In an interview with Government and Education Columnist Jabari Simama, Atlanta Housing President and CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. talks about the federal landscape, affordable housing and political accountability:
Eugene Jones Jr., president and CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA), has established himself over a 35-year career as one of America’s foremost public-housing leaders. The Atlanta job is his ninth in a leadership position with a major-city housing agency: Jones, 64, served as CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority from 2015 to 2019, and previously held top executive positions with the public-housing agencies in Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo., and Toronto.
The 50,000-resident Atlanta Housing Authority that Jones now leads was one of the first in the nation to build a public-housing project, Techwood Homes, which opened in 1936. Six decades later, in 1996, AHA was the first to use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI funding to develop a residential project, Centennial Place, as a mixed-income, mixed-use community. I have a particular interest in Centennial Place: I was a member of the Atlanta City Council at the time of its development.