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Richard C. GentrySDHC President & CEO
Richard C. Gentry has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) since September 19, 2008. With more than 300 employees and an annual operating revenue budget of $252 million, SDHC serves low-income residents in the city of San Diego—the eighth largest city in the nation and second largest city in California.
Mr. Gentry’s career in affordable housing and community redevelopment spans close to 45 years. Before coming to San Diego, Mr. Gentry was Senior Vice President of Asset Management for the National Equity Fund in Chicago, Ill., the nation’s largest nonprofit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator.
He began at the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1972 and has held CEO positions at
the Austin (Texas) and Richmond (Va.) housing authorities. Mr. Gentry was also
the Vice President for Public Housing Initiatives at the Local Initiatives
Support Corporation (LISC) in Washington, D.C.
Immediately, after assuming the top post at SDHC, Mr. Gentry directed the implementation of an innovative 2009 Finance Plan that created 810 additional affordable housing units in the city of San Diego through public-private partnerships and direct acquisitions. This Finance Plan was developed following a September 10, 2007, landmark agreement, in which HUD transferred full ownership for 1,366 public housing units to SDHC—the largest public housing conversion at that time. SDHC leveraged the equity from this new real estate portfolio to create or preserve these additional affordable housing units. All of the units will remain affordable for at least 55 years or more.
In addition, Mr. Gentry committed SDHC as a federal “Moving to Work” (MTW) agency, which provides SDHC the flexibility to implement new programs to provide housing assistance in the city of San Diego. SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities, out of 3,400 nationwide, to receive an MTW designation from HUD. Mr. Gentry serves on the national MTW Steering Committee.
Under Mr. Gentry’s leadership,
SDHC on July 1, 2010, became one of the first public housing agencies in
the nation to receive HUD approval to also use its federal rental housing
voucher funding to provide long-term housing for chronically homeless
As a leading partner in addressing homelessness in the city of San Diego, SDHC developed HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s three-year Homelessness Action Plan (2014-17), which is an effective, diverse funding and housing strategy that is on target to impact the lives of close to 3,000 homeless San Diegans—Veterans, families and individuals in the city of San Diego. This far exceeds its initial goal of 1,500 homeless San Diegans. HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO includes the Housing Our Heroes initiative to provide housing opportunities to help up to 1,000 homeless Veterans get off the streets.
Mr. Gentry is a member of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless Governance Board, which oversees federal funds that are annually allocated for homelessness programs by HUD. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Downtown Partnership and the United Way Home Again Advisory Board.
Mr. Gentry’s accomplishments also
include helping Standard & Poor’s develop its rating system for housing
In October 2008, the National
Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) awarded Mr. Gentry
the John D. Lange Award for his achievements in expanding the organization’s
stature and influence internationally. In October 2012, he was accepted into
the NAHRO Fellowship Program, which honors members for their commitment to
improving the housing conditions of their fellow citizens. Mr. Gentry also
served as NAHRO’s president from 1995-97 and as senior vice president from
Mr. Gentry is also currently
a member of the Boards of Directors for the Council of Large Public Housing
Authorities and the California Housing Consortium. In addition, he is a member
of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association and the National
Housing Conference. He was an active participant in the 2012 Roundtable
Discussions held by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission.
Mr. Gentry was also a
contributing writer for the book, From Despair to Hope, Hope IV and the New
Promise of Public Housing in America’s Cities, which was co-edited by
former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros in 2009.
Born in Elkin, N.C., Mr. Gentry holds a master’s
degree in religion from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in
religion from Wake Forest University.
1122 Broadway, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101
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