COMMUNITY SUMMER 2010
In This Issue p2
2010 Annual Plan
p3 NRHA Receives “High Performer” Rating Second Year in a Row p3 Girls 2 Women p4 HUD Grant Will Help Move Families Forward p4
From Rhetoric to Action: The 2nd Annual African American Male Focus Conference
p5 NRHA Property Improvements Funded by Stimulus Package 100 Percent Obligated p6 Energy Efficiency Program p6 Many Reasons to be Thankful p6 Calendar/ Important Dates p7 Kids Corner: NRHA Students Win Annual Contest
J O U R N A L
A publication for the residents of Norfolk’s assisted-rental neighborhoods
Earth Day 2010 Previews New Learning Center on Elizabeth River Earth Day 2010 previewed the under construction Grandy Village Learning Center (GVLC) showcasing stateof-the-art environmental design, wetlands reclamation as well as aquatic education and recreation on the Elizabeth River. These efforts are breathing new life into a portion of the river largely written off as dead and expediting the Elizabeth River Project’s goal of making the river fishable and swimmable by 2020. The 15,000 square foot GVLC is expected to reach US Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification, making it 30-40 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings. The building will utilize geothermal energy, a renewable energy source to heat and cool the facility. During construction, approximately 70 percent of building materials are being recycled. The building process also uses structural insulated panels, which are made by sandwiching a core of rigid foam insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board and result in lower heating and cooling costs, as well
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p8 Fire Safety
Quality housing choices in neighborhoods where you want to live.
Provide quality housing opportunities that foster sustainable mixed-income communities.
as four inches of expanded foam in all exterior walls. Double-glazed low-E windows, which reduce heat loss but admit solar gain, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints have also been utilized. Educational components of the facility will include preschool classes used by Norfolk Public Schools and the STOP Organization’s Head Start Program, a wet classroom for school children to learn about river ecosystems and an aquatics program with a canoe/kayak launch provided by Norfolk Department of Recreation and Open Space. The center offers an expansive community room overlooking the riverfront, a wetlands pavilion, observation
Assisted-Rental Wait List Receives Over 2,300 Applications The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires NRHA to establish an application and selection process that treats applicants fairly and consistently. NRHA maintains a wait list as part of the application process in order to ensure that a sufficient number of eligible applicants are available to fill vacant turnover units as quickly as possible. The average wait time for applicants can vary between six months to two years, depending on factors such as bedroom size needed and the number of applicants
accepted or denied. NRHA opened the wait list for assisted-rental communities for all bedroom sizes on Friday, January 22, 2010. Applications were distributed on a walk-in basis on selected dates starting Thursday, January 21, 2010 and ending Thursday, March 4, 2010. Completed applications were accepted in person on Friday mornings from January 22 to March 5 or by mail to NRHA’s main office on Granby Street, post-marked no later than Friday, March 5. Article Continues on Page 6
Continuing to provide quality housing opportunities
The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA) of 1998 requires housing authorities to complete a five-year plan and an annual plan. NRHA has developed its 11th annual plan and is preparing to enter the second year of its third fiveyear plan, beginning July 1, 2010. The plans include information on NRHA’s major goals, objectives and strategies for assistedrental housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), such as demolition/disposition, site based waiting lists, requirements/ mandates by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NRHA’s objectives and strategies for achieving the mission of “providing quality housing opportunities that foster sustainable mixed-income communities.” The third annual resident forum was held on the evening of December 8, 2009 at Ruffner Middle School. Over 200 residents and HCV participants were in attendance. The 2010 Annual Plan, developed by NRHA staff, was available for a 45 day public review and comment period, which began on Friday, February 5, 2010. A public hearing on the Annual Plan was held on Monday, March 22 at Ruffner Middle School. The plan was approved by the Board on April 12. The plan was then submitted to HUD by the required deadline of April 15, 2010.
