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Joaquin Cintrón Vega becomes new LMHA CEO

By La Prensa Staff

There's a new president and chief executive officer now in place at the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA), but he’s “homegrown” after rising through the agency’s ranks following a move from his native Puerto Rico.

Joaquin Cintrón Vega officially took the helm at LMHA March 18, 2020. He previously served as the housing agency’s chief financial officer and director of asset management during a two-year stint with the agency from 2017 to May last year.

 

Joaquin Cintrón Vega

“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 housing.

“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 compassion; and

·         Solve the Toledo area’s housing crisis with “out-of-the box thinking.”

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 the community. 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.

 

 

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2020 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/31/20 15:44:11 -0800.

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