The McHenry County Housing Authority has begun its search for a new executive director.
The authority’s current executive director, Julie Biel-Claussen, has announced plans to retire. Her last day will be Oct. 31, and a committee has been formed to seek her replacement. The McHenry County Housing Authority’s board will make the ultimate decision on who will next lead the agency.
Biel-Claussen has been with the McHenry County Housing Authority for 11 years and in the affordable housing industry for 33 years, she said.
“It has been such a rewarding job here,” she said.
Playing a role in the creation of affordable housing units in the county is one of Biel-Claussen’s key accomplishments with the agency, she said.
Some of those units include those at Congress Parkway Apartment Homes in Crystal Lake, the Villas of Lake in the Hills and the Residences of Lake in the Hills, a senior living community.
The housing authority – in collaboration with other social service providers, the city of Woodstock and other agencies – is in the process creating a fixed-site homeless shelter in the county.
The discussion stems from a series of meetings Woodstock held last year after residents began voicing concerns about the behavior of some people in the homeless community. Discussions led to the city working with multiple county agencies to tackle the lack of resources, and Pioneer Center now wants to open a second emergency shelter.
The next executive director must be adaptable to succeed, Biel-Claussen said.
“Things change every day, and there are a lot of governmental regulations you have to adhere to,” she said. “You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s difficult to stay on top of the ever chaining landscape of federal and state regulations.”