RiseBoro CEO leaving after 22 years with affordable housing developer

Scott Short replaced by former Catholic priest Kieran Harrington

RiseBoro CEO Scott Short Replaced by Kieran Harrington
RiseBoro's Scott Short and Kieran Harrington (RiseBoro, Getty)

One of the city’s leading affordable housing developers on Thursday announced a leadership change that had been quietly in the works since last year.

Scott Short is leaving after seven years as CEO of RiseBoro Community Partnership and being replaced by Kieran Harrington, who had joined as co-CEO two months ago in what turned out to be part of the nonprofit’s succession plan.

Harrington previously served as a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and has had a long career in social services, which is a major part of RiseBoro’s operation, but is not experienced in housing development. Short will stay on temporarily as an adviser to help with that transition, as will RiseBoro veteran Emily Kurtz, who was promoted to chief housing and development officer.

With 5,000 units in pre-development, RiseBoro is in the middle of some substantial projects, including the conversion of a hotel near Kennedy Airport to more than 300 affordable housing units. Slate Property Group is a partner in that development. RiseBoro is also building 127 units with Camber Property Group at 1601 DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick, where the organization is based.

Short first approached the organization’s board last year about leaving Riseboro, his employer for 22 years, to pursue a position more focused on housing policy and development. RiseBoro launched a search for his replacement and tapped Harrington, who had been executive national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.

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Harrington resigned that position in February after admitting to have broken his vow of celibacy more than a decade ago in what he described as “a single, inappropriate, consensual encounter with an adult woman for whom I cared deeply.” A monsignor, he is on leave from the active ministry.

RiseBoro chairman John Shuck said in a statement that Harrington’s “passion for social justice and extensive leadership experience make him the ideal candidate to lead RiseBoro forward.”

RiseBoro dates back 51 years and provides housing for families leaving homeless shelters and seniors, among others, largely in Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, East New York, Ridgewood and Glendale.

Previously known as Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, it grew into prominence under the auspices of founder Vito Lopez, the late Brooklyn Assembly member and Democratic power broker.

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