Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) announced a new executive director last night. Charlottesville native and former CRHA deputy director Randy Bickers replaced Noah Schwartz, who left the post on December 12 after accepting a job in Arizona.
CRHA’s history has been bumpy. Five executive directors have come and gone since the mid-1980s, thus effectively putting public housing residents’ problems on hold, as C-VILLE has previously reported.
Prior to Schwartz, former executive director Paul Chedda was fired by the CHRA board after only nine months on the job. The City’s first housing director was A.E. “Gene” Arrington, followed by Earl Pullen, who oversaw the agency for nine years.
Bickers brings familiarity to the table. He was born and raised in Albemarle County and graduated from Albemarle County High School and from UVA with a degree in accounting. He previously served as Director of Finance for the CRHA.
“We’re really pleased to bring him back to the authority. He knows everybody well, he’s well liked. It’s safe to say, it’s one of the smoothest transitions this agency has had in 10 to 15 years," says CRHA Chairman Jason Halbert.
"The last two searches have been more locally focused and driven by the board. Noah Schwartz was an excellent hire, and I think Randy is as well."
In addition to Bickers, CRHA has hired Melvin Baskfiled as a new maintenance manager and Tom Winder as capital projects manager, two positions Schwartz told C-VILLE were vital to CRHA’s future success.
Westhaven is one of the 11 sites CRHA manages.