Southeastern Regional Council
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
Frank A. Lofurno, Jr. P.O. Box 280 Hampton, VA 23669 Phone: (757) 727-6337 Fax: (757) 727-6368 firstname.lastname@example.org
2007 - 2009
Senior Vice President
John Nolen P.O. Box 788 Alexander City, AL 35011 Phone: (256) 329-2201 ext.201 Fax: (256) 329-6512 email@example.com
Frank A. Lofurno, Jr.
Senior Vice President John Nolen
Secretary James Fair
L. Thomas Rowe
James Fair P.O. Box 1469 Athens, GA 30603 Phone: (706) 425-5361 Fax: (706) 354-7950 firstname.lastname@example.org
L.Thomas Rowe P.O. Box 220 Fort Mill, SC 29716 Phone: (803) 547-6787 Fax: (803) 548-2125 email@example.com
VP of Prof. Development Abraham Williams P.O. Box 116 Bowling Green, KY 42102 Phone: (270) 843-6071 Fax: (270) 781-7091 firstname.lastname@example.org
VP of Housing
Tony Bazzie P.O. Box 2618 Beckley, WV 25802 Phone: (304) 255-5164 Fax: (304) 255-3190 email@example.com
VP of Member Services Lynda Hinckley 718 Margaret Square Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone: (407) 645-2869 Fax: (407) 629-4575 firstname.lastname@example.org
VP of Commissioners Marijo Denson P.O. Box 296 Decatur, MS 39327 Phone: (601) 635-2426 Fax: (601) 635-2426 email@example.com
VP of CR&D
Brenda Willis P.O. Box 1304 Chesapeake, VA 23320-1304 Phone: (757) 523-0401 Fax: (757) 523-1601 Brenda_willis@crhava.org
V P-Professional Dev VP-Commissioners VP-Member Services Abraham Williams
Executive Committee Chairpersons Annual Conference Shirley Cook - 2008 Shannon Biggs - 2009
Jacob Oglesby - 2008
Executive & Hospitality Jan Piersol
Legislative Bill Dotson
Rebecca C. Holmes
Professional Development Buddy Oldfield
Education & Training Alanda Jackson
Public Affairs-SERCulator Floyd Johnson
Administrative Practices Stephen A. Burchett
Member Services Bob Farrar
History/Archival Akinola Popoola Douglas Freeman
Tina Akers Brown
Tina Akers Brown Paul Pierce
40 Under 40 Mark Stalvey
Disaster Prepared Ronnie Poston
VP- c r & d Brenda Willis
State Representatives Alabama - Katherine Jones Florida - Richard Turner Georgia - Jeanette W. Henderson Kentucky - Jeanette Aldridge Mississippi - Milan Hoze N. Carolina - Michael Williams S. Carolina - Marvin Stephens Tennessee - Lisa Bonadio Virginia - Dave Baldwin West Virginia - Bill Dotson
Past Presidents First - Daniel W. Tiller Second - Donald J. Cameron Third - Austin Simms
State Presidents Alabama - Katherine Jones Florida - Jerome Ryans Georgia - Jeanette W. Henderson Kentucky - Jeanette Aldridge Mississippi - Brian Power Carolinas Council- Marvin Stephens Tennessee - Dow Harris Virginia - Dave Baldwin West Virginia - Bill Dotson
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor
CONTENTS FALL 2007
Floyd Johnson Managing Editor
ALABAMA FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA
Contributing Editors Alabama - Tom Wachs Florida - Robert Skrob Georgia - Reta Thomas Kentucky - Gerald Board Mississippi - Floyd Johnson The Carolinas - Kara Hagan Tennessee - Jim Young Virginia - Rick Hanson West Virginia - Tim White
Let Me Tell You About My Country 6 Itâ€™s A Crying Shame 8 Top 10 Mistakes Concerning REAC 7
Presidentâ€™s Forum... 4 SERCulating the South... 10-21 Recognition & Reward 22-26 The primary objective of the SERCulator is to provide a vehicle which facilitates an open exchange of information and ideas among professionals in the field of Housing and Community Development. An essential requirement to serve this purpose is the publication of professional articles and other informational material dealing with the development and implementation of various skills and practices in this field which are both of value as well as suitable for sharing with fellow professionals. Submissions of this nature are encouraged from individual and organizational members of the Southeastern Regional Council of NAHRO. * While publisher and printer will make every effort to correct inaccurate submissions, publisher is not liable for advertising printed from faulty ad materials.
Additional Copies of the SERCulator may be ordered for $3.00 each, plus shipping & handling. Send requests to the attention of the Managing Editor.
The SERCulator is the official publication of the Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The SERCulator is published quarterly at the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, 165 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville, NC 28802. Comments, suggestions, articles, features and photographs are solicited in the interest of the members of the Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Although all submissions are subject to approval and editing, every effort will be made to publish submissions based on available space. Photos cannot be returned. Send submissions to:
Kara Hagan - (828) 779-1212, fax (828 254-2276, e-mail: KaraandCompany@hughes.net or mail to 2638 Gabriels Creek Rd., Mars Hill, NC 28754
President’sForum Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment, and the view from the summit will prove to be astonishing.
Greetings – I cannot believe how time is flying by. It seems like only yesterday that we were in Tunica, MS at our Annual Conference when the election of new officers for Serc was held. In my first letter to you as your president, I would like to share some random thoughts with you. First, I can remember sitting in the back of the room (last row) at an annual conference at the Hyatt in Orlando, FL – probably 25 years ago. I remember, listening to the Conference Coordinator standing in front of about 800 people – and I could not imagine doing that. Ironically, a number of years later, we were back at the Hyatt in Orlando and I was the Program Coordinator and I found myself standing at the podium in the same room. I can honestly tell you that I never imagined that I would be in a position to serve as your Serc president – we never know what the future may hold. I am truly honored and I pledge to you that you will get the best I have to offer. As I said, time is flying by. So far as the president-elect, I have had the opportunity to speak at the MS and the Carolina’s Annual Conferences and next week I head to KY, and then TN the last week of September. This is all before the new officers “officially” take office. Having visited MS and the Carolina’s is a marked reminder of the two primary reasons that I have stayed involved and active in Serc. One is that the people are GREAT. If this was not an enjoyable activity, then I would not have stayed involved. The second reason is for my own professional development and the exposure to people who are a lot smarter than me who are committed to our industry – I have learned and continue to learn a lot. Both of these reasons were brought home when I visited MS and the Carolina’s – the hospitality and programs were great. Sercies know how to work hard but still have fun. During the next two years I would like to take the best of our past and build on that for our future. Along that line, my goals are to focus on the three “R’s” – maintaining Relevance (to the membership); being Responsive (to the membership and on the issues); and Relaxation (having fun – making all Serc events an enjoyable experience for you, the members). I would like to challenge each of you become more involved and committed to Serc - to help us build on our past successes and to focus on how Serc can remain Relevant, Responsive and a Relaxing experience. In closing, I have a request. I look forward to meeting each of you and I ask you to please come up and introduce yourself to me at meetings; and bear with me as I try to remember all of the names.
