Housing Agency Hires Director from Within

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh Housing Authority conducted a nationwide search for a new leader but found what it wanted here.

The authority's board on Thursday appointed Caster D. Binion, 59, of the North Side as executive director. Binion, who had been interim director since October, could not be reached for comment.

"He has both the credentials and the expertise to carry out the strategic plan, and he has the respect of the agency," said authority Chairman Ricky Burgess, who also serves on Pittsburgh City Council.

Burgess said 50 to 60 candidates applied for the top job at the authority, which has a 2013 budget of about $148 million, oversees about 4,770 housing units, and has about 5,100 households in its Section 8 housing choice voucher program.

Binion's annual salary as interim executive director was $166,000. Binion and the board are still negotiating his salary, said authority spokesman Chuck Rohrer.

Following a nationwide trend, the authority is working to rid itself of crime-ridden public housing, such as the Depression-era Addison Terrace in the Hill District. In its place, the authority wants to build modern mixed-income developments.

Burgess cited the new Garfield Commons near Children's Hospital as an example. …