The mortgage foreclosure crisis has claimed an unlikely victim: Carl R. Greene, executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA).
Wells Fargo Bank has foreclosed on Greene's $615,035 condominium in the upscale Naval Square development in the city's Schuylkill section.
In a lawsuit filed July 27, Wells Fargo said the amount in dispute was $386,685.22.
Greene, 53, runs the nation's fourth-largest public housing agency and is one of the highest-paid public officials in the city. His salary is $306,370, and last year he got a $44,188 bonus.
Kirk Dorn, a spokesman for Greene, confirmed Thursday that the housing chief was "involved in a dispute with his mortgage company."
"It's unfortunate that the dispute is now public, but he plans to deal with the matter in private," Dorn said.
Dorn added that Greene "knows people will find it hard to understand how he could be involved in a possible foreclosure proceeding on his home, but he would prefer not to say more about it at this time."
Greene bought his three-bedroom, 2,100-square-foot condo in 2007. Wells Fargo is not seeking to evict him.
Like any other Philadelphia homeowner threatened with losing a house, Greene will have to participate in the city's mortgage-foreclosure program. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 16 in the courtroom of Judge Annette Rizzo.
PHA, a state authority, is funded mostly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is responsible for providing housing for Philadelphia's poor. It maintains rowhouses and apartments for low-income residents and develops affordable housing for purchase.
Greene took over PHA in 1998, after serving as executive director of the Detroit Housing Commission. He also worked for housing authorities in Atlanta and Washington.
Under Greene, PHA has aggressively eliminated outdated public-housing projects that concentrated families in fortresslike structures. Instead, the agency has developed low-rise communities with a mix of rental units and affordable homes for purchase. The developments often helped transform neighborhoods, such as the Hawthorne section of South Philadelphia.
Greene has drawn praise for his results in building housing and reviving neighborhoods and criticism for his sometimes combative, forceful style. During the administration of President George W. Bush, Greene sued HUD and accused the agency of punishing PHA for not giving land to the politically connected Philadelphia music producer and developer Kenny Gamble. The case was resolved out of court.
With the Obama administration, Greene has drawn attention and accolades from HUD for quickly putting to use economic-recovery money. In the last two years, PHA has received an additional $127 million in stimulus money that Greene has used to build or renovate 1,200 housing units.