Getting to Know President Frank Lofurno
By Angela Childers
ant to meet someone who can show you the lighter side of things? Someone who can help you find the humor in life? Someone dedicated to God, his family and helping low income families by providing safe and affordable housing? Well, meet. Frank Lofurno, Executive Director of the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Hampton, Virginia AND the new President of SERC. President Lofurno has been in the Housing industry since 1974. He has a Bachelors Degree in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design. Married to Lee since 1969 they have four sons between the ages of 22 and 33 and 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. (Now who do you think has Frank wrapped around HER finger?) He has a grandfather who was a musician and a master furniture maker. Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority is both a Redevelopment and Public Housing agency. This enables them to access and utilize a wide variety of programs in order to improve and stabilize neighborhoods. Although being a housing and redevelopment authority is not unique President Lofurno is especially proud of the new homes that they build for low income homeowners. One of the most interesting and rewarding stories about housing is as he recalls it: “Back in 1975 we were running a nurse’s aid training program and there was a young 19 year old public housing resident with 3 children who went through the program. She struck me as very bright and energetic. I ran into her about 20 years later in a hospital. She came up to me and said ‘you don’t remember me do you?’ I said that I recognized her face and knew who she was but not her name. At this point in her life she was now an RN. So I asked if she still lived in public housing and she responded no that she had been evicted. And that that was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She explained that she had obtained her degree but had been afraid to move out on her own – to give up the safety net so to speak. But once she did then she bought a house. See, what we do is worthwhile.” President Lofurno brings a personal investment to his SERC Presidency. He is looking forward to the challenges and to continue to provide excellent training and opportunities for SERC members.
Elaine Ostrowski in the loss of her father and to the family and friends of Frank Gooch.
Frank M. Gooch Lt. Col. Frank M. Gooch SPARTANBURG, SC-- Lt. Col. Frank Marshall Gooch, 87, of Spartanburg, died Sunday, September 9, 2007. A decorated U.S. Air Force pilot in World War II, he was assigned to the China-Burma-India Theatre and piloted multiple missions across the Himalaya Mountains. He remained on flying status in the reserve program, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, and belonged to the Military Officers and HUMP Pilots Associations. A graduate of Clemson College with a B.S. degree in Architecture, he was the retired Executive Director of the Spartanburg Housing Authority with 33 years of service. Through his leadership, the first housing for the elderly was made available in Spartanburg. He was the first Director in South Carolina to implement a homeownership program.
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY COUNTRY As Veteran’s Day approaches, lest we fall prey to the temptation to go cavalierly by this important holiday, we should all pause and think about the gigantic debt of gratitude and honor we owe to those patriots who served and defended our liberty since it all began, especially those who paid the supreme sacrifice. Sacrifice, a noble word. I am reminded of a quote from a speech given by General MacArthur: “The soldier, above all other men, is required to perform the highest act of religious teaching – sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instincts can take the place of the divine annunciation and spiritual uplift, which will alone sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.”
Nobleness and every gain divine.” My country is a country born of violence and blood; a bloody revolution in which the first of our Countrymen sacrificed their lives and fortunes. It was a rabble army made up of super patriots, taking on and defeating the super power of the time. This rabble army was made up of valiant men, with inadequate arms, starving and freezing in ragged clothing, displaying incredible courage against overwhelming odds. Their actions reflect what should be our national character: Honor – Courage – Commitment.
There was much to overcome before victory. Just as in all our country’s wars there were dark days and faint hearts. This was an experimental government with a Congress that squabbled among themselves. There were bitter debates over how to support their war of Independence. Even the commander in chief and future president, at times, became despondent: “I see nothing before us but accumulating distress. We have been half our time without provisions and Every time I hear the singing of “America the Beautiful” are likely to continue so. We have no Magazines I home in on the third verse. We all know the first verse nor money to form them. And in a little time we but how many of us can sing the third verse. If is truly shall have no Men, if we had Money to pay them. We have lived upon expedients until we can live a verse of sacrifice. no longer. In a word, the history of the War is a history of false hopes and temporary devices, “O. beautiful for heros feet in liberating strife instead of system and economy.” Who more than self their Country loved, and George Washington, 1780 Mercy more than life, America, America may In spite of all their hardships somehow they prevailed 6 God thy gold refine, Till all success be Continued on page 30
“Top Ten Mistakes Everybody Makes” concerning REAC Inspections... By Michael Gantt, Director of Training The Inspection Group, Inc. 10. Misplaced Optimism: Expecting that since you’ve “always had good scores” you always will; expecting the inspection to make sense; and expecting to be treated fairly – If you believe this, you’ve got an unpleasant surprise in store. 9. Misplaced Blame: Thinking that when you get a bad score, it is the inspector’s fault – it’s usually either yours, or REAC’s. 8. Inadequate Reaction: Failing to keep records, effectively analyze results when things go wrong, to mount effective appeals, to share your grievances with HUD and other government officials, and to consult an expert when needed. Failing to understand how much trouble you are in when a property fails, and to act very aggressively. 7. Not Networking: Failing to have established relationships with outside experts such as consultants, UPCS training organizations, attorneys, your counterparts at other companies, and to consult with them on REAC issues regularly- you should do this even if you think you have the situation in hand. 6. Not Planning at the Highest Level of Management: Not having a well defined master plan for dealing with REAC inspections, with policies, procedures, and key personnel in charge of the details – you should be anticipating dates, tracking scores, retaining and studying scoring reports, and all inspections should be scheduled, prepared for, attended and monitored, and appealed by one internal or external expert. 5. Not Preparing Well: Not observing a consistent discipline of preinspecting, analyzing, setting strategies, and executing the strategies fully. 4. Throwing money at the problem: Believing that the more you spend and the quicker you spend it, the better your score will be. 3. Getting Your Priorities a Little Backwards: Concentrating on the “Worst” Units instead of the “Best” – Units in apparently good condition can EASILY lose just as many points as Units in atrocious condition, but they are much easier to repair and save all points. 2. Getting Your Priorities a Lot Backwards: Concentrating on Units, and ignoring Site, Exteriors, Systems, and Common Areas. Your Units are only worth 33 to 43 % of your total score, and are often more difficult to control. If you spend 100% of your effort on the Units and ignore other elements of the property, you are ignoring 57 to 67 % of your possible scoring value. Continued on page 28
It’s a Crying Shame – HUD’s Computer Problems Continue to Cost Us
By George McAdams, Executive Director Sheffield (AL) Housing Authority
he recent decision from HUD to forgo the performance reward factor that awarded a 5% bonus to high performing PHAs is a crying shame. Since HUD, in their words, “was unable to process updated PHAS About the Author . . . scores in time to generate a list of high performing PHAs prior to awarding the initial share of Capital Funding,” they are skipping Since 1976 George McAdams has served the award of the bonuses because “the Department had to wait until as a public housing Director in Alabama, this past May (eight months into the next fiscal year) to complete Maryland and Arizona, and has worked as a Housing Consultant with Goodwin and the award of fiscal year 2006 funding.” Associates of Atlanta, GA. He received Now, wait a minute! First, as many “work arounds” as the the “Buzz” Meadows Memorial Award for housing authorities have had to endure over the past six or seven Contributions made to Public Procurement years, couldn’t HUD have had their Area Office personnel review Practices (1991), has been the President their respective PHAs to see which had achieved “high performer” of the Arizona Public Housing Directors status and forwarded that information to Central? I’ve had my score Association (1996), and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sheffield and “high performer” rating for FY 2006 posted for eons. Rotary Club, the YMCA of the Shoals, and Secondly, let’s talk about this a little more. I seem to remember the Colber County University of Alabama one time when our PHA had physical inspections well past the end Alumni Association. McAdams has taught of our fiscal year, yet HUD was able to compute who was a high workshops on Procurement, Lease performer then. To me, it just seems that this excuse is one that Regulations, and the Comprehensive they realize hasn’t been used before, and it is convenient to use it Grant Program. He has