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After four years of service, Joaquín Cintrón Vega is leaving Lucas Metropolitan Housing for a new opportunity

After four years of service, Joaquín Cintrón Vega is leaving Lucas Metropolitan Housing for a new opportunity

Board of Commissioners to appoint Rachel Gagnon interim CEO

TOLEDO, Ohio - Joaquín Cintrón Vega is resigning from his role as president and chief executive officer at Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH). The Board of Commissioners has tapped current deputy executive director Rachel Gagnon as the interim chief executive officer. Her appointment is expected to be formalized at the next Board of Commissioners regular meeting.

Cintrón Vega is leaving LMH to lead the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver. He has served as president and CEO of LMH since March 2020 and will remain in his current role until Feb. 28.

"Joaquin's leadership has been transformative for Lucas Metropolitan Housing, and we are grateful for his service," said LMH Chairman Alisha Gant. "As we open a search for the next head of LMH, we are pleased to be able to provide continuity of leadership and have Rachel serve as the interim CEO. We are confident that she will continue to provide our communities with the highest level of service and guidance."

The search for LMH's next CEO will begin immediately, Gant said.

"By establishing a shared vision of success, my team and our partners achieved remarkable feats, and I am really proud of our combined efforts," Cintrón Vega remarked. "One day at a time, we have turned many obstacles into possibilities while providing compassionate service. We have provided direct supportive services, a practical route to economic progress, and affordable, high-quality housing for the people we serve. I'm confident Rachel will carry on with that job, and LMH is lucky to have her."

Under the direction of Cintrón Vega, LMH received several honors, such as being designated a Financial Opportunity Center, winning three Ohio Auditor of the State Awards in a row and being recognized as one of Toledo's top workplaces.

Also under Cintrón Vega leadership, LMH strengthened its alliances, establishing the Thumbs Up program in conjunction with United Way of Greater Toledo, formalizing a project labor agreement with the Northwest Ohio Building Trade Council and launching the Work Your Way Home program by utilizing its nonprofit affiliate Lucas Housing Services Corporation, to mention a few.

The acquisition of the new LMH headquarters, receiving high-performance designations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, increasing grant support, broadening the scope of community services and securing previously unheard-of capital financing to build housing in high-opportunity areas to enhance neighborhood conditions creating mixed-income communities of choice are just a few of the accomplishments that Cintrón Vega is leaving behind. These projects use money from the Continuum of Care, HOME funds, Community Development Block Grants, Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Through the development projects it has in the works, LMH is currently positioned to offer stable homes to the elderly, families and young people.

Gagnon, who has been with LMH for two years, said she is ready to serve.

"I am excited to take on this new role to help LMH continue to enhance and improve affordable housing in Toledo," said Gagnon. "I look forward to engaging with the Board, our partners and the residents of our communities to continue to make our mission and vision a reality."

Gagnon joined LMH as the chief of staff and later became the deputy executive director, responsible for oversight and executive-level leadership of the agency's day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives. During her time at LMH, she has supported a vision to nurture creative partnerships by providing project management and supporting housing development deals aimed at serving transition-aged youth, families and elderly households.

Gagnon has devoted her career to advocating for inclusive housing developments and rebuilding response systems to effectively serve community members in need. She believes housing is a fundamental right for all individuals and is grateful to be part of LMH, an organization whose mission and values so closely align with her own.

A native Toledoan, Gagnon is a graduate of Ohio State University and Capital University Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Ohio and has devoted her career to serving the community through a variety of roles in the nonprofit and volunteer sectors. Before joining LMH, she served as the executive director of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board and the chief operating officer at Sunshine Communities.

She was selected as a recipient of the Sisters of Notre Dame Toledo "Women Who Shine" award in 2023 and Toledo's "20 Under 40" award in 2019 and participated in the 2022 Leadership Ohio cohort.

Gagnon is deeply involved in the community. She volunteers on several boards in Lucas County, including Open Table Toledo, Lucas County Children Services, Ohio Women's Affordable Housing Network, Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board and Cherry Street Mission Ministries.

About Lucas Metropolitan Housing Established in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors and children in its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Mixed-Income and Market Rate housing units. LMH also provides myriad programs and opportunities designed to improve the total quality of life for our residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency. The programs and services are the result of successful collaborations with numerous community partners.

LMH's current housing portfolio consists of 2,633 Public Housing units, 4,657 Housing Choice Vouchers, 322 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, 198 Market Rate units and 107 Homeownership Properties. There are approximately 17,500 people who reside in LMH properties. Lucas Metropolitan Housing partners with ALL people and organizations willing to exchange ideas and efforts to enhance Toledo, Lucas County and the world.