New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a new leadership structure at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), splitting the roles of NYCHA chair and chief executive officer.
Mayor Adams, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) have begun a national search for a new permanent CEO, and, beginning September 19, 2022, current NYCHA Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel Lisa Bova-Hiatt will serve as interim CEO.
Mayor Adams, HUD, and SDNY will continue working together on improving NYCHA and on further reforms under the 2019 federal agreement.
The restructuring represents a step forward in the next phase of NYCHA’s Transformation Plan and is consistent with the amendment to NYCHA’s bylaws adopted on June 15, 2022.
The separation of these roles establishes a new and more effective leadership structure — aligning NYCHA with the operating structure of public housing authorities nationwide and the leadership structure laid out in NYCHA’s Transformation Plan.
“We cannot wait any longer to make transformational changes so NYCHA can provide safe, high-quality homes for New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “I am determined to work with my partners in government to identify the right leaders and the right structure for NYCHA to deliver on our promises to public housing residents. I want to thank Lisa Bova-Hiatt for her dedicated service to our city and for stepping up at this critical time to put NYCHA on the right path.”
“Lisa is the right person to guide the NYCHA team, serve the residents, and advance the work that is underway,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “For too long, NYCHA has been underserved and the residents have been forgotten. That will not happen under this administration, and we will work closely with the interim CEO and eventual permanent CEO to ensure that we finally deliver the services and quality of life that NYCHA residents deserve.”
“I am honored to take on this role as interim CEO. NYCHA is New York City’s most vital affordable housing, and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who live here deserve consistent leadership,” said incoming NYCHA Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt.“I look forward to moving the Authority forward through its many reforms and initiatives during these groundbreaking times and to maintain the momentum of NYCHA’s transformation.”
“Knowing the residents and NYCHA staff will be led by Lisa in the interim is an important move to continue strengthening NYCHA. As I step back into the role of chair of NYCHA’s Board of Directors, I will remain a resource and partner to Lisa, the NYCHA team, NYCHA residents, and the city,” said NYCHA Chair Gregory Russ. “My commitment to NYCHA remains as strong as ever, and as we strengthen the authority and deliver the Public Housing Preservation Trust together, I feel confident in the future of NYCHA.”
With more than 25 years of government experience, Lisa Bova-Hiatt has served as NYCHA’s general counsel since February 2020, leading the Authority’s law department and helping to advance the transformation of NYCHA’s organizational structure, operations, management, and policies.
Bova-Hiatt was previously the general counsel of the City University Construction Fund and executive university counsel for The City University of New York.
Before that, she served as executive director of the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, where she played an integral role in helping New York state carry out the reconstruction of more than 12,000 homes and hundreds of infrastructure projects in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee.
She also held various roles at the New York City Department of Law, including deputy chief of the tax and bankruptcy litigation division.
Photo credit: Lisa Bova-Hiatt.