many hobbies such as photography, computers, yard now. Granted, however, in HUD’s explanation, they say it was its work, and writing, but in his own words “ “discretion to award limited additional funding to PHAs designated my greatest pleasure, at the moment, is as high performing under the Public Housing Assessment System having established a scholarship for Public (PHAS),” so, I guess it’s another one of those, what HUD giveth, Administration majors at the University HUD can taketh away. All of which makes me, for one, look back of Alabama.” Another is in the works at on the computer processes that HUD has made us endure. Birmingham Southern College. He is married to Carol McAdams and has three Let’s face it; our agencies have been put through the wringer. grandchildren. He is active in the Episcopal Just thinking about what has happened with PIC with its constant Church and has served as a Lay Eucharist updates . . . the loss of data . . . the sudden bouncing back of “critical Minister and Layleader since 1980. errors” on submissions . . . is enough to make someone think that HUD was sold a bill of goods and we’ve had to bear the burden of their “white elephants.” One thing for certain, no one has ever mistakenly called an update to PIC, HUD’s “latest and greatest.” We all can remember, with “heartfelt affection” (sarcasm intended) — I for one do — that glorious day when we waltzed from PIC over to WASS, only to have to waltz back because WASS couldn’t handle the load. Then, just as that painful memory subsides, I seem to recall HUD being awarded an honor for being an early implementer in the government’s push to use the Internet more. An honor, that, quite frankly, I 8 believe should have been awarded to those in the PHAs who actually had to do the work. Continued on next page
Now, I do not mean by these comments that our HUD brethren in the Area Offices have gotten off scott-free during all of these processes. No, they have had to endure them — sometimes with even more consternation than us — because it took a while before they received training needed on the various abnormalities of these computer programs HUD has forcefed us. A final example of the woes we have had to incur because of programming quirks is when we had to go in and re-enter data in a manner that would link the units to the buildings for the Capital Fund process. That these two fields were not linked exposes a major “no-no” in programming. Which brings me to a point. if a PHA had selected a computer vendor, or even had on staff a programmer whose programs had such rudimentary programming errors in it, surely that would have been noted and brought the wrath of HUD down on us. Who out there is noting all of the extra work housing authorities are unnecessarily having to do because of these errors? This extra unnecessary work, to me, is the greatest unfunded mandate we have had to put-up with in my 31 years of working in public housing. While I am not by nature a complainer (at least when compared to others), I realize that if we do not bring up these issues in a public forum, they never seem to get addressed. Hopefully, one day these issues will be resolved, and we can spend more time managing our housing than keying data into computers.
VOTE FOR Akinola Popoola NAHRO SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Endorsed by SERC Don’t forget to VOTE September 28 — October 23 firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKE ALL YOUR VOTES COUNT
NAHRO MEMBER AGENCIES SHOULD DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW MANY ASSOCIATES THEY HAVE WITH THEIR MEMBERSHIP AND CAST ONE VOTE FOR EACH ASSOCIATE TO MAXIMIZE THEIR VOTE IN THE ELECTION OF OFFICERS September 28 - OCTOBER 23. 9
Complimentary Senior Wisdom for Greensboro Housing Communities Greensboro, NC - When the Greensboro Housing Authority (GHA) learned that the National Caucus on the Black Aged (NCBA) was interested in partnering with employers to place older adults as volunteers, the agency saw the partnership as a valuable opportunity to participate in a senior volunteer program. Currently, two volunteers participate in GHA’s senior volunteer program through NCBA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). These two exceptional volunteers have valuable work experience and good work ethics to bring to the workplace. GHA’s senior volunteers, described as “dynamos” due to the energy and enthusiasm with which they accomplish varied office duties, assist in a Greensboro public housing office. Asked about their volunteer work and assignments with GHA, one of the seniors remarked that it frees her mind from health and other types of worries and she has the opportunity to come out of the house with a purpose. She added that she enjoys her assignment with GHA because it gives her the opportunity to give back to the community as she continues to learn new skills and meet new people. NCBA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program is one of 18 national grantees authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor to administer the senior volunteer program. The program is funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act and administered through the Department of Labor. SCSEP provides part-time work experience and training for low-income persons over the age of 55. The program provides income to participants who share their wealth of knowledge and wisdom through their work assignments.
Virginia Cities Partner To House Homeless Norfolk, VA - Gosnold Apartments, the first
regionally supported, permanent housing project for the homeless in the nation is located in a former bottling plant in Norfolk. Located near a bus line and potential employment, the plant has been transformed into 60 efficiency apartments through financial support provided primarily by a partnership of the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach with additional assistance from HUD, the Enterprise Investment Corporation, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the Norfolk Foundation, and United Way of South Hampton Roads. Gosnold Apartments will initiate and promote transition from homelessness to productivity and independence. When fully occupied, the apartments will provide safe, quality, permanent housing and support services to 60 single, formerly homeless, adults — 42 from Norfolk, 12 Continued on page 13
Gazebo Donated and Built By Southwire Company In Carrollton Carrollton, GA- Sandra
Morris, Executive Director, Carrollton Housing Authority poses with residents of Elder Circle under the new Gazebo that was donated and built for the community by Southwire Company.
West Virginia Authority Receives Grant For Good Housekeeping Program Charleston, WV - Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation for a Good Housekeeping Program. Funding will be used to implement a Good Housekeeping program to educate residents on the importance of keeping a clean home. Residents residing in CharlestonKanawha Housing properties who are in danger of losing their assistance will receive cleaning supplies and literature during a oneon-one session with a housekeeping coach. Charleston-Kanawha Housing will hire a housekeeping coach to meet with residents identified as having housekeeping issues that could result in eviction. The coach will meet with residents in their home, perform an initial evaluation, talk with the resident about problem areas and how to fix them, and present them with a housekeeping kit which will include a mop, broom, bucket, dustpan, all-purpose cleaner, dishwashing liquid, and scrub brush. The housekeeping coach will
evaluate the progress of the resident before the follow-up inspection by management to make sure that all issues have been properly remedied. Charleston Kanawha Housing will recruit model tenants to work as housekeeping coaches in developments outside of their own. The coaches will receive $15.00 per hour and will be given a maximum of four hours per case. This includes the initial evaluation, coaching session and follow-up evaluation. The Goals of the Good Housekeeping Program are: â€˘ To educate residents of Charleston-Kanawha Housing on the importance of a clean home and thus improve the marketability/ satisfaction of the developments. â€˘ To reduce the risk of residents being evicted from their apartment due to poor housekeeping issues. â€˘ To reduce the risk of residents being denied housing assistance based on a poor landlord reference regarding housekeeping.
Tennessee Executive Directors Attend Annual Retreat In Chattanooga
Union Housing Authority Hosts Spelling Bee Union, SC - Union Housing Authority
hosted the South Carolina Resident Initiatives’ (RIC) Annual Spelling Bee July 27. The Spelling Bee was followed by refreshments and the awards presentation. Young Public Housing residents from throughout the State participated.
Chattanooga, TN - The Tennessee
Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (TAHRA) hosted its third annual Executive Director’s Retreat in July at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, TN. The number of executive directors has increased each year and this year’s attendance included 33 executive directors from across Tennessee. On Sunday, executive directors joined in a roundtable discussion of current issues such as waivers, the state ethics policy, new on-line reporting requirements, and grievance hearings. On Monday, training on reasonable accommodations and violence in the workplace sessions were conducted by Jeff Jones, an attorney with Wimberley, Lawson from Cookeville, TN. There was time allocated for questions and answers on various legal issues. Bob Dull, Executive Director of Chattanooga Housing Authority presented an informative presentation on preparing for physical inspections. On Tuesday morning, Judy Housely, TML, presented information on workers compensation, the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, and sexual harassment. Though much information was presented, the executive directors enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with each other and have a few minutes to “retreat”. TAHRA wishes to thank its sponsors of the Executive Director Retreat – Chattanooga Housing Authority and Zoccola Kaplan.