Highlights of some of the issues and changes approved are provided below: • Changes anticipated in the administrative policy for the HCV program include: mandatory usage of the Enterprise Income Verification System (EIVS); revised grievance procedures; and mandatory use of rent reasonableness for determining payment standards. • Changes anticipated in the Admission and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) for public housing are mandatory usage of EIVS and revised grievance procedures. Also under consideration are revisions to applicant suitability criteria relating to home visits, landlord references and criminal history records. • It is anticipated that an increase in “flat” or maximum public housing rents for non-revitalized family communities will be included in the draft plan as the Authority continues to move toward a flat rent that is affordable to a household at 40% of Area Median Income (AMI). In 2010, flat rents for most family communities are anticipated to increase to a level affordable to households at 38% AMI as compared to the 37% guide used in 2009. It is emphasized that rents would only increase for families where 30% of their 2
income is in excess of the current flat rent amount. A comparison of the current flat rent with the increase anticipated beginning July 1, 2010 is provided below: BEDROOM SIZE
CURRENT FLAT RENT
ANTICIPATED FLAT RENT
• Language is anticipated to be included in the draft Annual Plan relating to the distribution and acceptance of public housing applications at various locations and through various means, as needed and advertised. • Consideration is being given to the establishment of a revised waiting list preference ranking system that combines the current “Need and Earned” preferences list into one weighted preference list. • In PIH Notice 2009-21, HUD strongly encourages Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to implement non-smoking policies in their public housing units in order to provide increased public health protection for residents of public housing. NRHA staff raised the non-smoking issue during the Resident Annual Forum on December 8, 2009. There were mixed reactions from residents on whether NRHA should adopt a non-smoking policy. Some stated that it should be their right to smoke inside their home, while others believed that secondhand smoke negatively impacted other non-smoking residents. Further discussion and research is needed before a recommendation on this subject is reached. • As in past years, the draft 2010 Annual Plan will continue to outline various Housing Reinvention goals and initiatives for the next several years and decades. Initiatives to be referenced in the draft plan include: a) Continued revitalization efforts in Grandy
Village, including site improvements that could create developable parcels for additional housing units. b) Redevelopment of Moton Circle. c) Participation in the City of Norfolk’s St. Paul’s Quadrant planning process (Tidewater Gardens).
d) Pursuit of a mixed-finance initiative to renovate Oakleaf Forest. e) Planning for renovations to Diggs Town in 2013. f) Development of new affordable rental housing units for families, seniors and the disabled.
Girls 2 Women: A New NRHA Mentoring Program The NRHA Security Programs Department has developed a new mentoring program called “Girls 2 Women.” After interviewing several girls and parents through intervention initiatives, Contrina Crawley (NRHA Security Programs Coordinator) developed the program to expose young girls to women and other adults who have successfully navigated the path from adolescence to adulthood. The program is designed to provide young girls with positive role models and examples of women who gain strength by coming together, as well as recognizing the importance of giving back to their community. The program will provide support and reinforcement to help participants succeed, in spite of peer pressure, and to develop positive goals and visions for the future. Focus: To provide an effective outreach and educational tool for today’s youth. Vision: To build a stronger youth for tomorrow’s society. Academy goals: To give the youth in NRHA’s communities the skills of goal setting and decision making. To help NRHA adolescents come to grips with realities of family and growing up to be responsible adults. To teach youth the skills to identify who and what influences the
NRHA Receives “High in a Row
way they think and to better understand themselves and the world. To gain self-confidence and self-esteem as they learn how to gather information for college/careers and reach for their goals. Program components: Creating your dream, Skill development, Career planning, Social action, Gender equity, Adolescent development, Personal & Family Relations, Self-esteem and Personal integrity, Personal health.
Program specifics: Spring 2010 Class time: 90-120 minutes Youth per class: 10-15 Ages: 12-17
This program was offered to the youth in Calvert Square, with a total of 12 registered for this session. The group met every Wednesday for six weeks beginning on April 14, 2010. Each NRHA family community will be offered a six week program, which will be taught and facilitated by the Safety and Security Department in partnership with NRHA Youth Services and Workforce Development, as well as the CRO Program of the Norfolk Police Department.
Performer” Rating Second Year
NRHA has received a rating of “high performer” from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) for a second year in a row. The overall score for NRHA was a 99% for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. SEMAP enables HUD to better manage the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program by identifying housing
authority capabilities and deficiencies related to program administration. NRHA administers 3,487 vouchers with approximately 1,200 participating landlords. The HCV program is the federal government’s program for helping lower income families, the elderly and the disabled afford quality housing in the private market.
HUD Grant Will Help The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) a $136,000 grant to help assisted-rental residents find jobs that lead them toward economic independence. The grant, provided “ amilies who complete through HUD’s Family Selfthis program Sufficiency accomplish (FSS) Program, the milestones will enable that improve NRHA to an individual’s hire program quality of life.” co o rd i nato r s who work directly with residents to connect them with local education and training opportunities, job placement organizations and local employers. The program encourages local innovative strategies that link assisted-rental housing assistance with public and private resources, which enables participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate welfare assistance, as well as make progress
Move Families Forward toward economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. “Families who complete this program accomplish the milestones that improve an individual’s quality of life – a new job or professional certification,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who announced the grants. “Most importantly, these families get the courage and confidence to succeed.” “In this economy, families who complete this program have an increased chance of improving their job prospects,” said HUD Richmond acting Field Office Director Charles Famuliner. Assisted-rental residents who sign a contract to participate, which outlines responsibilities towards completion of training and employment objectives over a five-year period. During their participation, residents may create an escrow account funded with their increasing income, which they may use in a variety of ways, including continuing their education or making a major purchase. A HUD study found lowincome families who participated in
this program saw their incomes increase at a higher rate than non-participants. According to the study, between 1996 and 2000, FSS participants experienced a 72 percent increase in their median income, from $6,936 to $11,960. Among non-FSS participants, the increase was half as large, at 36 percent.
