Charles Blake, chief of staff to Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., is expected to be named today as the interim executive director of the Little Rock Housing Authority, also known as the Metropolitan Housing Alliance. He’ll step down as chief of staff while he’s temporarily overseeing the housing the authority, while the authority’s board searches for a permanent executive director. The board meets midday today.
The authority has racked up bad headlines in recent years. Its board has regularly violated open meeting laws, and the housing authority has struggled to retain executive directors. The most recent agency head, Anthony Snell, resigned after less than nine months on the job. Last year, the housing authority was flagged by the inspector general of federal Housing and Urban Development Department for mismanaging its rental assistance demonstration program.
Blake, a former state legislator, brings with him a strong personality and the authority of being a close confidante of the mayor’s. Will that be enough to right the perennially troubled housing authority?
UPDATE: Whoops. This didn’t happen. The Housing Authority board chose someone else as interim director, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, and now the mayor is talking about dissolving the Housing Authority board.