1st Place Winners Age Group 7-8 - Kyhali Lindsey, Anderson, HA Age Group 9-10 - Tykeria Dawkins, Union HA Age Group 11-12 - Deaunikia Harris, Union HA Age Group 13-14 - Krista Moorman, Union HA
2nd Place Winners Age Group 7-8 - Kima Hughes,Union HA Age Group 9-10 - Cricka Alston,Beaufort HA Age Group 11-12 - Nikeyiah Smith Union HA Age Group 13-14 - Jakki Jamison, Beaufort HA
Computer Software Company Joins With Housing Authority For Summer Camp Lexington, KY - The
Lexington Housing Authority (LHA) and Tenmast Software collaborated to offer computer skills to Public Housing youth for a weeklong computer camp in July. The Public Housing Agency and the software company also worked together in 2005 to offer computer training to children living in Lexington’s Public Housing. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 were offered two hours of With the help of Tenmast Software employee Emily DeVries, computer instruction for computer camp participants disassembled a hard drive. five consecutive days. “We are glad to offer this type of learning experience again,” said Austin Simms, Executive Director. “It is our hope that with the success of this class, we can keep the momentum going and offer our near-elderly and elderly population a similar opportunity,” added Simms. Seven participants disassembled a hard drive and put it back together and learned about the programming aspect of computer games. the most popular segment of the class was surfing the internet. James Mauch, President of Tenmast Software, was excited to offer his staff and facility to support the program. “Having been given the opportunity to present the children involved in Computer Camp 2007 with some of the computer technology they may use today and in the future, reinforces Tenmast’s commitment to helping our community,” said Mauch. At the close of the week the participants were given back-to-school supplies and treats.
Partnership To House Homeless — Continued from page 10 from Virginia Beach, and six from Portsmouth. Each of the 60 efficiency apartments contains a bed, dresser, table, chair, kitchenette, full-size refrigerator, and bathroom. The building contains laundry facilities, a front desk, community room with kitchen, staff offices, a computer room, an exercise room, extensive internal and external security, two gated courtyards, and on-site support services provided by two case managers. Virginia Supportive Housing, a nonprofit housing corporation that manages two similar complexes in Richmond, will manage the building. HUD will provide funding for the annual operation of the apartments.
Each resident will pay 30 percent of his or her income as rent with a minimum rental payment of $50 per month. The HUD rental subsidy will pay the balance of the $543 monthly rent which includes all utilities. Plans are in the works for a second 60 efficiency apartments project in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth or Chesapeake to be assisted by the four cities with funding.
Pisgah View’s “I Have a Dream” Program Gains National Acclaim
In only one year, the program has become a model for success Asheville, NC - “Success begins with a DREAM!” Only a short time ago Pisgah View’s
“I Have a Dream” program was nothing more than a desire for philanthropists, Ida and Ken Brown . . . and now, just one year since its inception, the Asheville Housing Authority community’s program is receiving accolades from across the nation. Last summer, visitors from several Housing Authorities, HUD and the national “I Have a Dream” foundation came to Asheville Shown left to right (front) are: Lynn Clay, HUD; Donna Hughes, to see Pisgah View’s success Client Services Director, Charlotte HA; Iris Chen, President and for themselves — providing CEO, “I Have a Dream” Foundation; Catherine Mitchell, Director of Special Programs, Asheville HA; Larry Woods, Executive Director, HA a fascinating view of how of the City of Winston-Salem, (Back): Gene Bell, Executive Director, networking works at its Asheville HA; Dr. Samuel Little, Director, Office of Resident Services, finest. District of Columbia HA; Katrina Redmon, Deputy Executive Director, V i s i t o r s i n c l u d e d HA of the City of Winston-Salem; and David Nash, Deputy Executive Lynn Clay, HUD’s HOPE Director, Asheville HA. VI coordinator for North Carolina; Iris Chen, President and CEO, and Hannah Wise, Director of Project Management, from the New York City headquarters of the to become a model program for individuals, “I Have A Dream” Foundation; Dr. Samuel B. Housing Authorities, churches, universities, Little, Director, Office of Resident Services, or other organizations who want a program District of Columbia Housing Authority, that really works to motivate and empower Washington, DC; Larry Woods, Executive children from low-income communities to Director, and Katrina Redmon, Deputy reach their education and career goals. Executive Director, Housing Authority of the The Pisgah View program, which began City of Winston-Salem; and Donna Hughes, in 2006 with first through third graders, is Client Services Director, Charlotte Housing lucky to have hands-on sponsors like the Authority. Browns, says Program Coordinator, Jen “I Have a Dream” is the brainchild of Matthews. The Browns say they researched businessman and philanthropist Eugene Lang, and found “I Have a Dream” to be the only who, in 1981, made a remarkable promise program that works successfully. to the entire sixth-grade class of P.S. 121 in “It’s easy to give out scholarships, but to East Harlem that he would provide financial see a first or third grader all the way through support for a college education to every one of college is a different matter,” says Brown. them who finished high school. Lang kept his In many low-income communities with promise and then some. He added a year-round typical graduation rates of only 20-40 percent, program providing academic and cultural “I Have a Dream” projects currently have enrichment, made social services accessible had between 80-100 percent of their children to his Dreamers and their families, and made graduate. Of these Dreamer graduates, more a personal commitment to each student. than two-thirds pursue college or vocational In one short year, Asheville’s “I Have a training. The Brown’s have committed to Dream” has gained tremendous momentum paying the college tuitions for Pisgah View Continued on next page
Volunteers are a big part of the “I Have a Dream” Success Story in Asheville. Two Pisgah View “Dreamers” playing a game during the I Have a Dream Summer Program.
Dreamers to any state institution when they graduate from high school. In the meantime, the at-risk students will benefit from the after-school and summer programs that are both educational and recreational. One-on-one counseling, mentoring, field trips, travel opportunities, cultural enrichment outings, drug and pregnancy counseling, and college and career planning will all be provided until high school graduation. It is hoped that Pisgah View’s model is only a pioneer in Asheville and that each Public Housing community will one day have their own program.
Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Celebrates National Night Out Toccoa, GA - National Night Out is an annual
event that is focused on increasing and enhancing the relationship between law enforcement and the community. Each year Northwest Georgia Housing Authority strives to improve the activities from the previous year. The 2007 National Night Out festivities were held on August 7, at the Rockmart Georgia Nathan Dean Sports Complex. This year’s event included numerous public safety displays, educational booths, a skydivers exhibition, and a fireworks finale. This event continues to grow and attracts more citizens each year that are interested in developing a greater community and better police relationship.
