District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray has tapped housing leader Michael P. Kelly to direct the district’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
Due to Kelly’s appointment, current DHCD Director John Hall has been moved to a newly created position as senior advisor for Housing to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).
“Affordable housing is an issue of utmost importance to a large percentage of District residents, and addressing that issue is a priority for my administration,” Gray said.
“With the team of Michael Kelly and John Hall in place, we will be better equipped to tackle this complex challenge.”
Last Friday, Kelly announced that he was resigning from the Philadelphia Housing Authority due to family responsibilities.
While at the helm of PHA, Kelly was credited for many sweeping reforms. He re-established the Office of General Counsel — which manages PHA’s legal affairs and created the Office of Internal Audit and Compliance to ensure business transitions were compliant.
He headed PHA’s Transition Plan — which aims to establish a culture of respect, accountability and transparency at the agency. Under Kelly, PHA reached a new contract agreement with Building and Construction Trades Council regarding worker’s pensions.
Kelly has decades of experience in urban housing agencies, including service as director of the D.C. Housing Authority from 2000 to 2009. He served as executive director of PHA, at the request of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) while the agency was in administrative receivership and instituting major reforms.
Kelly came to PHA in December 2010 when the authority was in the midst of turmoil. He is credited with maintaining focus and providing uninterrupted service during the Carl Greene controversy.
In 2008, accusations of sexually harassment against PHA Director Carl Greene surfaced. Greene was fired in September 2010 after the board of directors discovered that he used approximately $900,000 of federal funding for multiple sexual harassment lawsuits.
As PHA’s interim executive director, Kelly was on loan from the New York City Housing Authority, based on agreements that he serve both roles while maintaining duties as general manager of NYCHA. In August 2011, Kelly was named permanent executive director at PHA.
Kelly has directed housing agencies in San Francisco and New Orleans as well. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University, a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in education, also from UC–Berkeley. Kelly, a licensed architect and urban planner, holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.