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HACM secretary-executive director resigns

Antonio Pérez

Antonio Pérez has resigned from his role as secretary-executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Since 2000, Pérez’s leadership has guided the agency in its mission of fostering strong, resilient and inclusive communities by providing a continuum of high-quality housing options that support self-sufficiency, good quality of life, and the opportunity to thrive.

During his time in office, Pérez led the agency in numerous endeavors to preserve its affordable housing supply. The agency secured over $500 million dollars in federal, state, and private grants to develop affordable housing and revitalize existing properties to preserve affordable housing. This includes the $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhood grant awarded in 2015 to support development of the Westlawn Gardens neighborhood.

Pérez made conservation and environmental stewardship a core tenet of HACM’s development projects, and HACM gained a reputation as an international leader in using green design practices to conserve resources and build healthy, sustainable communities.

During his his time in office, HACM launched its @Promise Resident Training Program, an initiative designed to provide low-income HACM residents with a new pathway to self-sufficiency. Pérez also advocated for the launch and expansion of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. He was also instrumental in the preservation of Soldiers Home, a National Historic Landmark on the campus of the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center that returned to the service of veterans in 2021.

The Milwaukee Soldiers Home project has received several awards, including the ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellent in Historic Preservation. HACM has been honored with many other awards since 2000, notably the APA/HUD Secretary’s Opportunity & Empowerment Award for the revitalization of Westlawn Gardens; the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND Stage 3 Silver Certification for Westlawn Gardens; and the World Leadership Award from the World Leadership Forum for HACM’s model of affordable housing that transforms neighborhoods.

Known for his leadership throughout the Milwaukee community, Pérez has been part of Milwaukee’s social fabric since 1979, serving as a social justice advocate, mentor, community leader, and accomplished professional.

Before joining HACM, Pérez founded the Milwaukee Community Service Corps, a nonprofit vocational training organization that continues to provide low-income urban youth with education, life skills and on-the-job work experience in a holistic program of development. During his time at MCSC from 1991 to 2000, more than 900 participants found jobs and received more than $4.5 million in income.

Among many other achievements, Pérez played a role in the development of the Milwaukee Job Corps Center, which provides young people the skills they need to become employable and independent and places them in meaningful jobs or further education.

Born in Puerto Rico, Pérez graduated with honors from La Salle Christian Brothers High School. He completed undergraduate work at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Miami and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Pérez also has a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In accordance with HACM’s succession plan, Willie Hines, Jr. will continue serving as the acting secretary-executive director while HACM’s Board of Commissioners continues the process of confirming Pérez’s successor.

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