Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Release #097-01

Contact: Sunny Mindel / Sid Dinsay
(212) 788-2958


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced the appointment of Tino Hernandez as Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Mr. Hernandez leaves his position as Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), a position he has held since 1998. The appointment is effective immediately.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tino Hernandez as the new Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority," said Mayor Giuliani. "His previous work experience with the City will be vital to improving the way the Housing Authority conducts business and I look forward to working with Tino."

Chairman Hernandez said, "I am honored to accept this appointment as Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority. I have been privileged to serve under Mayor Giuliani during an exciting and historic time in New York City. It has been an honor to work with the men and women of the Department of Juvenile Justice. The staff's commitment to provide custody and care to youth is to be commended. While it is very difficult leaving DJJ, I look forward to working closely with Mayor Giuliani and the dedicated NYCHA staff. I recognize that NYCHA is the premiere housing agency in the nation with a highly professional and talented staff."

Since 1998, Mr. Hernandez has served as Commissioner for the Department of Juvenile Justice. As Commissioner, he opened an intake reception facility and six new non-secure detention group homes as well as two new secure detention facilities previously planned before his arrival at the Department. In December 1999 Mr. Hernandez oversaw the $8 million renovation of Bridges Juvenile Center, formerly known as Spofford, which opened as a model comprehensive intake and assessment facility. As Commissioner, Mr. Hernandez oversaw the hiring of more than 300 new employees which helped reduce overtime spending at DJJ. In addition, he implemented enhanced mental health services, substance abuse intervention, and transition counseling for youth released home from detention.

From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Hernandez served as Chief of Staff to former Deputy Mayor Ninfa Segarra where he oversaw several agencies and offices, among them: the Human Resources Administration; the Department of Homeless Services; the Department for the Aging; the Department of Youth and Community Development; the New York City Housing Authority; the Mayor's Office for AIDS Policy Coordination, and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.

Previously, from 1994 to 1995, Mr. Hernandez served as Deputy Commissioner for Adult Services at the New York City Department of Homeless Services and from 1993 to 1994, he served as Assistant Commissioner for HIV Program Services at the New York City Department of Health.

Mr. Hernandez holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Adelphi University and a Masters of Social Work degree from the State University of New York at Albany, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He is also a licensed social worker in the State of New York. Mr. Hernandez, 50, resides in Manhattan.

NYCHA's mission is to provide decent, safe and affordable housing for low-income City residents. NYCHA currently manages and maintains 346 public housing developments comprising 2,985 buildings and over 426,000 tenants. In addition, through the federally funded Section 8 Existing Housing Program, the Authority uses certificates and vouchers to assist 203,308 people in over 76,600 apartments. Wide-ranging reforms have been implemented at NYCHA since Mayor Giuliani took office in 1994. As a result, crime is down dramatically throughout NYCHA, the number of working families who have obtained public housing has increased, reading and mentoring programs have been introduced within public housing developments, and vandalism is no longer rampant throughout the system. Today, NYCHA is recognized as being among the best public housing programs in the United States.

Mr. Hernandez replaces John G. Martinez, who recently left for a position in the private sector.

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