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Under Fire, Councilwoman Blackwell Quits Housing Authority Board

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(Philadelphia city councilwoman Jannie Blackwell at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall.  Photo by KYW's Mike Dunn)

(Philadelphia city councilwoman Jannie Blackwell at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall. Photo by KYW’s Mike Dunn)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As pressure mounts from federal authorities for change at the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia city councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has decided to give up her seat on the PHA board.

Councilwoman Blackwell has been one of the most ardent supporters of the authority’s embattled former executive director, Carl Greene, even voting against his termination (see related story).

“It is with deep regret that I find it necessary to step down as part of the board.  Given my work as chair of the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless, I find it in the best interest of City Council that I take this action,” Blackwell said Wednesday during a City Hall  press conference.

Blackwell and the rest of the board have been under pressure from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to step down, in the wake of a probe into Greene’s tenure as executive director.

The board’s chairman, former mayor John Street, released a statement saying he respects Blackwell’s decision. Street has resisted HUD’s call to resign (see previous story) but says he will comment on his decision at the board’s Friday meeting.

Other board members were unavailable for comment.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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