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Peekskill Housing Authority To Hire New Exec Director

The Peekskill Housing Authority is looking for a replacement for Executive Director Harold Phipps, right.
The Peekskill Housing Authority is looking for a replacement for Executive Director Harold Phipps, right. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The Peekskill Housing Authority is searching for a new executive director.

A job listing was posted Dec. 3 on the Public Housing Authority Directors Association website. The attorney for the Peekskill Housing Authority, William Florence, confirmed that the Board of Commissioners had put the current executive director, Harold Phipps, on notice until a replacement can be hired.

“He will retire when a new director is retained,” Florence said.

The decision was made in executive session following the public segment of the Nov. 22 Peekskill Housing Authority meeting.

Phipps, whose contract was not renewed last year, has been the target of criticism from some residents, who have accused him of being unprofessional in his handling of housing maintenance issues and tenant relations. He also is the target of a sexual discrimination lawsuit by a former employee. Phipps has denied the allegations made against him.

Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said she supported the board's decision.

“It sounds like the board is moving forward to stabilize things over at the Housing Authority and it sounds like they have a plan,” Foster said.

One of Phipps’ most vocal critics is Darrell Davis, an area civil rights activist and former city resident. Davis said he was pleased with the news.

“It’s long overdue if it’s true,” Davis said. “The board should be commended for trying to bring sanity back to the Housing Authority.”

The Peekskill Housing Authority is described in the job posting as a standard-performing, mixed-family housing authority with 282 public housing units at three sites: One eight-story, mixed-income unit and two garden apartment mixed-income complexes.

The required skills listed for the job include comprehensive knowledge of the New York Public Housing Law; thorough knowledge of Department of Housing and Urban Development laws, rules and regulations governing the planning, financing, construction and operation of public housing facilities; thorough knowledge of civil service principles and practices of the Westchester Department of Human Resources and the Civil Service Employees Association as they relate to public housing administration; and thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration as they relate to certified public housing management.

Applicants are expected to have graduated from a recognized college or university with a bachelor’s degree in business or public administration, finance, accounting or related housing field, and have at least two years of experience in public housing management and be certified in public housing management.

Calls to Housing Authority commissioners for comment were not immediately returned.

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