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Aurora Housing hires new executive director

Keith Gregory

Keith Gregory

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Updated: October 29, 2012 6:43AM

AURORA — The Housing Authority board approved the hiring of a new AHA Executive Director Wednesday.

The board hired Keith Gregory, who was finance director for the Housing Authority of Fulton County in Atlanta, Ga. Gregory will officially start Oct. 1.

He fills the spot left by outgoing Executive Director Jean Federman. Federman, worked for the AHA for 19 years and announced her retirement in June.

The AHA board voted 6-0 to approve Gregory’s appointment. New AHA board member Bill Powell abstained from the vote.

Powell said that although Gregory is “highly qualified,” it is ill timing to name him to the position now. The board should wait until a pending court case between the Housing Authority and the city is resolved, Powell said.

“I think we’re putting (Gregory) in a bad situation,” Powell said. “He’s going to be torn because of what’s happening.”

On Friday, a Kane County judge granted an injunction that keeps the city of Aurora from seating two new members to the Housing Authority board. The judge also granted the city’s temporary restraining order, which keeps the AHA board from voting on Jericho redevelopment issues for now.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Geneva courthouse.

The AHA hired Human Capital Initiatives to conduct the search for a new director.

According to Jason Geno, founder of Human Capital Initiatives, the AHA received 140 applications for the director post, including two internal applications. Five finalist applications were moved forward to the board.

Gregory, a native of Michigan City, Ind., has also worked for the Cook County Housing Authority and in the private sector, he said.

Coming in during a controversy over the future of Jericho Circle, Gregory said he’s “not tied to one process or any one idea.”

The AHA plans to build a mixed-finance, mixed-income housing complex at the Jericho Circle site, a plan Mayor Tom Weisner opposes.

Gregory said he looks forward to meeting with the Mayor and the community.

“I want to get a feel for everyone’s sense of what is going to be the best,” Gregory said.

This is his first post as executive director of a housing authority, Gregory said Wednesday. Gregory has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance.

Gregory is the fourth executive director at the Aurora Housing Authority in the past five years.

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