Hernandez Leaving Housing Position

The head of the largest public housing authority in North America, Tino Hernandez, announced he’ll leave his position as chairman of the New York Housing Authority in three weeks to head a drug treatment organization.

Hernandez announced his departure while appearing with Michael Bloomberg during his weekly radio appearance with radio host John Gambling. Hernandez later appeared at a City Council budget hearing, where City Council members praised his tenure.

Hernandez said he was approached by the board of a treatment center, Samaritan Village, earlier this year when that group’s president announced he’d be stepping down after four decades. Hernandez said he approached the mayor, who asked him to stay on at NYCHA through 2008.

Replacing Hernandez temporarily will be agency’s general counsel, Ricardo Morales, who Hernandez described as a “trusted adviser.” During the radio show, Bloomberg said there would be a nationwide search to find a permanent replacement.

City Council member Rosie Mendez, who heads the City Council’s committee on Public Housing, said he was “sorry” to see Hernandez go, and praised his responsiveness.