NYCHA named Margarita Lopez to a new role this month: Executive Vice President for Community Programs and Development. Ms. Lopez, who previously served as a NYCHA board member and environmental coordinator, will now report to General Manager Cecil House.
Though her title has changed, her role will remain much the same within the authority. She will be in charge of community outreach and development coordination. In a time when funding from Washington has been continually cut, Margarita Lopez’s work on NYCHA land development will be essential to the survival of the housing authority. Currently, Chairman John Rhea has proposed a series of private-public partnerships to lease land and raise money to keep NYCHA on its feet.
Ms. Lopez’s previous work within NYCHA saw her leading sustainability initiatives, helping to create Plan NYCHA, and assisting greatly with recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy in late 2012. Projects like the New York City Planter’s Grove were made possible only through Ms. Lopez’s work.
According to Crain’s, one department source said, “Her experience makes her an ideal leader in these important times for NYCHA and public housing residents.” We suspect that, even without being appointed to this new role, Ms. Lopez would have continued to be a source for good within the NYCHA community, promoting change and improvement—it’s what she does best.
Margarita Lopez has a long history of being active within the community. She has been an activist for a number of causes, including women’s rights, LGBT equality, sustainability, ending domestic violence, and more.