CHA votes in Ivory Mathews as interim executive director

CHA votes in Ivory Mathews as interim executive director

In February, executive director Gilbert Walker announced his retirement after two Allen Benedict Court residents died in January from carbon monoxide poisoning. Now Ivory Mathews will take that position for the time being.

Ivory Mathews
Ivory Mathews

This afternoon at a special meeting, the Board of Commissioner voted on Mathews’ contract.

For the past five years, Ivory Mathews has served as the Executive Director of the housing authority in Greenville. Commissioners in Columbia say that made Mathews stand out from other candidates.

Mathews was selected from a pool of 13 candidates for the position. Ernest Cromartie, the chairman of CHA’s board of commissioners, says Mathews is ready to hit the ground running.

“Her attitude is resident focused,” he said. “She is very, very focused on making sure the residents know that Columbia Housing Authority is committed to making sure that we provide the best affordable housing that we can.”

Mathews will be working with outgoing director Gilbert Walker for the next few weeks as she transitions into her new role.

Chairman Cromartie says Mathews could be starting within the next 30 days. Cromartie says Mathews’ resume and concern for residents set her apart from other applicants.

“We think what set her apart is the fact that she is currently in a position as an executive director,” he said. “So when she on-boards with Columbia housing authority, she knows the job. She understands the breadth of responsibility that is required for the day-to-day operation of a housing authority of this size, and we feel that from ‘day one’ she will be able to move forward and be able to push us, with respect to our path forward to better serve the residents.”

This, again, is all for the interim director position; we are still working to find out if this means Mathews will be the permanent executive director for the housing authority.

At prior meetings, commissioners let us know that whoever is chosen for that interim position could certainly be a contender for the permanent spot.

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