City Club of Chicago: Cook County Housing Authority Director Richard J. Monocchio
March 21, 2016
Richard J. Monocchio, Executive Director, Housing Authority of Cook County
Richard J. Monocchio has dedicated his professional career to public service for nearly 25 years. He began his housing career under the Clinton Administration, serving in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to that, he served as senior advisor to the late U.S. Rep. George E. Sangmeister. Known for his ability to get things done, he served in several city government capacities as Buildings Commissioner, Aviation Chief of Staff, and First Deputy Housing Commissioner for the City of Chicago under the Daley Administration.
In 2011, Monocchio was appointed Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cook County, where he continues to be an advocate for safe, affordable housing. The Housing Authority of Cook County is the second largest housing authority in Illinois. The Agency is credited for transforming its portfolio with multi-million dollar improvements and renovations of the Authority’s 23 housing developments located in suburban communities throughout Cook County. These quality of life improvements have led to more than 2,100 owned units, with more than 13,000 families served under the rental assistance programs.
Under Mr. Monocchio’s leadership, dozens of recreational, educational and vocational programs have been implemented to connect people, opportunities, and communities, ultimately helping residents achieve a better quality of life. The Agency recently implemented the first Smoke Free policy throughout all of its housing sites – the largest and most comprehensive in Illinois. The Agency has also introduced an education program available to its residents to encourage higher learning and career opportunities.
Monocchio is affiliated with numerous civic and community organizations and serves on the Cook County Workforce Board.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has two sons, Nathanial and Nicholas.