South Bend Housing Authority names new director to lead embattled agency
Just weeks after a former director of the South Bend Housing Authority was convicted of fraud, the agency that provides housing assistance announced it has hired a new executive director.
Housing Authority Commissioners seleteced Marsha Parham-Green to be the agency’s executive director starting in January.
According to a release from the Housing Authority, Parham-Green is the director of the Housing Office for Baltimore County Government in Maryland. During her tenure, the release says, the agency moved off "troubled" status on the federal government’s list.
In South Bend, Parham-Green will face a tall task as 75% of the housing authority’s units failed their inspections in 2017 and 2018. The Monroe Townhomes were demolished this summer and the Rabbi Shulman complex is also slated for demolition. Former South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke, who serves on the housing authority board, said Parham-Green will take the lead in reimagining what will go on the lots of the former complexes.
The agency’s failings in recent years are partly due to former director Tonya Robinson’sfraud scheme in which she gave federal money to contractors for work that was never done, in exchange for kickbacks.
Robinson was director from 2016 to 2019. Earlier this month Robinson was convicted of nine counts of fraud and will be sentenced in February.
Housing Authority commissioners credited the most recent director, Catherine Lamberg, with righting the ship. But Lamberg stepped down due to personal reasons in June and the agency has not had a director since then.