Education & Youth Programs The Higher Education Project gives youth and their families services to help them pursue education beyond high school. Contact: Betty Temple 757.314.1618 firstname.lastname@example.org Job Programs The Job Connection works with tenants to improve their interview skills, find jobs and achieve personal goals. Contact: Janelle Morris 757.314.1635 email@example.com Contact: Julius Norman 757.314.1695 firstname.lastname@example.org
From Rhetoric to Action:
The 2nd Annual African American Male Focus Conference Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) co-sponsored the second African American Male Focus (AAMF) Conference February 18-19, 2010 at the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center and Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The two-day conference featured nationally renowned speakers in the areas of religion, education, 4
human relations, business, criminal justice and law. On Thursday, February 18, a 300-youth teen summit addressed some of the pressing issues facing young men, including family, personal relationships, school, employment and self-development. The final day, February 19, included a series of workshops, group
sessions and problem-solving exercises and concluded with an exciting music workshop featuring the legendary Connie Parker and the Michael Clark Band. Other sponsors included the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center, Hampton Roads Ventures, Alliant Human Services and Family Systems II & New Life Programs.
NRHA Property Improvements Funded by Stimulus Package 100 Percent Obligated
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) received $9.1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for capital improvements at its assisted-rental properties. Work is underway on two projects accounting for about $3.09 million. Those are road and site improvements at the 257-unit Oakleaf Forest community ($2.6 million) and window replacement at the 310unit Calvert Square community ($513,000). The Oakleaf project was designed by the engineering firm of C.
Allen Bamforth, Jr. The construction is being handled by Precon Construction Co. Businesses involved at Calvert Square are Via Design Architects and AirTech Solutions, Inc. The balance of the grant will be used to make additional improvements at the Young Terrace, Partrea, Hunter Square and Bobbitt properties. As of March 10, the last contract was signed, meaning 100 percent of the funding has been obligated within the March 17, 2010 contract compliance deadline. NRHA has one year to expend at least 60 percent of the funds and must have all funds fully expended by March 17, 2012. To date, 37 jobs have been involved in these projects. This will increase as the remaining contracts are executed. The types of jobs involved are architects, engineers, job site superintendents, carpenters, heavy equipment operators, pipelayers,
electricians, plumbers, concrete finishers, asphalt crews, drywall installers and finishers, painters, inspectors and project managers. The Richmond HUD Office congratulated NRHA “for this great achievement.” HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing Sandra Henriquez applauded the success of housing authorities in utilizing ARRA funds, stating that they have been “remarkably well executed by the industry.”
(cont. from cover)
by NRHA and RRMM Architects (Chesapeake, VA). The completed building will be dedicated later this summer, in time for the 2010/2011 school year. The program on April 22 included remarks by NRHA CEO Shurl pier with floating dock and a wetlands Montgomery, NRHA Board Chairman Shep Miller, City Councilwoman trail. The center is being built Daun Hester, Anne Davis from the US by Henderson Incorporated Department of Housing and Urban (Williamsburg, VA) and designed Development, and Marjorie Mayfield
Jackson from the Elizabeth River Project. Attendees were invited to tour the interior spaces, wetlands pavilion, pier and floating dock as well as the wetlands trail. Representatives from Norfolk Public Schools, the STOP Organization/Head Start Program and Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space were on hand to provide a look into how the center will be used by children and residents.
