The Mississippi Delegation by wuyunqing

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									Summer 2007    Mississippi Association for Housing
                      and Redevelopment Officials




         The Mississippi Delegation




                          In the
                          INFORMER

                          From the President    2

                          HUD Happenings        6

                          NAHRO Legislative
                          Conference        8 &9

                          Maintenace Corner     9

                          MHARM                13

                          From the Editor      14

   Mary Matlin and        Acknowledgements     15
   James Carville         Calendar             16
    PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE



      T          ime has really
                 flown by the past
                 year and catch-
      ing up has become a fan-
      tasy! I recently attended the
                                                              responses I received
                                                              the sessions went well.
                                                              Although most of our
                                                              PHA’s will not have to
                                                              make the transition in
                                                                                            PHA’s throughout the Country
                                                                                            but continued support has always
                                                                                            come from our closest neighbors
                                                                                            in SERC. Through the leadership of
                                                                                            Tina Akers Brown and Don Cameron
      Community Housing and                                   July the one’s that do had    we were able to accomplish many
      Development Conference in                               better get ready. July is     of the goals our Authorities placed
                                            Brian Power
      Jackson; Sponsored by the                               just around the corner.       on themselves. We know we have a
      Mississippi Home Corp. MAHRO                     I would like to be the first to      lot left to do, but with the backing




         Annual
      was a partner this year and con-             announce that our Website will           of SERC and NAHRO our road to
      ducted a very informative ses-               soon be under construction as we         recovery will be a little easier.
      sion dealing with funding outside            strive for a “New and Improved”              It would be a shame for me
      the realm of HUD. In addition to             look. My personal thanks to Walker       not to mention that June is also
      conducting a session we set up a             and Associates for maintaining           Homeownership Month! The
      booth and actually got to witness            our website. Since its inception,        number of families that own a
      how exhibitors view things from              Rusty Walker has performed a great       home are improving every year.
      their side of the table. In all, about       service for MAHRO and our mem-           Seventy six point two percent




          Conference
      fifteen vendors set up booths. The           ber Authorities. With all that has       of Mississippians now own their
      Conference was very informative              happened on the Coast, and the           home and the numbers nation
      and well attended. Several Housing           unbelievable amount of work, it is       wide have increased to 68%. The
      Authorities were present.                    simply impossible for them to con-       current administration has placed
          It is unbelievable how many              tinue the website.                       a high priority on Homeownership
      different funding sources are avail-             Please make plans to attend          and we agree that one of the most
      able, and how many different                 SERC/NAHRO’s Annual Conference           important goals we could set for
      agencies and organizations pro-              at the Beautiful Grand Casino in         ourselves is the ability to own our




