A top housing official who left the city of Los Angeles to work for the Obama Administration will return to lead the Los Angeles Housing Department, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today.
Mercedes Marquez left the Housing Department in 2009 to serve as the assistant secretary for Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her appointments to again lead the Housing Department as the inteirm general manager and serve as deputy mayor for Housing are not subject to approval from the Los Angeles City Council.
The change in leadership at the Housing Department follows the former general manager’s move to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. Doug Guthrie joined HACLA in the wake of media reports that showed lavish and inappropriate spending.
“We continue to face challenges in L.A. on housing and homeless issues,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “Mercedes will provide a steady and experienced hand as we contend with the loss of the CRA, address homelessness, and move forward with neighborhood stabilization even as Congress continues to make dramatic cuts to funding that’s vital to cities.”
Marquez, who is expected to receive an annual salary of $218,000, will oversee the Housing Department, Housing Authority and Homeless Services Authority.