Foundation shaken at Housing Authority
By CHARLIE BERMANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Kitsap County Writer
October 17, 2008 · Updated 4:44 PM
The sudden retirement of Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA) Executive Director Norm McLoughlin this week resulted from a series of bad administrative decisions along with the national housing crisis, according to sources.
“Time will tell what happens next,” said South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who is the current KCCHA board chair. “We have a lot of work to do, beginning with a budgeting and staffing plan.”
KCCHA had made several property investments and was unable to pay off loans. As a result, the KCCHA board instructed the agency to sell off properties in order to make those payments.
McLoughlin will be replaced in the short term by KCCHA Finance Director Debbie Broughton, who will serve as interim director.
Angel said she did not think Broughton would take the position on a permanent basis, but suggested the hiring of a more long-term interim director to take charge while a more thorough search is conducted.
Kitsap Association of Realtors Executive Mike Eliason disagreed, saying the current housing crisis has put a lot of qualified people out of work and that it would not be difficult to draw from this talent pool.
Angel said on Thursday the problem was a result of several diverse factors. One, however, is the fact that the KCCHA board “was not given the data it needed in order to make a proper decision.
Eliason said KCCHA’s actions may have been ill-advised but became more so when the housing market tanked.
“If the market was healthy, they wouldn’t be in this predicament today,” he said. “Their purpose was to manage housing for low-income people and they got into trouble when they tried to operate outside of this charter.”
The situation became a political football when former Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel, who is opposing Angel for the 26th District Legislative seat, recruited legislators and state authorities to outline a possible assistance plan.