Daily Archives: October 7, 2009

UPDATED: Florea resigns from Housing Resources Board

Disagreements within Bainbridge Island’s lead affordable housing organization spurred its executive director’s resignation on Wednesday.

Carl Florea, whose two years at the helm of the Housing Resources Board was marked by some of the organization’s most ambitious projects, said he and HRB’s board were at odds over financial and management matters.

“It’s important for an executive director to feel that we’re all rowing in the same direction together,” Florea said. “I didn’t feel like that.”

Florea’s last day is Oct. 31, but he will continue working with HRB as a consultant until Florea’s replacement is hired and trained.

HRB board chair Del Miller commended Florea’s work but noted key disagreements on financial decisions.

“The board felt we needed to be pretty conservative in how we borrow and spend money,” Miller said.

Under Florea’s leadership, HRB mounted an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful effort to purchase and preserve Winslow’s 71-unit Quay Bainbridge apartment complex as affordable housing.

Florea also led HRB as it began work on the 48-unit Ferncliff project, the largest construction initiative in the organization’s 20-year history.

Funding for the project, which is planned for a 6.4-acre property near the Ferncliff Avenue-Wing Point Way intersection, was a chief source of tension between Florea and the board. As proposed, HRB would hold the land in trust but sell the units to qualified buyers, thereby maintaining affordability in perpetuity. Florea proposed drawing funding from a variety of sources, including homebuyer mortgages, grants and loans from HRB’s general fund.

The board wanted the project to be self-sustaining and not draw from funding sources used to maintain the nearly 100 units HRB already administers.

“Ferncliff is a new and exciting venture but we didn’t want it to put the things HRBs been doing for years at risk,” Miller said. “Carl was a little less conservative than the board on this issue.”
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