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    Friday, May 24, 2024

    New London Housing Authority hires new interim director

    New London — The city’s Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to hire veteran financier Roy Boling as their newest interim executive director.

    Boling, who most recently spent nearly nine years as the deputy executive director of financing and planning for the Hartford Housing Authority, is expected to sign a contract for a six-month stay. He could be in a position to fill the role on a permanent basis.

    Boling is the third interim director since the board terminated its contract with former executive director Sue Shontell. He was expected to start Wednesday and overlap a short stint by Martin Berliner, the former city manager.

    Housing Authority board Chairwoman Betsy Gibson said Boling comes with a wealth of finance experience, something that is sorely needed as the authority works toward demolition of the Thames River Apartments and seeks upgrades at other aging properties in the authority’s portfolio.

    The Housing Authority also lost at least three employees after it terminated a contract with Shontell, including an accountant and bookkeeper. Shontell left in November.

    Both Gibson and Berliner said that Boling is uniquely qualified to take over some of the financial positions.

    “He’s been doing this for a lot of years and has a lot of experience — someone with skills the organization didn’t have before,” Berliner said. “He’ll have all of these things on his plate. He’ll figure out where things need to go.”

    Gibson said she expects some cost savings as a result of Boling’s hire and is hopeful for a good working relationship between Boling and not only the commissioners but the residents spread out among the authority’s properties. The authority manages three state-subsidized senior and disabled complexes and two federally subsidized properties.

    The Housing Authority is attempting to enact some policy changes that would provide more checks and balances when it comes to authority finances, including a practice in the past that allowed the executive director to make key financial transactions and sign checks without a second signature.

    Boling initially applied to the Housing Authority for a position as a financial adviser. Gibson said his experience lent itself to the executive director position and so he was asked.

    Terms of his six-month contract still are being worked out, Gibson said, but the commissioners will use the time to gauge the comfort level between Boling and the board.

    “We want to ensure we have the same goals and missions and are not at opposite ends of what we expect,” Gibson said.

    Boling will come on board in a time of upheaval for the authority, which has applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a so-called demolition disposition for the tenants at the Crystal Avenue high-rises. They also are seeking guidance to address maintenance issues and have applied for a grant for renovations to the 202 Colman St. high-rise.

    In addition to the Hartford Housing Authority, Boling’s resume includes time as vice president of finance for New Samaritan Corporation, vice president of Finance for Connecticut Telephone and chief financial officer for Connecticut Broadband.

    g.smith@theday.com

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