(cont. from cover) NRHA received a total of 2,328 applications for Low Income Assisted-Rental Housing with the following breakdown per bedroom size: BEDROOM
TOTAL NUMBER OF
Calendar/Important Dates July 2010
July 9 - Diggs Town Community Day July 16 - Oakleaf Forest Community Day
August 20 - Calvert Square Community Day August 14 - Grandy Village Community Day August 27 - Tidewater Gardens Community Day
Applications are currently being entered into an Energy Efficiency Program operating system and will be assigned a ranking based on Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority date and time of applications, as well as any preferences (NRHA) has entered into an agreement with Ameresco, claimed. for energy performance contracting services. Ameresco will identify and evaluate energy-saving opportunities at 13 Many Reasons to Be assisted-rental housing properties, consisting of more than On Monday, November 23, 2009, Maryann Lambert 3,500 units. Beginning in April, Ameresco will conduct and her team with Rose and Womble Realty at Great Bridge worked with a team of Property Management staff to prepare an investment-grade energy audit to determine energy 97 Thanksgiving baskets, including the turkey and all the improvement needs, as well as design and install equipment/ trimmings, for NRHA residents in all 12 communities. It systems that will create energy savings. Energy performance contracting is an innovative took a record breaking 30 minutes to prepare the baskets. NRHA staff then picked up and delivered the baskets to financing technique that uses cost savings from reduced the residents. According to reports, some residents were energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservation measures. It allows building users to achieve overcome with emotion when they received their baskets. Rose and Womble Realty started this giveaway energy savings without upfront capital expenses. Energy tradition in 2005. For the last four years, Carrie Johnson, improvement costs are borne by the performance contractor manager at Sykes midrise, has coordinated this event. This and paid back out of the energy savings. Other advantages year, she handed the baton to another team. Special thanks include use of a single contractor to do necessary energy to Sheila Brooks, Tarsha Mitchell, Aline Rogers and Gloria audits and retrofit to guarantee the energy savings from a selected series of conservation measures. Parker. According to recent Department of Housing and Many thanks to Rose and Womble at Great Bridge for their generosity. NRHA umbrellas and caps were provided Urban Development (HUD) studies, assisted-rental housing is less energy efficient on a per-square-foot basis than to Maryann and her staff as a token of our gratitude. Once again, Rose and Womble helped to make residential households. Based on audit results there may be potential to significantly reduce operating costs. homes and holidays full of warm memories.
Kid’s Corner: NRHA Students Win Annual Contest
Five Norfolk students, who reside in NRHA communities, won awards in the Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officials (VAHCDO) first annual “What Home Means to Me” poster contest. The poster contest was held for children associated with affordable housing and community development programs owned or administered by member agencies of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). This year’s contest was held between July 29 and August 24, 2009. In the elementary school category, Cornelius Scott, Jaylynn Frazier and Kayla Peterson placed first, second and third, respectively. NRHA’s Malik Brown placed second in the middle school category and Lateesha Lawrence placed first in the high school category.
Turkey Day Giveaway The residents of Moton Circle had a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving! This year, all 136 residents received turkeys courtesy of the Steve Harvey Morning Show on 95.7 R&B FM and radio personality, Theresa Brown. The turkeys were distributed November 23 at the Moton Circle Resident Management Corporation (RMC) office. Brown, who grew up in Moton Circle, immediately decided to contact NRHA when the station decided to donate turkeys to a public housing community. In December 2008, the station donated 100 turkeys and a local fraternity chapter donated another 10. For Thanksgiving 2009, the station decided to make sure every family would have that traditional main course on their table.
As the turkeys were distributed to the families, Brown called in “live” to the Steve Harvey Morning Show. Molly Clark, NRHA Youth Program Assistant, assisted the Moton Circle RMC for this turkey giveaway.
Fire Safety NRHA secured a $445,745 grant from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security for fire prevention and awareness at its assisted-rental communities. NRHA received the largest grant of over 30 recipient organizations nationwide and the only entity in the state of Virginia. Over the past five years, NRHA has experienced increased residential fires in assisted-rental communities resulting in fatalities and extensive property damage. Most of these fires originated in the kitchen, 80 percent of which resulted from unattended cooking. The program will have a twopronged approach of prevention and education. The prevention component includes the installation of Safe-TElement cooking systems on electric ranges and FireStop canisters over gas ranges. For the purpose of evaluation, two NRHA communities will be selected to receive the devices and two other communities will serve as control groups. Grandy Village residents will receive the Safe-T-Element, which is installed on top of existing electric range burners. This device helps to prevent most kitchen fires from starting by not allowing the burners to reach
the temperature where most common household materials will ignite. Diggs Town residents will receive StoveTop FireStop canisters that are installed under the vent hood above the cooking surface of the stove. This device is an automatic fire suppression device designed to extinguish the fire long enough to allow a resident to completely extinguish the fire. In the event of a fire the can will open and a substance will drop out smothering the flame. The clean-up is easy and can be done with a wet towel. The control groups will be Oakleaf Forest and Calvert Square. The test and control communities will receive information on fire prevention throughout the 12 months. Residents are expected to review the information and fire evacuation plans with their families. Training will also be provided to residents, as well as to NRHA staff. A fire prevention week is anticipated for October 2010, with events for children. The fire prevention and safety awareness information will be presented in the following formats: pamphlets, posters, workshops, video and community activities. Property managers and other on-site staff will receive information and training for the sake of continuity and effectiveness.
Provided by Client Services
NRHA Communications & Marketing Department Chief Housing Officer Donnell Brown Editor Kelly Williams Editorial Assistant LaRhesa Christmas
Founded in 1940, NRHA is a national leader in community revitalization and fostering sustainable mixed-income communities. As the largest redevelopment and housing authority in Virginia, NRHA plays a key role in making Norfolk the city of choice to build, work, play and live.