Housing agency head retiring

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Al Key/DRC
Denton Housing Authority Executive Director Shirley Hensley, shown Wednesday in front of the agency’s building on Wilson Street, will retire at the end of June.

DHA executive director leaving at end of June

Shirley Hensley, a longtime employee of the Denton Housing Authority and its current executive director, will retire at the end of this month.

The agency announced her retirement this week. The board of directors and fellow employees are planning a farewell reception for Hensley beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the agency’s office, at 1225 Wilson St. The public is invited.

The Denton Housing Authority provides housing support to more than 1,700 families annually, including administering a voucher program that provides rent subsidies for more than 1,500 families each year.

Another 1,688 families are on the waiting list for a voucher, Hensley said in an interview Wednesday.

“That’s about a five-year wait,” she said.

Hensley’s career with the agency began in 1996 when it opened Pecan Place Apartments, a tax-subsidized renovation of the old Southern Hotel in downtown Denton, that serves as housing for seniors. She was the first property manager for the apartments.

Hensley was promoted to executive director of the agency in 2004 after serving as its interim executive director for about a year. Two years later, in 2006, she oversaw the $13 million redevelopment of another major housing project on Denton’s southeast side. The occupants of the old Phoenix Apartments received vouchers to move to other housing around the city, the apartments were razed, and the Renaissance Court Townhomes were erected.

Hensley said she is looking forward to her retirement. The current deputy executive director, Sherri McDade, will replace Hensley as executive director beginning in July.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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