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Hempstead housing board seeks new director

The Village of Hempstead.

The Village of Hempstead. Credit: J.C. Cherubini, 2011

The troubled Hempstead Village Housing Authority remains without an executive director, a leadership vacuum board members said they hope to resolve in the coming weeks.

The agency, which is the subject of ongoing federal administrative and criminal investigations, placed Executive Director Stacey Stackhouse on leave without pay for 30 days on April 11.

The suspension has expired, but Stackhouse is not back with the agency, housing authority officials said.

The housing authority board, which next meets on June 13, must determine her status, said housing authority attorney Charlene Thompson.

The board might hold a special meeting this month to determine Stackhouse's status and who should direct the agency, board member Marcia Turner said.

Stackhouse, reached by phone, confirmed that she is not working for the housing authority and declined to comment further.

The lack of a leader has underscored the housing authority's dysfunction, Turner said. "I have to be a part of something that's cohesive," she said. "Things have to be ironed out before we can go forward."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designated the authority as "troubled" after it scored 57 out of 100 in a 2011 assessment report, and the federal agency has been monitoring its management, a HUD spokesman has said.

Investigators from HUD's Office of the Inspector General also visited the Hempstead authority on April 5 seeking financial records, housing officials have said. The Hempstead authority oversees 281 units.

HUD is working with the authority "on a recovery agreement and sustainability plan to improve its management systems, financial stability, and operational efficiency," HUD spokesman Adam Glantz said.

The lack of an executive director also comes as the seven-member housing authority board has had heavy turnover.

New members Turner, Andrena Wyatt and Max Rodriguez all were recently appointed by Mayor Wayne Hall, who has called for board chairman Gilford Finch to resign.

Finch said he does not intend to step down. "We're trying to do honest work here," he said.

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