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Lucas Metropolitan Housing Board of Commissioners appoints Senghor Manns as new President & CEO

Manns previously served as CEO of Pennsylvania's Harrisburg Housing Authority and replaces former LMH CEO Joaquin Cintron Vega

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) Board of Commissioners announced today the selection of Senghor Manns as LMH's new president & CEO, effective Aug. 12.

Manns, 55, previously served as the CEO of the Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) in Pennsylvania and has successfully worked as an executive-level staffer for a combined total of 18 years with HHA and the Indianapolis Housing Agency.

"Senghor is uniquely qualified to lead LMH to accomplish its goals and objectives based on his impeccable qualifications, experience and background," said LMH Board Chair Alisha Gant. "We are confident he will provide our Lucas County communities with the highest level of service and guidance."

As the new CEO, Manns will oversee LMH's current housing portfolio, which 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. Approximately 17,500 people reside in LMH properties. LMH also provides myriad programs and opportunities designed to improve the total quality of life for its residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency.

While at the helm of HHA, Manns accomplished several impressive initiatives that helped inform the LMH Board's decision, Gant said.
His HHA achievements range from the complete rehabilitation of a 159-unit senior citizen-only building built in 1963, to the renovation of family communities built in the 1940s (including renovating 120 units that had been boarded up at a 200-unit property), to gaining a prestigious federal recognition for HHA as a high-performing Housing Choice Voucher program.

In addition, Manns helped HHA earn a coveted Move-to-Work designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of only 29 such distinctions awarded nationally in 2022. Equally noteworthy, HHA was awarded a highly competitive HUD Choice Neighborhoods planning grant, which was one of only nine awarded in the U.S. in 2022.

The Choice Neighborhoods program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in neighborhoods, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools.

During Manns' tenure, HHA also received Emergency Security and Safety federal grant awards and formed a nonprofit that has built 50 affordable housing units as part of a tax credit project with the aim of developing, acquiring and managing non-public housing properties. "I truly believe that LMH's strong reputation and compelling programming, combined with my experience and positive reputation within the affordable housing industry, will catalyze and usher in a new era of programming and progress for LMH," Manns said.

"I am excited and look forward to enhancing the quality of life for Lucas County families and the individuals that LMH serves," Manns said. "To be successful, I wholeheartedly believe that our efforts and must go beyond constructing and rebuilding the 'bricks and mortar' - we must pursue ways to create opportunities for families to thrive and improve."

Manns received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1995 and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1992. He also earned an Executive Director Education Program Certification from Rutgers University in 2010.

His appointment as LMH CEO comes as LMH leaders have unveiled an ambitious slate of construction projects - totaling more than $92 million over the next two years - in an effort to offer more affordable housing options to Lucas County families, low- and middle-wage-earning workers, people with disabilities, veterans and the elderly who are struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising rental home prices.

The development pipeline is highlighted in LMH's "Strategic Action Blueprint: Building for the Future 2024-2028" that was introduced earlier this year. The LMH five-year plan is designed to help address Toledo's urgent and growing need to create more affordable housing opportunities.

The city-commissioned 10-year housing plan report from 2022 found there is a shortage of 12,705 units for people with extremely low incomes. Data from the city's report shows the average Toledo household earns just $39,000 - about 30% less than the state average and about 40% less than the national average. An estimated 25% of Toledoans live in poverty, roughly twice as high as both the state and national averages.

The problem is most severe for Toledoans earning the least. Approximately one-third of households (38,575) in Toledo are cost-burdened, spending at least 30% of their income on housing. Of those households, half of them (19,350) are considered "severely cost-burdened," meaning they spend more than 50% of their income on housing.

Combined with nearly 25% of the population living in poverty, the demand for affordable housing in Toledo and Lucas County consistently outpaces the available supply. The
result is lengthy LMH waiting lists and a significant percentage of households allocating an unreasonably high proportion of their income to meet rising housing costs.

To improve and grow its portfolio, LMH's five-year plan identifies a robust series of development initiatives with a strong focus on revitalizing economically distressed communities and bringing more affordable housing options to the marketplace.

Manns replaces former LMH President & CEO Joaquin Cintron Vega, who announced in February that he had accepted an offer to become the new CEO of the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver.

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. Approximately 17,500 people 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.