Austin, Texas – Edwina Carrington, who has led the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for the last four years, said it’s a logical time for her to move on.

“I feel like we – the board and staff – have strengthened TDHCA’s position from an internal standpoint and from a political standpoint,” she told Affordable Housing Finance recently. “It’s well-positioned to move forward. It’s a comfortable time for me to leave.”

Carrington recently announced that she is leaving the state agency to join Reznick Group, a national accounting, tax and business advisory group. She will establish an Austin office and will be responsible for growing business throughout the Southwest. She will also be part of the firm’s national affordable housing finance group.

At TDHCA, Bill Dally has been named interim executive director of the agency, which administers approximately $500 million in housing and community service programs in the state, including about $42 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). He recently served as acting deputy executive director and had also served as chief of agency administration.

An executive director is expected to be named in the spring. The TDHCA governing board has been soliciting candidates for the top post.

Carrington is credited with helping turn around TDHCA, which had been mired in accusations of corruption centered around the allocation of LIHTCs in the 1990s. One board member was convicted of charges related to accepting a bribe from a tax credit applicant, and in 2001, TDHCA was given a two-year probation from the Sunset Advisory Commission, the state body that reports on whether an agency should be continued or should expire.

Carrington, who was hired in 2002, realigned the department, creating multifamily housing and single-family housing divisions. TDHCA also revamped its LIHTC program, working closely with the developers and others. In 2003, state leaders agreed to continue the department for eight years.

“We wanted to increase the transparency and accountability of TDHCA,” said Carrington, who earned a 2005 Outstanding Woman in Texas Government award. “I am confident that we did that.”

More recently, TDHCA has been involved in the hurricane relief efforts. Tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees from Louisiana and Mississippi relocated to Texas, and then the state’s own Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Rita last year.

After the hurricanes, 80 to 90 TDHCA employees went to Houston, San Antonio and several other cities to assist the storm victims throughout the fall, said Carrington.

The funds that TDHCA had available for hurricane recovery in the state at press time included $8.3 million in federal HOME funds, $3.5 million in federal LIHTCs, $16 million in first-time homebuyer program funds and $1.8 million in state housing trust fund monies.

Carrington was scheduled to start her new post at Reznick Group in April.

The Southwest office will have a full range of accounting, tax and business advisory services. Affordable housing is one of the company’s industries of focus.