COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia Housing Authority has an interim executive director, and her name is Ivory Mathews.

Mathews, who worked as the executive director for the Greenville Housing Authority, was chosen from a pool of 13 applicants nationwide. She will act as executive director when Gilbert Walker retires next month.

Walker's retirement came a month after gas leaks at Allen Benedict Court apartment left two men dead and 411 residents displaced.

RELATED: Columbia Housing Authority director announces retirement, one month after deaths, evacuation

During the search for an interim director, Board Chairman Ernest Cromartie III said he hoped the change would move the Columbia Housing Authority forward.

"I think the message is clear, we want to move forward," Cromartie said. "We want to have transparency, we want to have accountability... the residents take first priority. We want to make sure that the residents know that they are first in the minds of the commissioners. We're going to let the executive director know that the residents need to be first in his or her mind as well."