A former regional administrator of Housing and Urban Development’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago is returning to the position.
On Monday, HUD officials announced in a news release that Joseph P. Galvan will lead the office that is responsible for the oversight and delivery of HUD programs and services across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Galvan was appointed to the post by President Donald Trump. He previously served in the same capacity under President George W. Bush’s administration from 2001 to January 2009.
The office has been without a top administrator since Antonio R. Riley, who served under the administration of President Barack Obama, vacated the post at the change in administration in January. Jim Cunningham, the deputy regional administrator, carried out the functions of the regional administrator in the interim.
Galvan is one of 10 HUD regional administrators appointed across the United States.
"I am delighted to return to this role and look forward to advancing HUD's mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all,” Galvan said in the news release. “It is an honor and a great passion of mine to effectuate positive change and help communities flourish to their full potential working collaboratively with local leaders.”
Officials with HUD’s Midwest Regional Office are leading the relocation effort from two unsafe public housing complexes in Cairo known as Elmwood and McBride.
In September, about 30 Cairo residents, including the mayor, high school principal and numerous public housing residents, traveled to Chicago to knock on the door of HUD’s downtown Midwest Regional Office to ask officials to do more to help their Southern Illinois community located about 370 miles to the south, at the bottom of the state.
Elmwood and McBride are slated for demolition because the 1940s-era complexes have fallen into complete disrepair. HUD has accused two ex-directors of the Alexander County Housing Authority of spending excessively on trips, dining, drinking and entertainment while failing to follow established rules and regulations governing local housing authority managers.
The events that culminated in a housing crisis in Cairo were the result of decades of multifarious failures, some of which were HUD's.
Before joining HUD, Galvan worked as a principal with Galvan & Associates advising housing authorities on program performance, compliance and executive management issues, according to the federal housing agency’s news release.
He was previously the owner and president of his consulting firm and directed various planning and economic development projects for private and public-sector clients. He also has served as community development director and community development planner for several municipalities in northeast Illinois.
Galvan received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and studied urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Graduate School of Urban Planning and public affairs and philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago.