COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – The Columbia Housing Authority has announced the name of their interim executive director in a news release on Saturday.

Ivory N. Mathews was selected from a pool of 13 applicants and will replace Gilbert Walker, who announced his retirement after the death of two residents at Allen Benedict Court Apartments earlier this year. The deaths were ruled as carbon monoxide poisoning due to a gas leak in the building.

“You know, rebuilding the trust of residents, rebuilding the trust of people in the community it comes with being assessable, being available, being transparent,” Mathews said. "It comes with providing exceptional customer service from every level within the organization.”

The Board of Commissioners of the Columbia Housing Authority is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Ivory W. Mathews as our only finalist for the Interim Executive Director of the Columbia Housing Authority.

As the Board undertook the search for an Interim Executive Director, we balanced the impact of the fast approaching retirement of Executive Director, Mr. Gilbert Walker and the Housing Authority’s need to have an experienced person who is familiar with the day-to-day operation of a large public housing authority.

For the past five years, Ms. Mathews, has served as Executive Director of the Greenville Housing Authority. Her education and experience make her the ideal candidate for the Interim position. After our careful reading of Ms. Mathews’ credentials, we are confident that she will be able to make an immediate impact to address the Housing Authority’s needs. Copies of Ms. Mathews’ resume and cover letter are available today for review.

We understand that residents of the Columbia Housing Authority and staff members have eagerly awaited the announcement of Mr. Walker’s replacement. We hope the selection of Ms. Mathews as our finalist is evidence of our continued commitment to providing the leadership and guidance needed at this time.

The Board will meet for a special session on Monday, May 20, to determine any action on the finalist selection at this stage in our search.

New York City Mayor and recent Democratic Presidential Candidate, Bill de Blasio made a stop in Columbia Saturday to a home off of Broad River Road to discuss housing.

"I’m tired of hearing about Trump. They’re not concerned about Trump right now, they’re concerned about their ability to pay their rent to stay in their homes to have a good safe community, and that’s what is important, Trump is over there. We need to work on someone that is going to address these issues that the community are struggling with," Dickerson said.

(Source: WIS)

Benjamin went on to say that while Mayor Bill de Blasio’s has background as a prior regional director of Housing and Urban Development, Housing is an issue he says he’s talked to all candidates about.

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