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This profile was last updated on 1/17/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Ms. Shola Olatoye

Wrong Shola Olatoye?

Chair and Chief Executive Officer

Phone: (212) ***-****  
Email: s***@***.gov
New York City Housing Authority
250 Broadway 12Th Floor
New York , New York 10007
United States


Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Master of Public Administration
    New York University.
  • bachelor’s degree , history
    Wesleyan University
  • bachelor's degree , history
    Wesleyan University
164 Total References
Web References
At 10 a.m. in the John ..., 17 Jan 2016 [cached]
At 10 a.m. in the John Adams Houses projects in the Bronx, New York City Housing Authority CEO and Chair Shola Olatoye is expected to announce "the completion of major CCTV installation and ongoing security upgrades at 32 NYCHA developments citywide."
Archive: 03/2014 | Network Newsfeed | The Network, 1 Mar 2014 [cached]
The Network said both farewell and congratulations last week to Shola Olatoye, the new Chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Before her appointment into the de Blasio administration, Ms. Olatoye was a Vice President at Enterprise Community Partners and a member of our Board of Directors.
"Shola is just the perfect choice for NYCHA," Network Executive Director Ted Houghton said at the event.
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. ..., 4 Oct 2015 [cached]
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. will be one keynote speaker; Shola Olatoye, Chair and CEO of NYCHA will participate in a discussion on "Local Initiatives to Eradicate Poverty."
NYCHA chairwoman Shola ..., 21 Nov 2015 [cached]
NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye, in white shirt, at a 2014 outreach event in Brooklyn. Her fans credit her with being more accessible, but there have been limits on public engagement's impact on NYCHA policy.
NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye, in white shirt, at a 2014 outreach event in Brooklyn. Her fans credit her with being more accessible, but there have been limits on public engagement's impact on NYCHA policy.
On a frigid Saturday last January, Shola Olatoye came out to speak with New York City Housing Authority residents about her plan to save their homes. She had less than a year earlier been appointed the first female leader of NYCHA, the nation's oldest and largest public-housing system, and been given a daunting task: to bring the authority, which houses half a million New Yorkers, back from the brink of extinction.
Olatoye (pronounced oh-LAH-toy-ay) was supposed to brief the presidents of about 100 of the Tenant Associations that represent each NYCHA development about her evolving plan to rescue the authority, called NextGeneration NYCHA.
"We have to operate like any other landlord," Olatoye went on emphatically.
But Olatoye cut an impressive figure, and had brought with her an entourage of employees who took down complaints from the Tenant Association presidents. After she spoke, the energy in the room shifted dramatically.
Thomas compared Olatoye favorably to her predecessor, John Rhea, Mayor Bloomberg's final NYCHA chair.
If there's one thing Shola Olatoye does, it's come out. She told the Tenant Association presidents that the mayor had actually charged her with two tasks when he appointed her-with achieving financial solvency for the failing Authority and also "reigniting the relationship between NYCHA and its key stakeholders-you."
Neither mission will be easy, and dong them both might be impossible. In Bill de Blasio's ambitious and so-far star-crossed effort to create a city that has less inequality and more citizen engagement, NYCHA-a Big Government program that successfully defended decent living for people of limited means for decades and now faces existential threats-is the ultimate test flight. And Shola Olatoye is its pilot.
* * * *
Olatoye, who did not agree to be interviewed for this piece, grew up in Waterbury, Conn., a town that experienced a significant economic decline in the 1970s and 1980s. By 1992, Waterbury was ranked last out of 300 U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of quality of life by Money magazine, due in no small part to dying industry and a crumbling infrastructure.
Olatoye told the Wall Street Journal that she grew up in a very religious, single-mother household. She was originally named "Oyeshola", a unisex name meaning "God's gracious gift" in Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria where her father is from. Her mother shortened it to Shola, easier for the American tongue.
Olatoye told Crains that this program fundamentally changed the course of her life.
According to her Facebook page, Olatoye attended Crosby High School, where she was a sprinter, and to this day, she runs in the wee hours of the morning. She went on to Wesleyan University, which she attended from 1992 to 1996 (arriving just five years after her predecessor at NYCHA, Rhea, graduated). There she studied history and African-American studies. According to a friend who knew her then, she was deeply motivated; Olatoye inspired awe in and deference from her fellow classmates, and already displayed a strong commitment to public service.
"This survey is a chance for teachers, parents and principals to tell us what is missing, and what they need to be able to provide all children with a sound basic education," Olatoye told the Daily Newsat the time. The campaign met with thousands of parents, teachers, and administrations over the course of two years.
But education policy wasn't for her, for reasons that, given her current position, seem almost impossibly ironic in hindsight. "I quickly got burned out by the argument of 'We need more money, there's not enough money, we need more money, there's not enough money,'" she said at a forum at NYU's Wagner School of Public Policy in 2012.
So Olatoye decided to go to graduate school, believing that it would provide her with "a broader prism with which to think about complex public policy issues. From 1999 to 2001 she studied public policy at Wagner. That led to a job as issues director for Mark Green's 2001 mayoral campaign.
Green remembers Olatoye as unflappable, steady, and thorough. "She was a delightful combination of smarts and charm," he recalled recently. "In a mayor's campaign there's a lot of pressure to produce a volume of work quickly, and she did."
