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SF Mayor Lee Not Seeking New Housing Chief After Alvarez Firing

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Henry Alvarez (San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing)

Henry Alvarez (San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said on Thursday that he has no plans to search for a new head for the city’s troubled Housing Authority after the recent firing of its executive director, Henry Alvarez.

While Mayor Lee was in China with a business delegation on Tuesday, the Housing Authority Commission voted unanimously to terminate Alvarez, the commission’s director, ahead of his contract date.

While Alvarez was not terminated for failing to meet the job’s performance standards, his firing for “personal matters” came amid political controversy and other allegations—including allegations of racism and discrimination by two of the agencies lawyers.

“I’m not focused on a new director as it is on the team that I’ve had because I’m not going to slot in another individual there who is just going to be continued to be challenged with the economics of the place. Why not put together the right team of people?” Lee said.

The mayor was referring to acting director Barbara Smith and his hand-picked commissioners who were brought in to investigate Alvarez and who ultimately voted to fire him.

Lee said it was time to “move forward” with a plan to improve maintenance and help tenants.

“I’m focused on the residents and their quality of life,” he said.

But those are not the only challenges the authority faces. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ranked the city’s Housing Authority as one of the worst in the nation. The new team of housing commissioners will also have to deal with a new $10 million funding shortfall caused by the automatic federal budget cuts.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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