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HUD High Performing Agency
Richard C. GentrySDHC President & CEO
Richard C. Gentry has served as
the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission
(SDHC) since September 19, 2008. With more than 275 employees and a budget of
more than $325 million, SDHC serves low-income residents in the city of San
Diego—the eighth largest city in the nation and second largest city in
Mr. Gentry’s career in affordable
housing and community redevelopment spans more than 40 years. Before coming to
San Diego, Mr. Gentry was Senior Vice President of Asset Management for the
National Equity Fund in Chicago, Ill., the nation’s largest nonprofit
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator.
He began at the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1972 and has held CEO positions at
the Austin (Texas) and Richmond (Va.) housing authorities. Mr. Gentry was also
the Vice President for Public Housing Initiatives at the Local Initiatives
Support Corporation (LISC) in Washington, D.C.
Immediately, after assuming the top post at SDHC, Mr. Gentry directed the implementation of an
innovative 2009 Finance Plan that created 810 additional affordable housing
units in the city of San Diego in five years through public-private
partnerships and direct acquisitions. This project stemmed from a September 10,
2007, landmark agreement, in which HUD transferred full ownership for 1,366
public housing units to SDHC—the largest public housing conversion at that
time. SDHC leveraged the equity from this new real estate portfolio to create
or preserve these additional affordable housing units. All of the units will
remain affordable for at least 55 years or more.
Under Mr. Gentry’s leadership,
SDHC on July 1, 2010, became one of the first public housing agencies in
the nation to receive HUD approval to also use its federal rental housing
voucher funding to provide long-term housing for chronically homeless
He is the visionary behind HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s three-year
Homelessness Action Plan (2014-17) that will create additional affordable
housing with supportive services, which will impact the lives of as many as
1,500 homeless San Diegans. The latest program of the plan is The 1,000
Homeless Veterans Initiative, which will provide housing opportunities to help
up to 1,000 homeless Veterans get off the streets within a year.
Mr. Gentry also sits on the San Diego
Regional Continuum of Care Council Governance Board, which oversees federal
funds that are annually allocated for homelessness programs by HUD. He
also sits on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Downtown Partnership and
the United Way Home Again Advisory Board.
Mr. Gentry’s accomplishments also
include helping Standard & Poor’s develop its rating system for housing
In October 2008, the National
Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) awarded Mr. Gentry
the John D. Lange Award for his achievements in expanding the organization’s
stature and influence internationally. In October 2012, he was accepted into
the NAHRO Fellowship Program, which honors members for their commitment to
improving the housing conditions of their fellow citizens. Mr. Gentry also
served as NAHRO’s president from 1995-97 and as senior vice president from
Mr. Gentry is also currently
a member of the Boards of Directors for the Council of Large Public Housing
Authorities and the California Housing Consortium. In addition, he is a member
of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association and the National
Housing Conference. He was an active participant in the 2012 Roundtable
Discussions held by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission.
Mr. Gentry was also a
contributing writer for the book, From Despair to Hope, Hope IV and the New
Promise of Public Housing in America’s Cities, which was co-edited by
former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros in 2009.
Born in Elkin, N.C., Mr. Gentry holds a master’s
degree in religion from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in
religion from Wake Forest University.
1122 Broadway, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101
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