David Gilmore, who took the reins of a troubled Housing Authority of New Orleans three years ago, will remain with the organization at least through January, extending a contract that was supposed to expire last week.
Gilmore said Tuesday that his contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been renewed for six months, with an option to add three more months.
Gilmore serves as the agency’s federal receiver, overseeing the day-to-day activity of the housing authority. He is the latest in a long line of receivers to lead HANO since the organization was taken over by the federal government in 2002 after years of chronic mismanagement at the local level.
Control was supposed to return to New Orleans this month, but the city has not appointed a board of commissioners for the agency. The board, which would hire an executive director and two deputies to lead the organization, is necessary to complete the handoff, HUD said.
Officials in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration have told The Advocate privately that they are in no hurry to retake control of HANO.
“Mayor Landrieu has been involved in ongoing discussions with (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the city works through this transition,” Landrieu spokesman Tyler Gamble said by email Tuesday. “HANO has come a long way since it was first taken over by HUD in 2002 and David Gilmore has been a valued partner in leading HANO since taking it over in 2009.”
The new contract, through Gilmore’s company Gilmore Kean LLC, has an estimated value of nearly $1.4 million. It began July 9 and will extend through Jan. 8.
“Within that period of time there will be clearly an expectation that we would renew our work in earnest to get a transition going here,” Gilmore said.
Before leading HANO, Gilmore worked in public housing in various cities, including Boston and San Francisco, and he led the District of Columbia Housing Authority for five years.
Since Gilmore was brought aboard, the agency has improved from “troubled” to “standard performer” status, according to HUD’s public housing and section 8 assessment systems. Under Gilmore, HANO has turned in timely audits to the state and balanced budgets to HUD for three consecutive years.
That progress might have been negated if Gilmore’s contract had not been renewed, HUD said.