Marine Vet To Head HCHA Board

In a unanimous vote, Harris County Commissioners approved the naming of retired Marine Major Joseph Ellis as new board chairman of the Harris County Housing Authority.

The Harris County Housing Authority provides affordable housing in unincorporated areas of the county. In the past, Harris County Commissioners Court — which appoints the authority’s 5 member board — had criticized the salaries and bonuses given to management at the agency.

But Commissioner Steve Radack, who proposed replacing authority board chairman Casey Wallace, would only say that Major Ellis represents a new leadership needed at the Housing Authiority board.

“I talked to Casey Wallace. I told him I wanted to bring a military person on. This gentleman is a 20 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I think he’s gonna be an outstanding in there. I talked to him, and I want to see more housing for the veterans, and I think it needs to be a focus, and I think he’s very interested in doing that.”

PH: “When you mentioned more housing for the veterans. Is this something that’s lacking, do you think Commissioner?”

Radack: “Oh absolutely, I think it’s lacking. And I think Harris County Housing Authority certainly has the ability to help with housing for veterans, and I think it’s something that certainky should be looked at carefully.”

In spite of the scrutiny given, last year the Authority was cited by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for its efforts in providing homeless veterans with housing assistance. While the agency is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and collects fees from housing it develops with private builders, it receives no local tax dollars.