The Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee has appointed Willie Hines Jr. as its secretary-executive director. This marks only the sixth time there has been a leadership change at the head of the organization in its 78-year history and the first time an African-American will serve in the role.
HACM, the largest affordable housing provider in Wisconsin, provides housing options and supportive services to over 10,000 low-income families, seniors, adults with disabilities and veterans. Nearly 90% of the people HACM serves are people of color with an average annual income of less than $15,000. Hines will lead the agency in its mission to provide housing stability to low-income residents, to support residents in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and good quality of life and to foster strong, resilient and inclusive neighborhoods throughout the city of Milwaukee.
Hines succeeds Antonio Pérez, who had led the agency since 2000.
A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Hines is a seasoned public servant who joined the Housing Authority in 2015 as the agency’s associate director, overseeing operations for HACM’s housing portfolio and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. He had also been serving as the Acting secretary-executive director since May of 2021.
Prior to joining HACM, Hines served as president of the Milwaukee Common Council from 2004-2014 and alderman of Milwaukee’s 15th District from 1996 to 2014. He also served as chairman of HACM’s Board of Commissioners from 1998-2014. Prior to his election to the Common Council, he worked as an economic development specialist at the Milwaukee Urban League, as business liaison representative for former U.S. Representative James Moody, and in the private sector for both PepsiCo and Ford Motor Credit.
Hines holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University and has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including being selected for the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame earlier this year.