Housing Authority Insights from José Alvarez

Housing Authority Insights from José Alvarez

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) operates a unique program under Section 3 of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Using Job Order Contracting (JOC), CHA issued more than $80 million of construction work in 2017 to improve living conditions for its 62,000 low-income residents. Plus, through a partnership with Gordian, the CHA is providing training, guidance and mentorship to area contractors—some of whom are Section 3 residents themselves.

In this Executive Interview, CHA Chief Operating Officer José Alvarez discusses challenges facing housing agencies, the origins of their Section 3 JOC program, the keys to its success and how it is positively changing the lives of some of Chicago’s most vulnerable people.

About José Alvarez

Housing Authority Insights from José Alvarez 1

José R. Alvarez serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority. José joined CHA in 2014 and has more than 15 years of executive experience in the public sector. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency and establishing and maintaining an effective leadership team. He is known for implementing innovative systems that have streamlined business practices, increased efficiency and supported inclusive policies and programs.

Prior to arriving at CHA, José worked for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in key leadership roles and served as Chief of Staff for the State Education Office in Washington D.C.

José currently serves as the Vice-Chair of La Casa Norte, a non-profit agency that provides housing and supporting services throughout 43 zip codes in Chicago. He is a member of the Andrew Jackson Language Academy Local School Council and former board member of Mikva Challenge, a non-profit agency serving over 6,000 high school students and 130 teachers at 110 schools across the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition, he volunteers his time as a youth volleyball coach. José is a graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College.

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