            August 8-10
      vide funding for affordable hous-            Tunica, from June 24-27 2007.            own home. In our profession we
      ing. Agencies from the USDA’S,               Mississippi has been designated          unfortunately see the worst of the
      Forrest Services, the Office of Rural        the Home State for this Conference       worst. It gives us great pleasure to
      Development, the MS Forestry                 and we plan to make it a memo-           see those individuals move up and
      Commission, and the Mississippi              rable one. From the time Katrina         out of Public Housing or Section
      Urban Forest Council. The MS                 hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast we        Eight. For all those authorities
      Department of Human Services,                have been blessed to have SERC/          participating in the Section Eight
      the MS Association of Realtors and           NAHRO on our team. In the very           Homeownership program, “Keep
      the MS Development Authority                 beginning we received finan-             up the Great Work”
      are just a few that partnered with           cial and moral support from the              Thank You!
      the Conference. Although some                member Authorities throughout                                     Brian Power,
      of these agencies do not provide             the Southeast. We did receive                               MAHRO President
      funding they supply integral com-            support from NAHRO and other
      ponents of development from start
      to finish. As all of you can see, fund-    ABOUT THE COVER
      ing sources are readily available              The MAHRO Legislative CommitteeTeam
      for those of us who wish to step                   Delegates went to Capitol Hill and met with Mississippi Legislators
      outside the box and investigate                to express concerns over national and state
      any and all available funding for              housing issues. The main topic discussed was
      Affordable Housing.                            problems Mississippi Housing Authorities are
          In recent months MAHRO, in                 experiencing with the aftermath of Hurricane
      conjunction with HUD has provided              Katrina. The conference morning session on
                                                     March 19was highlighted by keynote speakers
      informative training as we gear up
                                                     James Carville and Mary Matalin who gave an
      for our transition to asset manage-            enlightening and entertaining look at today’s
      ment. On May 15 & 16 we conduct-               most important political issues as well as a behind-the-scenes look at
      ed a two-day session on Occupancy              Washington politics.
2     and Asset Management, from the
Mississippi Regional Housing Authority V
Sign Dedicated in Memory of
Longtime Commissioner, Urvin McRae
     MS Regional Housing Authority No. V, Newton, MS has               August 4, 1967 through August of
 erected a new sign at the Carthage Congregate Elderly                 1997. Mr. McRae passed away in
                                      in Carthage, MS.                 March of 2003.
                                      and dedicated it                      The sign was erected by a
                                      to the memory                    local contractor from excess block
                                      of long time                     left over from another job. Glenn        Urvin McRae
                                      Commissioner                     Malone, Manager of the Carthage
                                      for Leake County,                Congregate, came up with the idea of having the sign
                                      Mr. Urvin McRae.                 built in the shape of a house. The contractor was able to
                                      Mr. McRae served                 construct the sign as requested. The lettering was done
                                      as Commissioner                  by Mitchell Sign Company out of Meridian, Mississippi.
                                      for Region V from


      Improvements at the Newton and Union Congregate Elderly:
       There have been several improvements at our Newton and Union Congregate Elderly in Newton and Union,
  MS. The maintenance personnel, led by Maintenance Superintendent, Bill Matthews, have painted all interior
  halls, ceilings, dining rooms and other common areas of both Congregates. At the Newton Congregate, new tile
  has been installed in all the halls, dining room, recreation room, and other common areas. The residents at both
  complexes are excited about the new look.


Hattiesburg Housing Authority & Aldersgate
Mission Partnership "Grows and Grows"
      The 35 year partnership between the Hattiesburg Housing Authority and Aldersgate Mission of Main
 Street United Methodist Church was enhanced by the Housing Authority’s donation of 1.01 acres of prime real
 estate to Aldersgate during a ceremony held on June 7th. Milan Hoze, Executive Director of HHA and HHA
 Board Chair Willie Clark jointly presented the “deed of donation” to Aldersgate Board Member Bill Pace and
 Pastor Vicki Hughes. The ceremony launched the ambitious fund raising drive to construct a multi-functional
 facility which will double the current facility and expand services of Aldersgate to more of the Briarfield Homes
 residents. According to Milan Hoze, “this donation is valued at more than $80,000.00 and represents the
 HHA’s commitment to this community and our Board’s appreciation to Aldersgate for their years of service to
 the Briarfield community”. Aldersgate Mission of Main Street United Methodist Church has been serving the
                                                          Briarfield residents since June 11, 1972 and provides a
                                                          comprehensive after-school and summer enhancement
                                                          program daily to more than 60 children of Briarfield
                                                          Homes.




   Willie Clark HHA Board Chair, Mary Beard – Aldersgate Director,
Vicki Hughes – Pastor Main Street United Methodist Church, Bill Pace
   – Aldergate Mission Board member, Milan Hoze – Exec Dir HHA
                                                                                                                                   3
        Laurel Housing Authority
                    Ground breaking held for Laurel Gardens
                    By: Lacey Walters



                    F      amilies in Laurel will soon
                           be able to have affordable
                           homes. A ground-breaking
                    ceremony was held Friday after-
                    noon for a project to build 70 rent-
                                                                  said Laurel Housing Authority
                                                                  Director Kay Guy.
                                                                       Clarence Chapman, president of
                                                                  Chartre Consulting, said the Laurel
                                                                  Gardens project was the first time
                                                                                                             upkeep, home
                                                                                                             maintenance,
                                                                                                             taxes
                                                                                                             insurance,
                                                                                                             but
                                                                                                                          and

