Gary Housing Authority Board names new interim director

2013-04-02T12:47:00Z Gary Housing Authority Board names new interim directorChelsea Whittington | Director of Communications for the City of Gary nwitimes.com

GARY | The Board of the Directors for the Gary Housing Authority Board named Mary Cossey as Interim Director on March 28. Cossey, who heads the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, arrives at GHA with a mission of working with the Board to identify a permanent Executive Director, address the needs of current and potential residents and assist the authority in the implementation of a plan designed to guide the GHA out of its troubled status.”

For the last 10 years, the GHA has been listed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s as a troubled agency. Board Chair Michael Brown indicated that the Board has renewed its efforts to focus on the needs of residents while tightening the fiscal reins of the organization.

“Mary Cossey comes to GHA at a critical time. She is a proven human resources professional, problem-solver, with experience in real estate and property preservation,” Brown said. “She also comes to GHA with the ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable with limited resources.”

Cossey joins the Authority after Interim Director Delvert Cole advised the Board of his decision to pursue other professional endeavors. Cossey was recommended to the Board on an interim basis by Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

“We are grateful to Delvert Cole for his willingness to lead GHA during a very difficult period. With his departure, there was a void,” Freeman-Wilson said. “I knew GHA residents needed a person who would put their needs first while working to address the organizational challenges identified by HUD and a myriad of technical assistance providers. Mary does a great job coordinating the city’s response to a wide range of constituents’ needs, and she will bring the same tenacity to GHA.”

In addition to holding a Master’s in Business Administration and real estate license, Cossey’s work history includes serving in a management capacity at community-based organizations and a youth residential facility, property preservation contracting, grant writing and grant management.

Mayor Freeman-Wilson also commended the Board’s development of a plan contemplated to move GHA forward and off the troubled agency list.

“This Board is working diligently to provide clean, safe and secure housing for GHA residents and they have developed a plan to reduce vacancies and the wait list while improving the quality of life for citizens," she said. "They have been steadfast in their efforts, and I am very appreciative for their dedication.”

Existing staff will work together to ensure that current projects and tasks move forward in the Mayor’s Office of Constituent services are done during Cossey’s absence.

Cossey began the role of Interim Director Monday.

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