Statesville Housing Authority and United Way Helps Residents Dust Off Dreams With PRIDE Statesville, NC - Thanks to special funding by United Way, 25 Statesville Housing Authority (SHA) residents will be given the opportunity to transform their lives in just one year through SHA’s new PRIDE Program. Pride, People Restoring Identity & Desiring Empowerment, is a new
program formed by ASCEND, Statesville Housing Authority’s umbrella for Homeownership, Credit Counseling, and Family Self-Sufficiency, which has over 200 participants. The United Way has provided funds for PRIDE to help those participants selected to become highly motivated to change the ways that they think and act. When they complete this one-year program, the impact on their lives will be so dramatic, it will be difficult for them to return to living as they did before entering the program. The intense, highly motivational workshops will concentrate on areas and life skills requiring the most intervention, bringing a holistic approach to changing the participants’ lives. There will be one retreat, one graduation banquet, and 10 powerful workshops. Each will be assigned a mentor, with the possibility of job shadowing. The aim is to set in motion those actions and beliefs that will break many cycles — especially the cycle of poverty. As forgotten dreams are dusted off, the only surprise we expect is that the participants in PRIDE will be shocked to learn of their own abilities. Once again, or maybe even for the first time, our graduating participants will feel pride for themselves.
Daughter Follows In Mom’s Footsteps To Statesville’s Ascending Lane By Beth Hanami Statesville, NC - Like most young adults, Shakita Bowman wanted a place of her own. She had a little girl to raise, so she applied for Public Housing. After only two years, Kita, as she’s called by her friends, decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps by joining the Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program and move on up to Ascending Lane where she, herself had lived as a child. Kita and her family moved to Ascending Lane when she was in the third grade. Built as an interim community for Family Self-Sufficiency participants, the apartments on Ascending Lane were brand new, with central airconditioning and space for washing machines and dryers — amenities not normally found in Public Housing back then. There were lots of children and a playground. “My mom was a hard-working single mom, who wanted things to be better for her children. Like many of the moms in our neighborhood, my mom stressed doing well in school and keeping out of trouble. This is what I had to do to help my family in the FSS Program.” be following in her mother’s footsteps when “I was in the 8th grade,” says Kita, she joined the FSS Program. When she was “when our family graduated from the FSS asked if she would be interested in moving to Program and moved into our very own home. Ascending Lane, she had to think about it. It felt good. I remember the day we moved. “I was in awe. I had to ask myself, ‘Can We walked into the house; and we were so I do it’? I’m still in school. Is it possible to tired from packing we just laid down on the do all the things to keep my goals on track? carpet in awe. We could decorate and do what Will I be ready when my time is up? Could I we wanted to do. We had our own yard. It actually be able to have my own home in five was an exciting and happy moment. We could years? Can I really do it?” not stop smiling.” Kita thought about how she felt the K i t a g r a d u a t e d f r o m M C C ’s day her family moved into their own home. Cosmetology School. She worked in a shop Wanting her daughter to experience that for a while, but she says, “My heart wasn’t in feeling, she said, “Yes! I can do it as long it. I wanted a career, and not just a job that I as I keep my goals in mind, stay positive, wouldn’t be happy going to every day.” So know what I have to do; surround myself with Kita returned to college. positive people — not people who are just She was still living with her mother sitting in the same spot. when she had her daughter. “I wanted a place My daughter and mother are reminders of my own, so I signed up for public housing.” of what I have to do. They encourage me. It was a big step for her to be responsible for Down the road, I know I’ll be able to look herself. She realized that she had become an back and say, It was all worth it!” adult — with the need to get a job and pay In 1995, 32 public housing families bills — even though she was still in college. moved to Ascending Lane, Statesville Housing She had to get used to reporting everything Authority’s new community — designed — having documents for this agency and that to be a staircase to self empowerment and agency. “It was a very different feeling from assistance-free living. being in your own home,” she said, while “Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) was a scrunching up her nose. new program,” says Sandra Lee, original FSS It never occurred to her that she would Coordinator. “It was one of the first of its kind Continued on page 21
Huntington Housing’s YOUTHBUILD Complete Second Restoration Huntington, WV - Students enrolled in Huntington Housing Authority’s (HHA) YouthBuild program have completed their second restoration project which included two homes, once known for drug deals. On August 17th, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held and the new tenants were given keys to their new homes. Both units are handicap accessible. The YouthBuild program has now concluded the student training component of the program which started in July 2005 and continued through June 2007. Forty-four youth. ages 18-24. participated in the program, Eleven earned a GED, 64% increased math scores, and 75% increased in literacy. All the trainees and staff worked diligently on the units and learned many skills while in the program. The most important “tool” the trainees will carry with them for the rest of their lives may be “to believe”— believe in yourself, believe in your voice, believe you can make a difference, and believe people really do care about you.
Pembroke HousingYouth Learn About Dental Hygiene Pembroke, NC - August 28 was an
educational evening for the youth of Pembroke Housing Authority’s ExpoGro program as they took part in learning about dental hygiene. The children gathered around to listen to the presenting tutors as they showed the children ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay, protect teeth with fluoride, and how to detect gum disease. The youth seemed very eager to know more and they willingly volunteered to inform the other children on what they learned about dental hygiene. Ms. Faron and Mr. Brandon helped the youth complete a hide and seek puzzle of toothbrushes. After completing the puzzle, all the youth received a toothbrush and dental floss, compliments of Ms. Leigh Andra. Even though the children gained valuable knowledge about dental hygiene in this session, they were told that it is very important
that all children, ages 3 and up, visit their local dentist every six months. The Pembroke Housing Authority is proud to be able to provide educational programs for it’s youth funded in part by the JCPC of Robeson County, NC. With these funds, at-risk youth receive after-school care four days per week during school months.
Check out SERC’s Website for Workshop Information & Registration
High Point’s Back-To-School Jam Held On Hottest Day of the Year High Point, NC - When it’s 103˚ outside what better way to spend your day than at the Housing Authority of High Point’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL JAM! That’s what over 1,500 children and adults did on August 10. In honor of public housing and Section 8 communities, the goal was to motivate and inspire students for the new school year and to emphasize the importance of family involvement in education. The day’s events included individual presentations by community leaders, food, games for the children, entertainment, and the distribution of school supplies to our communities’ children. Giving out supplies is the main purpose of the jam, but it has quickly turned out to be something much larger than that since the event began four years ago. The children listen as the Chairman of the High Point Housing Authority, Michael Ellerbe, welcomed them all to an occasion that is nothing short of being a perfect day, “We are excited about bringing all these outstanding community leaders together to share their vision and to recognize our children. With the help and contributions from many organizations in the area, we want to ensure that all children have the necessary tools to excel as the new school year begins.”
Burlington Housing Authority Showcases An Impressive Summer Lineup Burlington, NC - A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate the Donation of a Mobile
Technology Lab from the City of Burlington Police Department highlighted last summer’s activities. Among those present include representation from: (LR) Alamance County Sheriff’s Department; Chief of Police - City of Burlington; BHA resident & full-time student; G.R.A.S.P.S. Board Member; staff from Congressman Brad Miller’s Office; Superintendent - Alamance Burlington Schools; BHA Executive Director; Chairman – BHA Board of Commissioners; Burlington City Council; AmeriCorps*VISTA member and former BHA resident; President - Alamance Community College; Chairman –G.R.A.S.P.S. Board; and BHA After School and Summer Enrichment Program Coordinator. Not pictured was a representative from the Greensboro HUD office. The mobile lab is located at one of the housing communities. It will be accessed by students in the After School/Summer Enrichment and Training for Manhood Programs, as well as adult residents pursuing their education or searching for employment. AmeriCorps*VISTA Members Sponsored 3rd Annual Gala for the (G.R.A.S.P.S.) and raised over $16,000 by Fashion Show models consisted of sponsoring a fashion show and dinner. Funds will be babies of BHA employees to members used to assist residents pursuing certification or associate of the Board of Commissioners. Pictured is Dawne Evans, BHA or bachelor degrees from accredited colleges and/or employee & grandchildren. universities AmeriCorps*VISTA Summer Associates added value to our national award winning After School, Summer Enrichment & Training for Manhood Programs Student associates who are communication majors at Elon University assisted in producing a DVD on Gang Awareness, Prevention and Reduction. Pearl Lee, Summer Associate and retired educator, provided tutorials twice a week in order to help bridge the gap between The Summer Enrichment Program youth, directed by end of school, summer and returning AmeriCorps*VISTA Summer Associate Marcus Allison, performed at the ceremony. to school.