After the election, Olatoye went to work for a consulting firm that "really plays at the intersection of the public and the private," as she recalled. She spent six years as a Director of HR&A Advisors, Inc., a real-estate and economic development consulting firm, and then worked in community development lending for HSBC. In that work she was drawn, she said at the Wagner forum, to neighborhoods that presented a real-estate challenge-a distressed neighborhood, a downtown with vacancies, a community boasting a strong university but beset by decay.
In 2007, while Olatoye was at HSBC, the couple moved to South Florida and bought a condo.
Bronx Councilmember Andrew King tours a NYCHA development with authority chairwoman Shola Olatoye.
Bronx Councilmember Andrew King tours a NYCHA development with authority chairwoman Shola Olatoye.
In 2010, Olatoye and her family were back in New York and Olatoye began working for Enterprise Community Partners, a company that provides development capital for affordable housing, as director of relationship management in New York. She climbed the ranks quickly, and was named New York Market Leader in 2012, at the age of 37. Her new post meant she was in charge of 50 people, "working with community partners, the public sector and private capital sources to build and preserve approximately 3,000 affordable homes per year."
Ludwig remembers Olatoye as someone with a deep understanding of systemic change, able to navigate complex issues as well as on-the-ground needs-a duality that shone through in Olatoye's Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Nevertheless, Crain's predicted that Olatoye was one of two people being considered to lead the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Instead, the mayor announced in early February 2013 that Olatoye would lead the struggling housing authority.
"Ms. Olatoye, married with two sons, will likely have to take a salary cut from her current annual pay of $242,000 at Enterprise Community Partners, as the current NYCHA chair salary is $210,000," remarked one paper covering her appointment. "However, her new job comes with a car and driver."
Overnight, Olatoye went from managing 50 people to managing 11,000.
* * * *
With her unique combination of skills, Olatoye may be the perfect person to save NYCHA. A woman of color with a combination of personal magnetism, intelligence, housing experience and political and media savvy, she leads an agency that sits at the confluence of all the currents shaping the city these days-displacement vs. permanence, old-fashioned institutions against the new reality of inequality, federal neglect and local need. As a talented black woman in an interracial marriage living in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, Olatoye is an embodiment of a new kind of New York City political profile.
From the beginning of her tenure at NYCHA, Olatoye impressed residents with her sincere desire to engage with them. She visited over 90 developments in the first year of her tenure, during much of which she was pregnant with her third child. She impressed Aixa Torres, a powerful tenant leader from Smith Houses on the Lower East Side, when Olatoye brought her own children to NYCHA family day.
Many draw a distinction between her and her predecessor. "There's a huge difference between Chairman Olatoye and Mayor de Blasio, and John Rhea and the Bloomberg Administration, partly being as soon as Shola came into office she started meeting with a lot of the resident associations," says Jonathan Gardenhire, a resident leader of Smith Houses.
"Shola Olatoye is leaning more towards that."
This recommitment to the 964 regulations was perhaps most on displa
Voice of Late Paul Olatoye's legacy: Mayor de Blasio Appoints Leadership at Major Housing Agencies, - okemesi Ilu Agan, 5 April 2014 [cached]
Shola Olatoye appointed NYCHA Chair, Cecil House to serve as NYCHA General Manager, Vicki Been to head HPD, Gary D. Rodney to direct HDC
The mayor named Shola Olatoye as chair of the New York City Housing Authority, with Cecil House serving as the authority's general manager.
Leading those efforts will be Shola Olatoye, an experienced coalition builder with an extensive background leading community-based development across the five boroughs. Olatoye will focus on strategic goals like expanding employment opportunities for NYCHA residents, developing plans to retrofit buildings, and more fully supporting tenants-including the 40 percent of residents over the age of 62.
I want it to do the same in the future for others," said incoming NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye.
"I cannot wait to work with Shola and this administration to make New Yorkers proud of their public housing again.
About Shola Olatoye: Shola Olatoye comes to the de Blasio administration from an exceptional career in community development finance, housing advocacy and real estate.
Throughout her entire career, Olatoye has been an agent of change and manager of complex and large collaborations, effecting urban neighborhood revitalization. Olatoye has a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors, and a unique ability to leverage both to create public-private partnerships aimed toward preserving and creating affordable housing and communities. Most recently, Olatoye was Vice President and New York Market Leader for Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that has helped build or preserve more than 44,000 affordable homes for lower-income New Yorkers and invested more than $2.5 billion in and around the city. At Enterprise, Olatoye has overseen a cross-functional team that works with community partners, the public sector and private capital sources to build and preserve approximately 3,000 affordable homes per year in New York City.
Olatoye has also overseen a number of public-private partnership initiatives at Enterprise, including a 2013 project the East Harlem Center for Living and Learning located in East Harlem, in which Enterprise provided more than $12 million in debt and equity to create a new 151,000-square-foot multi-family, mixed-use development with 88 new affordable apartments, a 58,000-square-foot K-8 charter school, and 6,000 square feet of office space dedicated to not-for-profit organizations. Olatoye has also served as a Vice President and Senior Community Development Manager of HSBC Bank; Director of HR&A Advisors, Inc., an advisory and economic development consulting firm; and Director of Community Outreach at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc.
Olatoye is the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant and working class mom, who hails from Bedford Stuyvesant. She lives in Harlem with her husband and two sons.
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