People to Watch Class of 2014
JEFFERY JOHNSTON PHOTOGRAPH
Executive Director, Housing Authority of New Orleans
As executive director for the Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development Department, Gregg Fortner managed a $435 million annual budget, a profile of 9,000 federal- and state-funded housing units and 18,000 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, as well as being responsible for the administration of the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Neighborhood Stabilization and Documentary Stamp Surtax programs for Miami-Dade County.
On July 7, Fortner became the executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. In this position he reports directly to the HANO Board of Commissioners, while managing the day-to-day operations of the agency and supervising all agency programs.
“Sometimes you choose life and sometimes life chooses you,” Fortner says. “I do what I do because life has led me. It is fulfilling when you’re a part of providing quality housing to a family that otherwise may be unable to afford a suitable place to live.”
His long-term goal is to restore the public’s trust in HANO through making sure the right decisions are made for the community.
“New Orleans needs affordable housing strategies that meet the needs of an under-served population,” he says. And Fortner believes that HANO must be part of that strategy.