By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter and City Council are taking the first steps toward having the city re-gain control of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, which has been run by the feds for nearly two years.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has run PHA since early 2011 after the local board was forced to resign in the wake of the Carl Greene scandal.
City officials and feds have agreed on a restoration of local control and that process began this past week when Mayor Nutter submitted to City Council nominations for nine board members.
“The group has a wide range of skills and we think that it will help establish a coordinated housing policy for the city, for the first time ever,” says spokesman Mark McDonald.
The original PHA board had just five members and there was no Council oversight. Now, Council members hope to review and vote on the nine nominations before they recess in mid-December.
Council president Clarke is pleased that council finally has input into PHA leadership.
“We are intimately involved in providing affordable housing for residents across the city, so it made sense for council to have some involvement. Once that board is established we anticipate this will be a strong board. It will receive training from HUD,” Clarke explains.
Among those nominated are Nelson Diaz, a former judge and city solicitor, Joan Markman, the mayor’s Chief Integrity Officer and former federal prosecutor, and Herb Wetzel, the former head of the Redevelopment Authority and now City Council’s housing expert.