The City of Salem today announced that after a decade of service, Andrew Wilch will retire as Director of the Salem Housing Authority (SHA) effective September 30, 2019.
During his tenure with the organization, Wilch created and maintained positive relationships with agencies and funders working passionately to meet the organization's mission to assist low- and moderate-income families to achieve self-sufficiency through stable housing, economic opportunity, community investment, and coordination with social service providers. His performance has received praise from colleagues, the housing commission chair and the Mayor. And his staff has appreciated his leadership and coaching.
Wilch led the SHA to a number of remarkable firsts including the first of HUD's Rental. Assistance Demonstration projects in the state; and launching the Housing Rental Assistance Program (HRAP), the largest "housing first" program in Oregon. Under his guidance the HRAP program secured significant funding from community partners such as Salem Health's Community Partnership Grant Program and the Meyer Memorial Trust. The Yaquina will be the first affordable housing property in the historical Salem Hospital redevelopment providing 52 units for low-income and people with disabilities. And Redwood Crossing, which is scheduled to come online later this year and will offer 35 apartments to people making less than $13,700, provide in-house social services, laundry and a community kitchen.
"I am grateful to have spent the last ten years with this organization, and deeply honored to have had the opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of Salem residents." Said Wilch. "I am very proud of the talent, dedication and passion the entire Salem Housing Authority brings to this work, and what we have accomplished together during a decade of both successes and challenges."
During his esteemed career, Wilch facilitated the building of over 15,000 units of affordable housing. In the process he changed the nature of public housing financing by leveraging private funds with public dollars to bring resources that were previously unavailable such as private equity, grant funding and tax credits to stretch the public dollars. His strong financial leadership and relationships have assured SHA stability for future growth.
Wilch began his career in the United States Air Force before joining the Omaha Housing Authority. He ventured to Portland State University early in his career where he earned his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. He served in leadership positions at the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority in Silverdale, Washington the Pioneer Square Community Development Organization in Seattle, Washington; and returned to Oregon in 1999 joining the Portland Development Commission in Portland, Oregon.