The District of Columbia Housing Authority welcomes a new Director of Finance with more than 20 years’ experience in the field of housing and finance.

Barbara Chen, who started on April 2, 2018, has previously worked as a director of finance and CFO for multiple agencies, including Moving to Work agencies. She accepted the position at DCHA because she looks forward to the challenge, she said.

“There are so many different programs and challenges here at D.C. Housing Authority. I look forward to using my skills to help secure the agency’s financial future,” Chen said. “I’m excited. I like the city of Washington, D.C. I really love it.”

Prior to joining DCHA, Chen worked for two years as the finance director at the Housing Authority of the County of DuPage in Wheaton, Ill. There she ran the day-to-operations of the finance department and managed the agency’s funds. That housing authority also managed the nearby Kendall Housing Authority. While there she was able to increase the number of voucher customers they serve by 10 percent while decreasing operational costs and paying off mortgages and addressing deferred maintenance issues.

Chen served as the chief financial officer of the Housing Authority of the City of Orlando in Florida and prior to that, Chen was the finance and administration manager for the Housing Authority of Champaign County in Illinois.

Chen said the primary objective that she had in her previous positions and what she plans to bring to DCHA is customer service.

“In this state with the federal government’s budget cuts, we want to provide the same service—if not better service to our customers and to our employees. We need to be more creative and find how to be more effective with our funding,” Chen said. “We need to find ways to increase revenue and decrease costs.”

She said she is looking forward to finding efficiencies, such as converting older, dated systems to more streamlined, high-tech ones. Chen also mentioned more digital communication to save on the price of stamps and other small changes that could lead to big savings.

“Great service has been my goal everywhere I have worked,” she said. “I will try my best here at DCHA.”


Barbara Chen
Last modified: 4/26/2018 3:18:51 PM