New executive director approved for SMHA

The Springfield Metropolitan Housing Authority has a new executive director.

LaMonyka French was approved to serve the authority in her new role during a special meeting earlier this month. She previously served as its deputy director, starting that position last October, according to a Thursday press release from the authority.

French brings 11 years of public housing experience, working in Texas and Virginia before making the move to Ohio, the release says.

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She will be replacing Arlin “Par” Tolliver, who has served as executive director of the authority since 2011. The switch follows the creation of a new role, the Community Liaison and Director of Special Projects.

The new position will be filled by Tolliver and he will be in charge of overseeing special projects, the details of which have not been finalized yet, according to the organization’s board chair Terri Belliveau.

Both French and Tolliver started in their new roles on Wednesday, said Belliveau.

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Belliveau said her organization decided to create the new role, in part, because of ongoing efforts to strengthen its relationships and forge partnerships with community organizations including the Clark County Department of Job & Family Services and with city officials. She said the goal is to better provide affordable housing to low income individuals and families.

As the organization works to build several partnerships in the community, Belliveau said they felt it would make more sense to create a separate position and eliminate the deputy director role.

She said Tolliver, a Springfield native, seemed like the best candidate because of his ties to the community, years with the authority and membership on several community boards.

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