Press Statement - Patricia Wells Named New Executive Director

Patricia Wells Named New Executive Director

​of the Oakland Housing Authority


OAKLAND, CA - The Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) Board of Commissioners has announced the appointment of Patricia Wells, currently the Deputy Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority, to the position of Executive Director. Ms. Wells succeeds Eric Johnson who is retiring later this year after serving the organization for 11 years. Wells was named Executive Director following a national search which attracted candidates from all over the country. Wells will assume the Executive Director position on October 15, 2019.


Oakland Housing Authority Board Chairman Greg Hartwig said, “We had confidence in Patricia’s ability to do this important job and lead the agency through the transition at this critical juncture in our nation’s history; but after considering the other highly qualified candidates, we determined that Patricia’s 20 plus years dedication to our residents, community and OHA staff, vast experience with policy and industry leaders and steadfast commitment to delivering on our mission, she is the best choice.”


Wells, eager to get started in the new role stated, “during the past 21 years, I have had the honor of serving the OHA resident community alongside amazingly dedicated OHA staff and under the mentorship of visionary and courageous executive leaders; and I’m excited to lead us forward as we continue to develop more units with the type of sustainability that has become our hallmark, and to also strengthen our partnerships and service delivery capabilities.” Wells continued, “Our future progress will exceed our past successes because we are all committed to the same principles as a result of our shared vision as laid out by Mr. Johnson.”


With nearly 30 years of experience in affordable housing and public service, Wells joined OHA in 1998, after being the Associate Director for Habitat for Humanity International - West Region, and the Senior Policy Coordinator and Analyst as a Mayoral appointee with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in Washington D.C. She quickly moved into management positions at OHA where she began to innovate service delivery through more formalized programs and in partnership with some of the City’s and County’s most respected agencies. In just a few short years, Wells moved into OHA’s property operations side where she honed her expertise in property management, building maintenance and capital improvements. As Deputy Executive Director, Wells also led the agency’s Human Resources and Information Technology departments during periods of transition. Most recently, she has held responsibility for managing numerous special projects where customized responses were necessary to address such issues as Sequestration, government shutdowns and HUD Rules.


“I am confident Patricia Wells has the knowledge and passion to lead the agency through the growing affordable housing crisis in California and the nation,” said outgoing Executive Director, Eric Johnson. “I have faith that with her years of commitment to the City of Oakland and the Oakland Housing Authority, the agency will continue our history of piloting some of the most innovative affordable housing solutions in the country.”


Wells is currently a candidate for National Senior Vice President of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the nation’s leading housing advocacy association. She will also continue her passionate support for the community and environment as she and her family volunteer and support Soroptimist International of the East Bay, Children’s Fairyland, Lake Merritt, Oakland Parks, the Alameda County Food Bank, Jack London Estuary, the Monterey Bay, local zoos and schools. Wells holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University and a Bachelors of Arts from Wittenberg University. 

New Executive Director Press Release​ (Printable version)

Eric Johnson Announces Retirement ​