Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA) President Milton Bailey has stepped down from the post he has held since 2006.
He announced the move at the April 13 meeting of the agency’s Board of Commissioners.
“Leadership is about knowing when to step forward to take on difficult challenges,” he said in a statement. “In my humble view, it is also about knowing when to step back for the good of the whole.”
Bailey stated that he had “given considerable thought to the new direction Gov. [Bobby] Jindal wishes to take the agency.” He said he thought this was the time to step aside and allow new leadership to take over LHFA.
Jindal recently announced a proposal to consolidate LHFA and several other organizations into a new Louisiana Housing Corp. that would oversee all housing funds in the state.
He noted that the state has almost 30 housing-related programs managed across five different organizations. By creating one umbrella agency, he hopes to reduce staffing and eliminate multiple boards while providing better coordination of housing programs.
Bailey has been at the helm of LHFA as the state works to recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
He observed that “the agency’s work is far from complete,” noting since the hurricanes, Louisiana and the nation have experienced mounting national and statewide fiscal pressures, a global financial crisis, losses in tax credit equity, and a marked increase in bankruptcy and foreclosure rates.
Bailey said, “It is therefore imperative that the agency finish and build on the work we started together.”
Allison Jones, board chair, praised his efforts. “He provided leadership and courage, and our state and its citizens should forever admire and be grateful for the work he accomplished,” she said in a statement. “Mr. Bailey will be greatly missed, but the long list of his accomplishments will be a legacy that Louisianans will never forget. Simply put, we could not have recovered without him. We wish Mr. Bailey the best in his future pursuits, as I know he wishes the agency continued success in its mission of providing affordable housing to the people of Louisiana.”