California Steering Committee Member; President & Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Housing Commission
Richard C. Gentry has 47 years of service and leadership in affordable housing and community development.
The President & Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) since September 19, 2008, Mr. Gentry leads an agency with more than 340 employees and an annual budget of $452 million. SDHC, including its nonprofit affiliate, owns/manages more than 3,700 affordable housing units and provides federal rental assistance to more than 15,000 low-income families who live in the City of San Diego.
SDHC is an affordable housing developer, investor, and lender to affordable housing developers—creating more than 18,000 affordable housing units since 1981.
As a leading partner in addressing homelessness in the City of San Diego, SDHC developed HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s Homelessness Action Plan. Programs in the first three years of this plan (2014-2017) provided housing for more than 2,900 formerly homeless San Diegans. New programs in the current phase of this plan (fiscal years 2018-2020) have created more than 4,200 additional housing opportunities for San Diegans experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. The current phase of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO achieved its three-year goal in just 18 months
In addition, Mr. Gentry committed SDHC as a federal “Moving to Work” (MTW) agency, which provides SDHC the flexibility to implement new programs to provide housing assistance in the City of San Diego. SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities, out of 3,400 nationwide, to receive an MTW designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Gentry serves on the national MTW Steering Committee.
In October 2017, Mr. Gentry received the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award, the highest recognition awarded by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), for lifetime service to the affordable housing industry. Mr. Gentry is a Fellow with both NAHRO and the National Academy of Housing and Cities. In October 2008, NAHRO awarded Mr. Gentry the John D. Lange Award for his achievements in expanding the organization’s stature and influence internationally.
Mr. Gentry also currently serves on the Board of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities.
Born in Elkin, N.C., Mr. Gentry holds a master’s degree in religion from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Wake Forest University.