“I feel blessed to be back as part of this community, to
represent as well, the Latino community,” he said. “I am not
here just to represent a specific part of the population. I am
here to make a change to make the difference for everybody,
including the Latino community as well. All the communities we
serve have an ally in me. I will always be looking for the best
interests of all.”
Cintrón Vega is now responsible for overseeing all aspects of
LMHA’s operations, including a portfolio of 2,633 public housing
units; 4,657 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) allocated units; 322
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units; 198 Market Rate units, and
107 Homeownership Properties.
There are approximately 17,500 people who reside in LMHA
“I have experience with the agency. I have experience in the
communities, so I know them,” he said. “I have experience
working hand-in-hand with community leaders, the elected
officials. So, taking all of that into consideration, I have all
the tools necessary to hit the ground running and get this
agency to the next level of excellence.”
Cintrón Vega has spent the past two decades working in various
aspects of public housing management, including federal housing
assistance programs and policy development. He earned a
bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Inter American
University of Puerto Rico.
Prior to joining LMHA, Cintrón Vega worked at the second-largest
public housing authority in the U.S., the Puerto Rico Public
Housing Administration. As the head of the Budget Bureau, he
managed annual budgets over $400 million. He also was
responsible for overseeing different federal programs and a key
partner in one of the largest low-income housing tax credits
transactions in the nation, involving rehabilitation of 4,132
housing units across 33 properties on his native island.
Cintrón Vega left LMHA last year to work as director of public
housing for the nation’s seventh-largest housing authority in
Miami-Dade County. There he was responsible for overseeing all
operational aspects for more than 100 properties and directing
public policy, federal programs, and regulations research for
public housing and urban development programs.
But Cintrón Vega quickly saw an attractive opportunity to come
back and lead the housing agency he had just departed, one where
he already knew the operations and personnel.
“In 2017, the people, the staff at LMHA embraced me in a really
good way. They received me as part of the family,” he explained.
“I look at them as part of my extended family. That is something
I cannot describe in words, the kind of feeling to come into a
place in which you can feel you know everybody, everybody
embraces you, and they are fully supportive of the vision I want
to put in place here. That’s a blessing for me.”
Cintrón Vega has some specific next
steps to fulfill the vision he has for LMHA’s future:
Assemble a leadership team that will put community first;
Establish effective partnerships;
Treat all of the housing agency’s underserved communities with
Solve the Toledo area’s housing crisis with “out-of-the box
LMHA currently has a waiting list of about 2,500 individuals and
families seeking housing. The agency recently closed that list,
lacking the housing to stock to meet that kind of demand.
The very first meeting he held was with LMHA’s central resident
advisory board, a committee of agency residents who represent
Cintrón Vega stated it is important to establish “a direct line
of communication with the people about the conditions and needs
in the (LMHA housing) communities.” He next plans to meet with
elected leaders and private funders to see “what they can bring
to the table.”
“I just want to make sure that LMHA is not only known as the
housing authority, but the authority in housing,” he said. “For
me, civic engagement is key and I want to let them know we are
open for business and I want to make a change and embrace
everybody who wants to work hand-in-hand with LMHA for the
benefit of the people we are serving.”
Cintrón Vega signaled a desire to expand LMHA’s portfolio by
seeking more affordable housing solutions and solicit both
proposals and funding to make that happen. He also wants to
establish “wraparound services” for residents once they
are housed—young people, elderly, and others.
Cintrón Vega was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and calls
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, as his hometown. He is married with
two sons, ages 19 and 11. He and his wife are expecting the
birth of a baby girl at the end of April. He hopes to expand his
role as a Latino leader locally.
“I just want to make a difference and open doors for other
members of the Latino community,” he said. “So, this is a huge
opportunity and I carry a lot of weight because of that.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: LMHA’s mission is to create and maintain
sustainable, affordable housing opportunities, provide pathways
to a better quality of life, and empower vibrant communities.
The housing agency’s vision is to be a premier partner in
creating communities of choice in the Greater Toledo area.
Established in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA)
continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors and
children in its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher,
Mixed-Income and Market Rate housing units. LMHA also provides a
myriad of programs and opportunities designed to improve the
total quality of life for our residents with the goal of
achieving self-sufficiency. Our programs and services include
successful collaborations with numerous community partners.