Columbia Housing Authority Constructs New Homes in Rosewood Hills Columbia, SC - After a series of unforeseen
infrastructure delays, including having to redirect a fiber optic telephone cable line that stretched from Maine to Florida, Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) has officially started dwelling unit construction at Rosewood Hills. The mixed-income, multi-use development, funded in part by a $10.7 million HOPE VI Grant, will replace the nearly 50-year-old, 300-unit Hendley Homes public housing community that CHA demolished in 2001. CHA is building a total of 192 units in Rosewood Hills, most of which will be on the former Hendley Homes site. However, CHA has also purchased several contiguous parcels of land to increase the size of the community. The first five houses in the extended footprint on Gregg Street are almost complete. Each home has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths with 9-foot ceilings on the first floor, architectural shingles, hardiboard exterior finishes, and rear opening garages. CHA plans to use one of the houses for the Rosewood Hills sales office. In all, CHA will build 60 single-family homes, 32 town homes, 52 senior apartments, 26 apartments over retail shops, and 22 duplex units in the new development. Of the 192 units to be built, 66 will be assisted rental units, 30 will be affordable rental units, 37 will be affordable homeownership units, and 59 will be market- rate homes and apartments. The new community will also feature $6.5 million in public improvements, including new streets and streetscapes, and 6,500 square feet of supportive neighborhood retail services. residents who were relocated from Hendley Homes will have the first opportunity to return to the new community. CHA has hired a case manager to work specifically with former Hendley residents. A comprehensive program that includes individual case management, child care and transportation assistance, credit counselling, homeownership training, employment training and job placement will give residents the tools they need to build a successful future.
Statesville HA’s Ascending Lane — Continued from page 21 In 1995, 32 public housing families moved to Ascending Lane, Statesville Housing Authority’s new community — designed to be a staircase to self empowerment and assistance-free living. “Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) was a new program,” says Sandra Lee, original FSS Coordinator. “It was one of the first of its kind on the eastern coast of the United States. All but two families were headed by single moms — serious about changing their lives, wanting and determined to have more for themselves and their children.” If only two percent finished the fiveyear program by purchasing their own homes, the program would have been considered a
success by national standards. No one could have predicted that our first group of FSS participants on Ascending Lane would result in over 30 percent becoming first-time home owners.
Recognition & Reward
2007 Jack C. Muller Scholarship Awarded To 27th Housing Authority Resident Charleston, SC - The 2007 Jack C. Muller Scholarship award recipient
is Indya Nicole Phillips, a resident of the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston’s public housing program. The 27th recipient of the scholarship, Indya plans to attend S. C. State University majoring in Pediatric Nursing. The Jack C. Muller Scholarship has been made possible by the establishment within the Community Foundation of the Jack C. Muller Scholarship fund by the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston.
Pelham Housing Authority Chairman Neadom L. Palmer Retires N.J. Hodges. He served as tirement reception was held commissioner for eight years July 30th to honor retiring and was elected Chairman in Commissioner, Neadom L. 1999. Chairman Palmer was Palmer. Palmer was appointed re-elected each year, serving a Commissioner of the Pelham until his resignation. a welcome was given by Housing Authority by the Mayor of the City of Pelham, Mary C. Culbreth, Executive January 13, 1991 to fill the Directo and Neal Hilliard, unexpired term of the late the newly-elected Chairman Pelham, GA - A re-
of the PHA Board. Steven Turner, the Mayor of the City of Pelham, presented Palmer with a plaque and remarks to acknowledge the distinguished service to the Authority and to the City of Pelham.
Charleston Housing Authority High Performer For Fifth Year In A Row Charleston, SC - The
is intended to improve the Charleston Housing Authority delivery of services in public has received confirmation housing. It is a management from the U.S. Department tool for effectively and fairly o f H o u s i n g a n d U r b a n measuring the performance Development that it has scored of a Public Housing Agency 91 out of a possible 100 in i n e s s e n t i a l h o u s i n g their Annual Assessment operations. System. The Annual Assessment This is the fifth year in included a sample physical a row that the City Housing inspection of all 12 public Agency has been accorded this h o u s i n g c o m m u n i t i e s honor, which makes it eligible owned by the Authority and for bonus funding under a review of the agency’s HUD’s Capital Improvement annual independent audit and Program. financial conditions. The HUD inspection, The Housing Authority called the Public Housing is in its 73rd year of creating Assessment System (PHAS), housing opportunities for low
and moderate income families in the City of Charleston. The work and accomplishments of the 105 employees of the Authority are well recognized throughout the nation, providing housing to over 3,600 families, of which, 1,383 reside in public housing developments. In the past, the Authority, due to its High Performer status, has received a Capital Fund bonus, which supplements the Authority’s work to extend the useful life of its communities, as well as, improve their livability.
