By Eliqua Brooks
Longtime executive director of the Finance Authority Mtumishi St. Julien announced today that he will retire in July.
St. Julien’s decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable 25-year career of strong leadership as an affordable housing advocate and a continuous public servant to the people and the city of New Orleans.
Gizelle Johnson-Banks, chairwomen of the Board of Trustees said “Mr. St. Julien has never wavered in his commitment to The Finance Authority’s primary mission of providing affordable housing for Orleans Parish citizens over his 25 years of the organization.”
“I have mixed feelings about my retirement,” says St. Julien. “It’s a new chapter in my life. I can go out to enjoy. But I am a workaholic. I am afraid I may get bored. I love to work, that’s what I do. I work to help people financially. Homeownership is the foundation for wealth building and economic stability in our community. It has been a privilege to dedicate my life’s work to helping more than 3,200 Orleans Parish families become home owners.”
In reality, work alone has not consumed St. Julien. To be sure, he has also been an active community leader, working with a number of organizations including serving as the campus coordinator for The Silverback Society, a mentorship program for young Black males. His retirement will allow him more time to work with the group, he says.
“I have a chance to continue to help these young boys grow we help them have reasons to do positive rather than negative things throughout their lives.”
During St. Julien’s tenure at the Finance Authority, the agency issued more than $300 million in mortgage revenue bonds, oversaw the issuance of $35 million in capital improvement financing for Xavier University, the $13 million financing of the 236-unit Willows Apartment, the $12.5 million financing for the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership Project mixed-use senior housing and commercial development at Martin Luther King and O.C. Haley Boulevards and administered $27 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grant funds for soft second mortgage loans.
St. Julien says he believes the Finance Authority will choose the right leader to continue its successes.
“The market is changing. Needs of finances are changing,” says St. Julien. “The Board of Trustees will pick a successful candidate that will continue to effectively help people get home and expand our goals here.”