Home Milwaukee Willie Hines is first Black director of Milwaukee Housing Authority

Willie Hines is first Black director of Milwaukee Housing Authority


The Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) announced Thursday the appointment of Willie L. Hines, Jr. as permanent Secretary-Executive Director. He had been serving in that role on an interim basis since May 2021.

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, according to a press release.

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. Mr. 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. Mr. Hines succeeds Antonio Pérez, who had led the agency since 2000.

“On behalf of the Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, we are proud to announce Mr. Hines as our next Secretary-Executive Director. His remarkable talents, collaborative and engaging management style, and extensive experience make him an ideal choice to lead HACM in advancing its mission. We look forward to his leadership as we work towards our collective goal of providing high-quality, affordable housing and opportunities to thrive for the people we serve,” HACM’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Mark Wagner said in a statement.

A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Mr. 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.

“I want to thank HACM’s Board of Commissioners for their thoughtful consideration and trust in me,” Hines said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our board, dedicated team of employees, residents, and partners to continue building innovative housing solutions. I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the organization as we continue to serve our community. As a product of public housing, I am living proof that stable, affordable housing can provide the foundation from which to build a better quality of life.”

Prior to joining HACM, Mr. 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, Mr. Hines 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.

Mr. Hines holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University and has received numerous accolades throughout his distinguished career, including being selected for the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame earlier this year.