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City of Houston

Resigning Houston Housing Authority Board Chair: Mayor Turner Wants His Own Team

Lance Gilliam says he will step down later this month. The decision follows public criticism by Mayor Sylvester Turner of the agency’s work.


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Lance Gilliam
Lance Gilliam, chairman of the Houston Housing Authority board, announced his resignation after pressure from the mayor.

The chairman of the Houston Housing Authority board, Lance Gilliam, said he had planned to finish out the remaining two years of his term but wants to respect the mayor's will.

"The message was delivered to me a week ago Monday morning that the mayor would prefer to have his own team in place going forward," he said.

Last week, Mayor Turner declined to support a proposal by the Housing Authority to build a mixed-income housing project on Fountain View near the Galleria.

He also criticized the agency for not focusing more on low-income areas.

"I am disappointed that the Houston Housing Authority has not moved forward with other housing projects that are on their books right now," Turner said at last Wednesday's weekly news conference. "And they're not building housing in other areas of the city."

Gilliam doesn't agree with that criticism. He said his agency has done better than any housing authority in the country considering the hurdles it faces.

"We own sites in the Fifth Ward and Acres Homes and Independent Heights and on Fountain View," he said. "We have all federal approvals, all state approvals in place for many of those projects but for paperwork at the city of Houston."

Gilliam said he plans to resign his chairmanship at the next board meeting on Aug. 23 but stay on the board until the end of the year.

The Houston Housing Authority is separate from the city, but board members are appointed by the mayor. The board then elects a chairman.

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