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An accomplished housing administrator in St. Petersburg, Florida, Darrell Irions currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA). Darrell Irions holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Pursuing a career in housing administration, he gained extensive management experience working at agencies in Lincoln, as well as in Denver, Colorado. Darrell Irions subsequently relocated to Chicago, where he held executive positions including Chief Administrator for Operations and Chief Administrator Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority. In 1995, Darrell Irions joined St. Petersburg Housing Authority, where he serves today as Chief Executive Officer, providing comprehensive oversight of the agency’s housing programs and initiatives. 

SPHA holds more than 70 years of experience in developing affordable housing programs in St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas within its jurisdiction. Currently, SPHA presently offers rental opportunities to approximately 3,400 families. Under Darrell Irions’ diligent leadership, the organization continues to excel as a “High Performer,” as determined by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assessments. Darrell Irions maintains professional affiliations with organizations including the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association. In addition to his successful career in housing administration, Mr. Irions was appointed by President George W. Bush to the worldwide Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Inc. He also has been cited for his notable service as both an active and reserve officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Work experience

Nov 1995Present

Chief Executive Officer

St. Petersburg Housing Authority

To act under the direct supervision of the SPHA Board of Commissioners and to advise them in all matters relating to the housing authority's function in the local community; to direct all agency personnel in putting into effect all policies of the housing authority and such other policies of operation as fall within the framework of Federal, State and local housing legislation.

Primarily responsible to carry out the strategic plans and policies as established by the SPHA board of commissioners.

Led housing authority staff to continually achieve the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's High Performer status and clean audits; the redevelopment of the Jordan Park public housing development and Hope VI Homeownership program, in collaboration with HUD, the City of St. Petersburg, and Neighborhood Home Solutions.

Darrell Irions is nationally recognized as one of the housing industry’s leading experts.

Darrell Irions



University of Nebraska