing communities. The drivers should be to create communities that have other amenities that contribute to a sustainable community such as grocery stores, other retail.</p><p>That means CHA wants to improve mixed-income communities it’s already built, and add comforts and conveniences. Take Oakwood Shores on 39th Street near Lake Michigan. It replaced the Ida B. Wells public housing development. There’s not much else in the area except for the newer, mixed-income housing.</p><p>Woodyard says CHA’s applying for millions of federal dollars to revitalize the whole neighborhood.</p><p>WOODYARD: What I have seen in this city is that there are some major retailers that have come to the table and made things worked. So the thing I’m going to try to do is be creative on how I put our land assets into the mix. Maybe it’s a 99-year lease or maybe it’s a deferred payment after a few years with a balloon payment. I hope I’m not being too technical.</p><p>FLEMING: I don’t think Mr. Woodyard is really thinking out the box. I think he's thinking in the way of the norm. And that’s to always go to the private sector and never going to the people to create opportunity.</p><p>J. R. Fleming is a public housing resident activist.</p><p>FLEMING: Giving residents the opportunity to own a dry cleaners sounds like a step in the right direction. Giving residents the opportunity to come together and own their own cooperative store makes a lot of sense.</p><p>One thing that’s vexed critics of the CHA is how formulaic the original Plan for Transformation has been.&nbsp;The agency’s mantra has been that many of its developments should be: ⅓ public housing, ⅓ affordable, and ⅓ market rate.</p><p>But for Janet Smith, a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, that approach hasn’t worked because people need much more affordable housing. Smith says 90 percent of Chicago renters who earn less than $20,000 a year spend close to half of their income on housing. That’s the case while there’s a glut of vacant condos throughout the city, and CHA’s been building new, mixed-income developments.</p><p>SMITH: Is the mixed-income model the most effective model to produce your housing? The affordable housing is needed, the public housing is needed but the market-rate isn’t necessarily needed. So maybe it’s a way of reframing it so the mix isn’t such a wide range?</p><p>So, how does that standard of a third public, a third affordable and a third market rate stand up in the plan 2.0?</p><p>WOODYARD: I think that’s an artificial standard.</p><p>Again, CHA CEO Charles Woodyard.</p><p>WOODYARD: It doesn’t work in every community, so we will probably instead come up with a way in doing a market study for each community so the third, a third, a third, will probably leave us.</p><p>But Woodyard says that will likely mean more affordable … not more public ... housing when 2.0 debuts in June.</p></p> Thu, 08 Mar 2012 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cha-transforming-its-plan-transformation-97032 Emanuel picks new CHA chief http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-picks-new-cha-chief-92355 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/Charles Woodyard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped the former head of the Charlotte, N.C., public housing agency to lead the Chicago Housing Authority.</p><p>Charles Woodyard has been at the helm in Charlotte since 2002. Similar to Chicago, that city has been tearing down traditional public housing to construct mixed-income developments with retail components.</p><p>“He developed programs to encourage the private sector to invest in public housing. That is exactly the type of background I want here for the city of Chicago, to take us to stage two in the Plan for Transformation,” Emanuel said. The mayor made the announcement Thursday at the former Cabrini-Green development, which is a mix of public, affordable and market-rate housing on the city’s Near North Side.</p><p>Woodyard said he has to get up to speed on Chicago’s unique housing issues.</p><p>“My philosophy is then is that of a community builder. My goal is to transform communities and transform families into strong building blocks for a great city. My hope is that Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority can do this in partnership,” Woodyard said.</p><p>Malachai Greene is a former city council member in Charlotte who worked with Woodyard</p><p>“You guys stole him,” Greene said, laughing. He said Woodyard “changed the nature of public housing in Charlotte.”</p><p>“We got away from the old-fashioned housing poor people, to creating communities where people can develop some real opportunities. We’ve moved into a good direction,” Greene said.</p><p>Woodyard and the Charlotte Housing Authority ran into at least one hiccup in trying to diversify public housing. Last year, an upscale Charlotte neighborhood balked at a proposed public housing development. The housing authority eventually scrapped that particular project.</p><p>Emanuel and Woodyard were short on details about the vision for CHA at Thursday’s press conference. The agency is in year 11 of its massive, billion-dollar Plan for Transformation – the blueprint for tearing down public housing. Emanuel served on the CHA board as the plan was being written. It’s the largest public works housing initiative in the country.</p><p>&nbsp;“We’re not going to reverse course. This has been much different public housing; it’s building off the success that you literally see around you,” Emanuel said. “It’s going to take it to the next stage—knowing full well that plan was developed with one type of real estate market. We’re in a different market so we have to think through and think anew,” Emanuel said.</p><p>The Plan for Transformation has five years to go. The tanking economy has slowed down housing sales for higher-income units. Emanuel said the MacArthur Foundation will be helping CHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recalibrate the Plan for Transformation and decide what’s next for public housing in the city.</p><p>Cabrini resident Joseph Peery said he is disappointed that neither the mayor nor Woodyard have specifically identified their positions on public housing and the impact on residents.</p><p>“I’m hearing what’s good for business,” Peery said. “I want to hear what’s good for residents.”</p><p>Peery said there often isn’t equity in how public housing residents are treated in comparison to higher-income households in mixed-income communities.</p><p>Since its inception, the Plan for Transformation has been controversial. Lingering issues include the displacement of some public housing residents and how remaining developments will be rehabbed or refashioned. Many low-income residents say CHA has preserved too few public housing units.</p><p>Lewis Jordan, the previous CHA CEO, resigned this summer amid questions around agency credit card use.</p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-picks-new-cha-chief-92355