Five residents will serve the community’s housing needs after being appointed to the first board of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) in Cook County.
During a meeting of the Cook County’s Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, October 12, a resident from each county in the county was selected to serve on the board of the recently formed HRA. The following people were selected:
District 1: Larry Doe
District 2: Chris Skildum
District 3: Mary Somnis
District 4: Chris O’Brien
District 5: Bill Gabler
HRA board members will serve five years, according to Commissioner Dave Mills, with reverse rotation between districts based on how high they rank in the selection process. For example, the higher a board member scores during the selection process, the longer their tenure will be, Mills said.
To learn more about the HRA, the selection process for commissioners to form the Board of Directors, and for more information on the applicants, click here.
According to District Administrator James Joerke, a total of 16 people applied for the HRA, including many “highly qualified applicants” with different backgrounds in the areas of housing, development and community planning.
Desiring to address a critical community problem, the board took action in August to approve the formation of an HRA in Cook County. The board of directors voted 5-0 in a meeting on Tuesday, August 24th, to found the HRA.
Establishing an HRA was an important topic of conversation as the local government wants to play a role in addressing the housing shortage in the community. The proposed HRA will be a body managed and organized similar to the Local Economic Development Authority (EDA) format. Similar to the EDA, the HRA will have a submission authority, although its budget has to be approved annually by the district board. The initial budget for the HRA in 2022 is $ 125,000.
Now that the HRA board is formed, the process of hiring a director for the organization begins. A director is likely to be hired later this year or early 2022, Joerke previously told WTIP. The director will work to raise grants and other funds to bring money to Cook County to build homes.