By Anna Lothson
Edward Solan, executive director of both the Oak Park Residence Corporation and the Housing Authority of the Village of Oak Park, announced Wednesday that he'll retire from both organizations at the end of the year.
Solan, a resident of Oak Park, has been the executive director of both organizations since 2001. Prior to joining the Residence Corporation and the Housing Authority, he served as senior vice-president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation and also as chief operating officer of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
"I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead such excellent organizations, with dedicated board members and an outstanding staff," Solan wrote in news release announcing his retirement. "I am proud that during my tenure both organizations have grown and matured. I am especially pleased that I leave both in sound financial condition."
After retirement, Solan and his wife, Linda, will remain in Oak Park in the "wonderful community," they made home for thirty-five years and where they raised their daughter.
Acknowledgements and praise for Solon's long career poured in following his announcement.
Wayne Pierce, president of the residence corporation board of directors issued a statement.
"Ed became the executive director of the Oak Park Residence Corporation at an extremely challenging time. Through his leadership, hard work, and knowledge of the multi-family housing industry, the corporation prospered and grew significantly," Pierce wrote.
"Ed consistently received the full support of the board and full cooperation of the staff as he led the corporation in providing affordable housing, housing for the elderly, and housing for special needs individuals living in Oak Park," Pierce continued.
"I cannot think of anyone who could have done a better job of fulfilling the mission of the Residence Corporation. While we are sad to see Ed leave us we want to wish him the best as he moves on to the next chapter in his life."
The Oak Park Residence Corporation is a community-based, non-profit housing development corporation. Its primary mission is to promote Oak Park's historically diverse and economically balanced community by providing quality rental housing at an affordable price. OPRC owns 22 apartment buildings containing approximately 500 units. The Residence Corporation also owns and operates two buildings containing 97 units specially designed for seniors and persons with disabilities.
Louis Butler, the chairman of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, also shared his thoughts on working with Solan.
"It has been a pleasure to work with Ed during my five years on the Board of the Oak Park Housing Authority," he wrote. "Ed's vision has paved the way for the construction of the Grove Apartments which will further the mission of the authority to provide affordable housing to individuals in need. Ed's knowledge of affordable housing issues and his ability to build consensus will be greatly missed."
The Oak Park Housing Authority is an Illinois Municipal Corporation that administers Federal housing subsidies in Oak Park. It owns and operates Mills Park Tower, a 198-unit facility for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. It is also a partner in the soon-to-open Grove Apartments on Madison Street.