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Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson Announces His Retirement Plan
by Lynda Carson
Tuesday Mar 19th, 2019 7:52 PM
In an email earlier today from Eric Johnson, the Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority, he announced his plan to retire after 11 years with the Oakland Housing Authority!
The Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson Announces His Retirement Plans

By Lynda Carson - March 19, 2019

Oakland - According to records with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Oakland Housing Authority has 13,260 units in its Section 8 inventory, and 2,122 units in its low-rent inventory. Thanks to the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as the Section 8 voucher program), and other HUD assisted housing programs, thousands of low-income renters in Oakland have a place to call home.

In an email earlier today from Eric Johnson, the Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority, he announced his plan to retire. “Good morning, after 11 years with the Oakland Housing Authority, and nearly 30 years in the affordable housing industry, I have announced my plan to retire by the end of 2019. It’s hard to say farewell, and I will miss my work at OHA, it’s been an amazing agency and city to be a part of.”

According to the website for the OHA, “Executive Director, Eric Johnson, leads a staff of approximately 370 persons. The OHA is one of the largest housing authorities in California and one of only 39 Moving to Work (MTW) agencies in the nation.”

And according to Youth Ventures, Joint Powers Authority, “Eric Johnson was appointed Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority in November of 2010 after serving as Deputy Executive Director for the Authority since March of 2008. At OHA, Johnson directs a staff of 370 permanent employees and an annual budget of $750 million dollars, serving over 16,500 families in Oakland and through an additional contract with HUD providing Project Based Contract Administration and subsidy payments to over 41,000 additional families in Northern California.

Prior to his position at OHA, Johnson worked at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), one of the nation’s largest housing authorities, in many leadership positions, including his final role heading their Housing Services Department which included management of nearly 10,000 units of housing, all resident services, and development and modernization activities.

An Oakland resident, originally from Idaho, Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was recently named the Executive Director of the Year by the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing.”

According to today's Press Release:

The Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson Announces His Retirement After 11 years With the Agency

“Eric Johnson, the Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority,
has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2019, after 11 years of service to
Oakland and over 29 years in the affordable housing industry.

A nationally recognized leader in affordable housing, Mr. Johnson has made
tremendous strides to facilitate and increase access to affordable housing opportunities
and development of new affordable housing in Oakland, dramatically improved the
transparency of its programs and finances, and brought empowerment, resources and
opportunity to residents and neighborhoods.

“I took on this work in 1990 knowing that systems will never change or improve without
people of vision and purpose making those changes within the agencies tasked with
their administration.” Johnson noted, “It has been very rewarding to work for a Board,
with a Mayor, and in a City where that is not only tolerated, but admired. I will be
forever grateful for that.”

“Oakland city leaders have benefited immensely from Eric’s leadership at the Housing
Authority, and many more of our vulnerable residents and families enjoy a sense of
housing security thanks to his personal mission to make federally funded programs
work better for those who most rely on them,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “As a
member of the city’s Housing Cabinet, Eric approached his role with a refreshing blend
of technical expertise and humanity. During the worst affordable housing crisis in a
generation, Eric has created initiatives which serve as a model for the region, and
consistently fought to break down silos in the human service sector that have historically
kept communities from ending cycles of poverty. My colleagues and I will miss him
dearly and wish him well in all his future endeavors.”

“Eric has exceeded our highest expectations and has been a pleasure to work with,”
Greg Hartwig, Chair of the Oakland Housing Authority Board of Commissioners
stated. “He has always kept the welfare of our residents and the need to expand our
reach to serve even more people as his highest priority; adding new life enhancing
services for our residents and significant numbers of new affordable housing units. His leadership in mitigating the effects of the worst rent and housing crisis in Oakland
history has been exceptional. In addition, Eric has positioned OHA for long term
success in an era of uncertain government funding and has won both local and national
recognition. He will be dearly missed by all of us.”

Accomplishments include:

• 1,922 units of new affordable housing in Oakland created by the Housing
Authority, either completed or under development, since 2008.

• Increased the Section 8 Project Based awards from 570 units in 2008 to 5,208
units by the end of 2018, and partnered with the City of Oakland NOFA to award
many of these vouchers through one competitive process.

• Developed innovative inter-governmental systems alignment for special needs
populations, including emancipated foster youth, chronically homeless and re-
entry populations in partnership with the City of Oakland and County of Alameda.

• 289 services-enriched Single Room Occupancy units in Oakland awarded an
operating subsidy preserving the housing stock and allowing for housing stability
and services at these properties in the last two years.

• Secured the first data sharing agreement between a local school district and a
housing authority in the country in 2010, which has resulted in developing and
growing educational Promise Plus pilot programs to increase parent engagement
and address chronic absenteeism for our families.

• Increased the Authority’s annual investment in resident training and employment
opportunities, including expanded summer employment for youth and bringing a
competitively awarded four-year $2.7 Million dollar Jobs Plus job training and
placement HUD grant for West Oakland.

• A strong advocate for resident leadership and empowerment, created a Resident
Leadership Center to facilitate giving residents access to professional office
space to further their individual and collective advocacy in many areas, including
housing, health, and education.

• Preserved 1,806 former public housing units by moving the 249 properties onto
the Section 8 Project Based rental assistance program through HUD’s Section 18
Disposition process, which dramatically increased the HUD monthly assistance
to the properties allowing for their on-going replacement and restoration. In
addition, 261 public housing units in mixed finance developments are scheduled
to convert to RAD Section 8 Vouchers in September of 2019.

• Awarded for five consecutive years the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence 
in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the 
United States and Canada (GFOA), for its Comprehensive Annual Financial 
Report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition 
in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment 
represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. 
OHA is one of only three public housing authorities in the nation to receive this 

“It has been a challenging and very rewarding experience being with the Oakland 
Housing Authority for the past 11 years. The work we have done together is 
unparalleled in the industry, and I have been honored to lead this agency, and better 
position it to face the challenges to come from our current political climate and 
uncertainty in Washington.” Johnson stated. 

The Oakland Housing Authority will be conducting a national recruitment process 
seeking a new Executive Director, and expects to name a new Executive Director in the 
Fall of 2019. 

For more information about the Oakland Housing Authority, call (510) 874-1510 or visit: 

About the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) 

The Oakland Housing Authority is the largest provider of affordable housing in the City 
of Oakland and proudly delivers diverse housing opportunities to over 16,000 families in 
Oakland, and through an additional contract with HUD, provides oversight and contract 
administration services for over 41,000 Project Based Rental Assistance units in 
Northern California. For more information about the OHA, please contact us at 
info [at], visit our website at, or call 510-874-1563. 


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