By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Former Lowell Mayor and current Lowell City Councilor James Milinazzo has signed a three-year, $110,00 contract as the new executive director with the Revere Housing Authority, replacing former director Linda Shaw, who has taken a position at a California Housing Authority.
George Anzuoni, chairman of the RHA Board of Commissioners, said the commission conducted a nationwide search with the help of consultant Dr. Leo Dauwer. There were five commission members and three residents involved in the search. The search produced 15 applicants for the position.
Milinazzo previously worked for the Lowell Housing Authority for 10 years, double the size of RHA which has 990 housing units and 500 section eight properties in Revere.
“The commission wanted the best person,” Anzuoni said. “We kept the politics out of the search.”
A graduate of Merrimack College with a masters in public administration from Suffolk University, Milizanno has a unique background in banking, property management and more.
He was the director of planning for the city of Lowell. He was mayor of Lowell from 2010-2011.
“I am dedicated to the board of commissioners,” said Milinazzo, adding that he started his position on Feb. 15.
His first items to tackle are a budget for the upcoming year and capital improvements such as siding, roofing and generators. He is also getting ready for HUD inspections that will take place soon. In addition, Milinazzo want to keep the RHA’s family self-sufficiently director going. It is one of the social services programs offered by the RHA. Through the program families can look for employment and education and develop a work plan.
“The goal is to move up and out of public housing,” Milizanno said.
Milizanno said eight percent of the housing stock in Revere is affordable. The state would like to see the stock increase to 10 percent. The Revere Housing Authority has existed since 1951 and there are 222 housing authorities in the state with Revere being the 14th in the state. Milizanno has been married to his wife Anabel for the past 36 years. They have a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons.