Director of embattled DuPage Housing Authority let go

A leader brought in to reform the DuPage Housing Authority has been let go after eight months:

[David] Hoicka, who had served in senior management for housing agencies in Texas, Louisiana, and Hawaii, was hired in January as part of ongoing efforts to overhaul the Wheaton-based agency that once mismanaged more than $10 million in federal funding.

He replaced John Day, who was forced to resign last year after the U.S. Office of Inspector General released two audits critical of the agency. A third audit concluded the agency improperly spent more than $5.8 million in federal money and failed to adequately document another $4.7 million.

Hoicka took the reins of the agency after the board conducted a nationwide search for an executive director. At the time he was hired, officials said Hoicka’s background made him an ideal choice.

In addition to publishing three handbooks on HUD housing programs, Hoicka served as an adviser for public housing groups in Southeast Asia and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

This organization has clearly had its problems (see an earlier post). Unfortunately, I think stories like these distract from the real issues facing the Authority and DuPage County: how to truly tackle issues like affordable housing and housing discrimination in a relatively wealthy county that is also facing demographic change.

While it is not clear here why Hoicka was fired, I have to wonder why he didn’t work out in DuPage County. From an earlier post, here is a longer list of his experience before taking this job:

Hoicka has served as chief operating officer for the housing authority in El Paso, Texas, worked as an adviser to the housing ministry in Bahrain, managed the New Orleans housing authority, and worked as branch chief for Hawaii’s Housing and Community Development Corp. He has written three manuals on HUD regulations.

DuPage County is unique in some ways but Hoicka had a wide range of experience that would seem to be helpful.


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