Amid controversy, HUD names new housing authority ED

by Leslie Turk

Replacing the highly competent Katie Anderson, who was terminated at the end of May, is Yvonda Bean.

Yvonda Bean

Floyd Duran, who oversees the Lafayette Housing Authority as receiver for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced Thursday afternoon that Yvonda Bean will take over as executive director of the local agency. She replaces Katie Anderson, who was abruptly terminated as ED after her annual contract expired in May.

HUD has held the LHA in receivership since 2011, taking over its operations after widespread corruption and mismanagement led to the dismissal, federal criminal charges and eventual conviction of its former director, Walter Guillory. In the wake of the scandal, City-Parish President Joey Durel refused to bring the agency back under local control.

Durel’s successor, however, has made resuming local oversight of the LHA a priority of his administration; in May Joel Robideaux appointed the following “advisory” board of commissioners:

• Mark Becnel, Employee Management Solutions, owner
• Kim Boudreaux, Catholic Services of Acadiana, executive director
• Shelton Cobb, former member of the Lafayette Parish School Board
• Monica Gibbs, Department of Health and Hospitals/Office of Public Health, retired
• Polly Williams, Lafayette Parish School System, reading tutor

The advisory board members played no role in the selection process for a new executive director — HUD’s Duran made the decision — and it remains unclear whether Robideaux and HUD intend for these advisory members to stay on as permanent board members.

Katie Anderson

Anderson, a highly respected housing authority executive who was brought in five years ago to clean up Guillory’s mess and by just about any measure was doing an excellent job, was not given a reason for her dismissal. Anderson had been working on a year-to-year contract.

HUD also refused to answer The IND’s questions about why Anderson was being replaced and even declined to release the names of the applicants for the ED post.

Bean, who has never run a housing authority, will assume her new role Aug. 1. She most recently was the executive director of Preferred Properties in Toledo, Ohio, where she administered HUD low-income elderly and disabled housing programs and the low income housing tax credit program in Northwest Ohio. Before that, she was the director of administration/operations for the Housing Authority of the City of Aiken, S.C., and prior to that served as the community development corporations initiatives manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

"Filling this position puts us one step closer to regaining local oversight of the Housing Authority, which best serves the people of Lafayette,” Robideaux said in the press release announcing the Bean hire.

Read more about Bean's experience and education here.