Lexington Service Coordinator Recognized With Award of Excellence
Recognition & Reward
Lexington, KY - To say that she is determined is an understatement. Working to help seniors stay independent is one of the reasons LaVerne Laine, service coordinator for the Lexington Housing Authority (LHA), is so dedicated to her job. For that reason and many more, Laine is being recognized with the American Association of Service Coordinators (AASC) Award of Excellence – Working with the Community At Large Award. Laine, who has been with the LHA for 14 years, told Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Merlene Davis, “I help people, the elderly and the disabled, stay as independent as possible — “Whatever it takes to provide the services they need to stay independent as long as they can.” “My big thing is to keep people out of nursing homes. When I do that, I am overjoyed with myself. I especially like to LaVerne Laine, pictured left is recognized with a retrieve them from nursing homes and give Kentucky congressional certificate recognizing her them new life.” as the AASC Award of Excellence recipient. The certificate was presented at the Lexington Housing Laine’s responsibility as service Authority board of commissioners meeting by coordinator entails connecting seniors and Board Chairman Ted Renaker in July. disabled individuals with resources and services that aid in improving the quality of their lives. She is available to the 317 residents of the Housing Authority’s Ballard-Griffith Towers that is designated for persons age 55 and over. In addition, she assists individuals and families at other LHA sites throughout Lexington. She is deeply committed to get her out and in a much brings to helping others,” to working with the Black better setting,” Smith said. said Austin Simms, LHA Church Coalition (BCC), a “I didn’t have to read Executive Director. When local non-profit, inter-faith about how she was able to asked to comment on the coalition of congregations help, I got it first-hand,” he attention she’s receiving that help people who ‘fall adds. Laine responds by saying, “I through the cracks’ with Her job doesn’t stop don’t have time for that, I’m financial assistance for rent, at finding resources for trying to save someone.” utilities, emergency housing, people such as providing Laine received the Award medicine, etc. transportation for someone of Excellence at the AASC “She’s one of the most who needs to get to the bank National Service Coordinator sincere persons I’ve ever or a doctor’s appointment Conference in Salt Lake worked with,” said William when other transportation City, UT in October. The Smith, former LHA Board of is not readily available. AASC Awards of Excellence Commission Chairman and When inclement weather are presented annually to BCC Treasurer. Smith says hits, she makes sure to drop recognize outstanding efforts he’s seen Laine’s good work in at the elderly high-rise to made by individuals or in action. make certain everyone has organizations. “I had to go to LaVerne something to eat. “We’re for a woman in a nursing lucky to have someone with home… Laverne was able the tenacity and spirit she
Recognition & Reward 24
Huntington Housing Authority Receives State’s Top Award
By Paul Sebert The Herald-Dispatch
Huntington, WV -
The Huntington Housing Authority was honored with the Outstanding Training Provider Award during the Governor’s Award Luncheon on July 26 at the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va., during the Workforce West Virginia Conference. The award was accepted by Tim White, coordinator of the Cabell County Youth Empowerment Program. “What an honor to be selected as the 2007 O u t s t a n d i n g Tr a i n i n g Provider for the entire state of West Virginia,” White said after receiving the award. “Although the Housing Authority’s name is on the plaque, this could not have been possible without the dedication of the staff and the support and partnerships from many agencies and individuals throughout our county and region.” Bill Dotson, executive director of the organization, also credited the staff. “It’s a testimony to the hard work that our staff is doing with these out of school youth,” he said. “This is an extremely difficult group to work with. They have a lot of problems and needs. In spite of this, the staff is able to get them where they need to be in today’s world.” T h e o rg a n i z a t i o n ’s graduation rate was also
credited by Dotson. “We graduated over 30 people with GEDs,” he said. “That’s a bigger number than some small high schools. We’re stimulating these young folks to get the knowledge they need to pass these tests. Unfortunately, we can’t expand these programs as this administration is cutting funding at a federal level.” Among the programs offered by the Housing Authority are: The Cabell County Youth Empowerment Program, serving youth 16-21 years of age; the YouthBuild Program, serving youth 18-24 years of age; the Huntington School of Fine Woodwork, serving both youth and adults; and the ROSS Program, Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency Program, serving adults 25-65 years of age. Each of these programs offers GED preparation and basic skills training. Funding for these programs is provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The
U.S. Department of Labor, the City of Huntington’s Community Development Block Grant, the Huntington/ Ironton Empowerment Zone, the Region 2 Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Division (GWID). “I spend about 20 percent of my time talking to various organizations trying to offset the cuts in funding our programs have received,” White said. “Any time you cut the funding, you decrease the number of people we’re able to help.” He says programs like the Cabell County Youth Empowerment Program save the state and federal government money in the long run. “It can cost around $30,000 a year to lock up a juvenile offender,” he said. “We spend more money now building prisons than we do schools. If we don’t train and educate these children, we have a major problem.”
Crossville Housing’s Don Alexander Has “His Day”
L-R: Bob Mitchell, CHA Board Chair; Earl Dean, Crossville City Council; Mark Brezina, Knoxville HUD Field Office Director; Don Alexander, CHA Executive Director; Pam Johnson, Chief Operations Officer of FAHE; Charlie Barnett; Nashville HUD Program Center Coordinator; and John Robbins, Field Rep. for TN Fourth District US Congressman Lincoln Davis
Currently, CHA employees 38. D i r e c t o r o f H U D ’s Knoxville Field Office, Mark Brezina, presented an award recognizing Alexander for his work with the programs of HUD. Brezina said that Alexander had an impact on his community. “He has done so many things he didn’t have to do and he still would have been a successful housing authority director,” remarked Brezina. “Don has provided joyful service to literally thousands of people like the “Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands” who said in her book that she found her joy in service to earlier generations of the area.” Another award was presented by Charlie Barnett, Program Center Coordinator of the Nashville HUD office, for providing Section 8 homeownership assistance to 27 families. Barnett also talked
about Alexander’s impact on helping low and moderate income families working toward homeownership. Barnett added, “You served not just HUD programs, but innovated and reached out to other partners to help the clients you serve. It takes vision by Don and the Board, along with the dedicated staff and the cooperation of local officials and partners, to make these things happen.” Alexander was also recognized by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Don Harris, Housing Programs Director, described Alexander as “a true visionary who has made an impact on the community and the state.” Harris added that Alexander makes the most out of whatever he takes on and does and does it right. The Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprise’s (FAHE), Chief Continued on page 28
Recognition & Reward
Crossville, TN - Thursday, July 19 was proclaimed as Don Alexander day by the City of Crossville. HUD and several other housing organizations took advantage of the day to recognize Alexander for his many years of effort in affordable housing. If one word summed up the numerous comments praising Don Alexander’s term as executive director of the Crossville Housing Authority (CHA), that word was “impact.” Crossville City Councilman Earl Dean presented the proclamation declaring the day as Don A l e x a n d e r D a y. T h e proclamation highlighted A l e x a n d e r ’s p r o a c t i v e approach to creating programs to help families achieve homeownership and stability along with his use of grant and loan programs. He was also recognized for his collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, the Crossville/ Cumberland County Housing Task Force, and the Tennessee Statewide Affordable Housing Coalition. Bob Mitchell, Chairman of the CHA Board acted as maser of ceremonies at the surprise luncheon in Alexander’s honor. Mitchell said that when he joined the CHA Board before Alexander’s tenure, there were only three employees.
Recognition & Reward
Lexington Housing Authority Managers Receive Accredited Residential Manager Certification Lexington, KY - Two Lexington Housing
Authority (LHA) housing managers have received the Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) certification. Greg LaRue and Dot LeSage attended the training presented by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) in Covington, KY, in June. LaRue, a 23-year veteran of the agency, manages 458 units of public housing in Lexington, while LeSage, employed for 12 years with the Housing Authority, currently manages 158 units. “The certification is LHA Housing Managers Dot LeSage and Greg LaRue hold their Accredited Residential Manager well-respected in the private-market rental certificates. community,” said LaRue. The certification exam included a review of five modules: maintenance, management, marketing, finance and human resources. “The change to asset management in public housing necessitates that we operate more like the private sector,” added LeSage. The two-week intensive session offered valuable training that will enhance their professional standards in housing management. The training concluded with a four-hour exam. The ARM certification is recognized as the nation’s most prestigious program for residential management specialists.
Piedmont Housing Authrority To Build New Office With Capital Fund Grant
Piedmont, AL - The Piedmont Housing Authority has just received notification from the U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development of funding for the 2007 Capital Fund Grant. Keith Word, Executive Director advised the grant is in the amount of $ 306,015.00 and is for capital fund needs of the local Housing Authority. Word stated this grant will be used for the building of the new office that will be located on the old Kimberly-Clarke property north of the existing Housing Authority office. Word reported the PHA Architect currently has the preliminary plans to the new office building.
