From Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service:
Willie Hines Jr. once lived in public housing.
Now he’s the first African American person to lead the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, or HACM, in its 78-year history.
“I thrived from growing up in public housing,” Hines said. “This is an opportunity to give back to the community that gave to me.”
The HACM is the largest affordable housing provider in Wisconsin. It provides housing options and supportive services to over 10,000 low-income families, seniors, adults with disabilities and veterans.
Hines, 57, said he hopes to continue the good work of his predecessor, Antonio Pérez, who led the agency since 2000 and resigned in February.
“Tony knew how to draw on the talents and gifts of his staff to grow and develop our programs,” he said. “He is someone we will continue to learn from as long as he is accessible to us.”
Others on the HACM staff share Hines’ admiration for Pérez.
“He was big on keeping the faith, which could be stressful. But he was an easy leader to follow,” said Fernando Aniban, the chief financial officer.
Hines said although the brick-and-mortar work that the HACM does is important, he wants to grow and strengthen self-sufficiency programs that empower residents.
As the secretary-executive director of the HACM, Hines said he is proud to serve as the leader of an agency whose mission is to provide housing resources to low-income residents.
“Stable housing is the core of the Housing Authority,” said Kenneth Barbeau, the director of community programs and services. “Helping people move forward is the other part of what we do.”
Read Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service's article "‘An opportunity to give back’: Willie Hines Jr. plunges into new role as leader of Housing Authority."