New Bedford's Walega Named HUD New England Regional Director

BOSTON — Richard A. Walega — who took over Feb. 1 as head of the New Bedford Housing Authority — has been named HUD’s new New England Regional Director.
In announcing Walega as President Barack Obama’s choice for the post, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said this morning Walega will oversee the six-state region which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
“Richard Walega’s commitment to and knowledge of affordable housing will make him a valuable addition to our senior management team,” said Donovan in a press release. “The residents of New England will benefit enormously from his experience and I’m proud he’s answered the call to serve.”
Walega, also in the press release, said, “I am honored that President Obama has asked me to serve our nation here in New England. Secretary Donovan envisions HUD as a collaborative partner working with its public and private stakeholders to protect and produce affordable housing, promote energy independence and create jobs. The President and Secretary also want to promote sustainable federal urban development policies. I embrace these goals. While I’m sad to leave New Bedford, I look forward to humbly serving all my colleagues throughout New England.”
In his new position, Walega will serve as HUD’s liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, member of Congress, private and non-profit developers, stakeholders and customers. He will oversee the delivery of HUD programs and services to communities and evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness. Walega is one of 10 regional directors in the United States.
Walega served as the deputy director for modernization at the New Bedford Housing Authority from 1993 to 2007 and as assistant executive director from 2007 to 2009. Late in 2009, he was named its executive director and has been acting in that role since Feb. 1, following the retirement of Joseph Finnerty.
He managed capital programs for the authority, led its effort to receive four competitive Recovery Act grants and has been in charge of its transition to asset-based management. He leveraged more than $125 million in federal and state capital aid to modernize public housing and has used his extensive experience in housing finance to oversee the rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing.
Prior to his service with the New Bedford Housing Authority, Walega was a principal with the Agelaw Group where he provided real estate consulting services to a variety of public and private sector clients. He also served as the director of development for Peabody Construction Co. Inc., in Braintree and as a city planner in New Bedford. He has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Boston College and a masters of arts degree in government from the University of San Francisco.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
February 22, 2010
Source URL:
http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100222/NEWS/100229990

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