Dear NAHRO Members: I am writing today to thank you for your support for NAHRO’s Housing America 2007 Campaign and to advise you of our latest campaign initiative. On July 20 during our Summer Conference, we announced the commencement of a nationwide online petition drive. This is the latest in a series of activities NAHRO has initiated since March to raise the level of awareness nationwide of the critical importance of providing decent, safe and affordable housing in our communities. The petition drive is aimed at creating a groundswell of documented support for the ongoing provision of affordable housing. The basis for this petition is the mission statement agreed to by NAHRO and many other national housing organizations earlier this year. To view the mission statement, see http://www.nahro. org/legislative/housing_america/toolkit.pdf . Signatures will be collected through this fall, at which time they will be compiled and presented to Congress and the administration. We are asking for your help by not only signing the petition yourself, but also forwarding it to any other organizations involved in housing and community development in your local area, whether the individuals or organizations you approach happen to be NAHRO members or not. Bottom line, the more signatures we can collect, the greater impact the petition will have when delivered to Congress. Signing on is easy! Simply go to http://HousingAmerica.blogspot.com . Scroll down to the bottom of the “Sign on to the Housing America 2007 Petition!” entry and click on “Comments.” Type your name, zip code, address and your organization, if you wish (this is optional, not required), in the text box, and then click “Publish.” Housing America 2007 has indeed elevated the importance of affordable housing in many communities across the country. We hope this petition drive will keep the spirit and enthusiasm of the campaign alive. Working together to spread the word, I believe we can make this petition drive a success. If you have any questions about Housing America 2007 or the online petition, please contact Mary Barron at email@example.com . As always, please let us know how it is going. Contact NAHRO’s Legislative Network Coordinator Beth Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com . Thank you in advance for your assistance and support!! 27
“Top Ten Mistakes Everybody Makes” concerning REAC Inspections... Continued from page 7 1. Getting Your Priorities COMPLETELY Backwards: Attacking the HIGHEST COST / LOWEST VALUE issues first instead of LOWEST COST / HIGHEST VALUE issues. NOT doing temporary, “quick and dirty” cosmetic repairs on high value issues to satisfy the letter of the UPCS/REAC inspection when permanent, high quality repairs are impractical or impossible. Being distracted by the frustrating issues instead of understanding the “big picture” on scoring of issues, and concentrating on the high impact issues. Concentrating on the “most frequently found issues,” the so-called “Health and Safety” issues, and “Life Threatening” issues without regard to their scoring impact. (Of course, it is ALWAYS important to address dangerous conditions and legal liability issues immediately, but do not let these distract you from considering scoring values as you set priorities for other items.) Smoke detector issues are non-scoring – don’t take your maintenance personnel off of their normal duties for a significant period of time to pre-check them just for the REAC inspection, this is useless and counter-productive. Trip hazards indoors for TV cable and phone wires, no matter how many are found, are non-scoring issues - while one trip hazard outdoors is worth 5 to 7 points. Pull strings on Call-for-aid devices are only worth about one tenth of one point per instance. The most you could lose if EVERY unit was cited for short pull strings is about 2 to 2.5 points. In a single-building highrise, if EVERY Unit window had a “fogged thermopane,” you would lose about 6 to 8 points. If a SINGLE Community Room window is fogged, you would lose the same 6 to 8 points! Spend adequate time and attention to finding ALL of the cheap, quick, and easy defects and fix them as you find them – unlocked electrical panels, missing breakers, bad GFIs, short pressure relief drip legs, etc. Defer the expensive, difficult, and impractical low value issues until AFTER the inspection if they interfere with addressing the high value items.
Don Alexander Honored — Continued from page 25
Operating Officer, Pam Johnson, said, “Don is not afraid to step out for all people. He is not afraid to be the voice of things that need to be said.” Alexander, who was on vacation the week of the recognition event, was asked to come in for what he was told was to be a brief CHA board meeting. instead, he found he was the guest of honor for a recognition
lunch. Alexander told those gathered that he was very surprised by the event and praised all the people and agencies he works with, thanking them for their support over the years. Don’s recognition was featured on the Daily Message of the HUD national website.
To make the SERCulator the absolute best it can be, we need your help. It is our goal to create a first class publication that represents every member of SERC in addition to providing valuable information about issues that affect our Public Housing and Redevelopment industry. To do this, we need your news, features and photos. Every Agency has something going on that they can share — new programs . . . feature stories on employees and residents who have done something outstanding, different, or have an interesting story to tell . . . a new policy or approach that worked . . . honors and awards . . . grants and donations . . . new construction . . . collaborative ventures — you get the idea! Don’t let the opportunity go by to give yourself, your Agency, and your collaborative partners a pat on the back. SERCulator readers can harvest new ideas that they can adapt to their own Agencies. All suggestions and ideas are encouraged. We will make every effort to publish all articles, but reserve the right to edit or hold for a later publication date in accordance with available space.
Please submit your articles as ready to publish as possible. If you have difficulty putting together an article, don’t let that stop you from submitting a good story. We will be happy to help structure and edit it if you need help. There are four ways to submit material: Typed hard copies and photos may be submitted to Kara Hagan at 2638 Gabriels Creek Rd., Mars Hill, NC 28754 Articles may be faxed to 828. 254.2276 Articles and photos may be e-mailed to KaraandCompany@hughes. net (text in Word format or in the body of the e-mail,) and photos as separate JPEG attachments)
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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY COUNTRY — Continued from page 6 as we have done time and time again since the founding of our republic and the liberty sacrifice provides. “When we think about the individual freedoms that, together, make up our concept of genuine liberty, it profits us to remember that there are those who still live under such tyranny that they are not allowed to produce or even hear criticism of their governments.” “The only reason such a thing does not happen in our nation is that we have determined as free people that it will not happen. And the reason we can have confidence that our will is not just wishful thinking, is that men and women of valor have given of themselves for 231 years in defense of Thomas Jefferson’s proposition, that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” To all of them, we owed a great debt of gratitude and honor.” Andy Taggert
plan. “Nothing in life just happens. We have to have the stamina to meet the obstacles and overcome them.” It goes without saying that we have had too many Columbines, Virginia Techs and 9-11s and none of us would ever want to see these catastrophes repeated but: “We were reminded that we are citizens, with obligations to each other, to our country and to history. We began to think less of the goods we can accumulate and more about the good we can do. For too long our culture has said, ‘If it feels good, do it.’ Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: Let’s roll.” Jimmy Reed
Long before our revolution and independence, Captain John Smith landed at Jamestown, Virginia and established a settlement. Richard Kolb, in a Smithsonian article stated that from the settlement of Jamestown “this tiny isolated island evolved our language, our commerce and much of our culture.” Dr. William Kelso, director But it’s not all roses. We are not honest with ourselves of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, stated that “No if we have an errant thought that there are not many other American site predates Jamestown in national Americans who live in substandard housing, are cold in historical significance, Captain John Smith in the early winter, hungry, homeless and just plain angry with their 1600’s stated: station in life. We have to do better for these fellow citizens and I am confident that we will. My country is “Heaven and earth have never agreed better a compassionate country. Our compassion defines who to frame a place for man’s habitation.” we are. The greatness of our country is our character Capt. John and embodied in that character is compassion for the Smith underdog. We must remember that just setting the goal of how to do better is not the main thing; it is deciding And so it is !! how we will go about achieving it and staying with the
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— On The Agenda —
October 28-30...........NAHRO National Conference, San Diego, CA November 4-6...........SERC Fall Workshop, Marco Island, FL
January 13-16...........PHADA Commissioner’s Conference, Orlando, FL February 3-5.............CCHRCO Winter Workshop, Charleston, SC March 31-April 2.......NAHRO Legislative Conference, Washington, DC June 1-4 ...................PHADA Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA June 15-18................SERC Annual Conference, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL October 26-28...........NAHRO National Conference, San Antonio, TX November 9-11.........SERC Fall Workshop, Biloxi, MS
SERCulator Deadlines Winter ... December 1
Summer ... June 1
Spring ... March 1
Fall... September 1
Routing Slip: (Please route to others in your agency) TO:
Additional copies may be ordered for $3.00 per copy plus shipping..
2638 Gabriels Creek Rd. Mars Hill, NC 28754
SERC-NAHRO Fall 2007