Oyeshola Olatoye (“Shola”) was appointed Chair & Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on February 8, 2014, by Mayor Bill de Blasio. NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in the nation, providing decent and affordable housing for 600,000 New Yorkers with low and moderate incomes. Chair Olatoye leads NYCHA’s efforts to preserve and transform the city’s largest source of affordable rental housing.
In May 2015, with Mayor de Blasio, Chair Olatoye launched NextGeneration NYCHA, the Housing Authority’s 10-year strategic plan to preserve and protect New York City’s public housing for its current residents and for the next generation of New Yorkers. Changing the way NYCHA is funded, operates, rebuilds, and engages with its residents will enable the Authority to manage the challenges of declining government funding and aging infrastructure to create safe, clean, and connected communities for its residents.
Since the launch, NYCHA has made significant progress on the strategies outlined in the plan, including: releasing the MyNYCHA app, which enables residents to place work orders from the convenience of their phones; launching the Fund for Public Housing, a 501(c)(3) that will leverage philanthropic dollars to connect NYCHA residents to opportunity; and launching a series of privately funded, large-scale energy efficiency retrofit projects through the HUD Energy Performance Contracting program as part of NYCHA’s sustainability agenda.
Chair Olatoye has a wealth of experience in the public and private sectors, bringing with her a proven ability to manage collaborations and projects that revitalize neighborhoods, create affordable housing, and develop communities. Before her appointment at NYCHA, Chair Olatoye was Vice President and New York Market Leader for Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that has helped build or preserve more than 44,000 affordable homes for lower-income New Yorkers and has invested more than $2.5 billion in the city.
Most notably, Chair Olatoye led her Enterprise team after Hurricane Sandy in working with numerous public, nonprofit, and private partners to develop Enterprise’s Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Program, which served more than 11,000 residents and leveraged more than $30 million in federal recovery dollars. Her portfolio also included the East Harlem Center for Living and Learning, a 2013 project for which Enterprise provided more than $12 million in debt and equity to create a multi-family, mixed-use development with 88 new affordable apartments, a K-8 charter school, and office space dedicated to nonprofits on a former NYCHA-owned site.
Chair Olatoye also served as a Vice President and Senior Community Development Manager at HSBC Bank and a Director of HR&A Advisors, Inc., a real estate development advisory and consulting firm. Prior to joining the real estate field, Chair Olatoye spent several years working on public education policy issues in New York City.
Chair Olatoye serves on the Board of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), the WE NYC Advisory Board, and is the Founding Board Chair of the Fund for Public Housing, Inc.
Chair Olatoye has received several awards: a 2015 leadership award from the Institute for Public Architecture, the 2015 Outstanding and Dedicated Community Service Award from Urban Upbound, the 2015 Award for Exemplary Commitment to NYC Neighborhoods from New Yorkers for Parks, the 2015 Leadership Award from the Mutual Housing Association of New York, the 2015 Leadership Award from Green City Force, and the 2016 Public Sector Leadership Award from the New York Housing Conference. Chair Olatoye also accepted the Citizens Budget Commission’s Prize for Public Service Innovation, for NYCHA’s technology initiatives. In 2014, Chair Olatoye was featured in Crain’s “40 Under 40” as one of the “most talented, driven, and dynamic professionals under the age of 40 who are working in New York City today.”
Chair Olatoye earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in history and African American studies from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public administration from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a former alumni-elected trustee of Wesleyan University. She lives in Harlem with her husband and three children.