                                                                                                                        when
                                                                                                                                     E.D. Kay Guy
                    to-own homes in Laurel under the              his company has partnered with             the home is
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
                    partnership of Chartre Consulting             a housing authority. The homes             purchased,
                    Ltd. and Laurel Housing Authority             will be built in two sizes – 1,330         the tenant will then become
                    Enterprise Development Inc. called            and 2,029 square food structures.          responsible for those things. The
                    Laurel Gardens.                               Chapman said these homes will              total rent to own savings versus
                         The program allows families to           have amenities above the normal            home ownership will be $236,161,
                    rent the homes with an option to              standard for market rate homes.            according to statistics provided
                    purchase after 15 years. The cost                  Residents will have to go             by Chartre consulting, based in
                    for the home after the 15 years               through an extensive screening             Oxford.
                    will be $50,000. Construction                 process and will be required to                 Not only will citizens be able
                    on the $9.8 million investment                meet an income standard of                 to have affordable homes, but
                    is scheduled to begin in January,             $26,000-$34,000 based on family            through the partnership of the
                    with families moving in during the            size. The monthly rent for the             agencies involved, residents will be
                    summer months. The homes will                 homes is estimated to be $425-             exposed to enrichment classes such
                    be located off of Central Avenue              $500. During the rental period the         as health, safety and continuing
                    area and downtown revitalization,”            investors will be responsible for yard     education seminars.
                                                                                                                  Chapman said the goal was
                                                                                                             to improve the quality of life for
                                                                                                             the residents and their families.
                                                                                                             Chapman recognized Mayor Melvin
                                                                                                             Mack, the Laurel City Council,
                                                                                                             Congressman Gene Taylor and
                                                                                                             Senator Trent Lott for their role in
                                                                                                             making the Laurel Gardens project
                                                                                                             a reality. “This is a great day for the
                                                                                                             city of Laurel, because we are going
                                                                                                             to be able to provide affordable
                    Still recovering from damages from Katrina. Properties are underway for "Operation New
                                                                                                             homes for 70 families in the city of
                    Perspective". Some properties will be re-developed along with new developed locations.
                                                                                                             Laurel,” Guy said.

                     Risk Management Plans—Phil Hinton, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company
                     What to consider when developing a specific site
                     Risk Management is a global                       grown landscaping, locks, security    Post-loss issues include:
                     approach to protecting personnel,                 personnel, etc.
                     property, members of the public               •   Documented playground inspec-         • Written procedures to assist
                     and finances. Routine to every risk               tions, including removal of out-         injured persons
                     management program are specific                                                         • Written procedures to minimize
                                                                       dated equipment and updating
                     pre-loss and post-loss activities.                                                         property damage
                                                                       appropriate surfacing material.
                     Pre-loss issues include:                      •   Transfer the liability whenever       • Specific claim reporting proce-
                     • Regularly scheduled and docu-                   possible, obtain appropriate cer-        dures—including internal report-
                       mented site safety reviews                      tificates of insurance (including        ing and notification to your AJG
                     • Regularly scheduled and docu-                   Additional Insured, Hold Harmless        (BB&H) office
                       mented employee safety meet-                    and Waiver of Subrogation provi-      • Specific plan to protect property
                       ings                                            sions in your favor)                     or people from further harm cre-
                     • Specific procedures to both docu-           •   Tenant fire safety training              ated by hazardous conditions
                       ment and prioritize response to             •   Bomb Threat response plan             • Emergency response procedures
                       maintenance issues
                                                                   •   Review of appropriate responses       • Immediate access to emergency
                     • Site security reviews; checking for             to potential violence including          contacts, numbers
                       property lighting, removal of over-             hostile or armed people
    4
Housing & Community
Development Conference

June 6-8, 2007 • MISSISSIPPI TELCOM CENTER • JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

     MAHRO partnered with Mississippi
Development Authority, HUD, and FHA for the 6th
Annual Mississippi Housing Conference. Gov. Haley
Barbour presented a Proclamation “proclaiming
the month of June 2007 as HOMEOWNERSHIP
MONTH” and spoke to the conferees during a
luncheon on June 6th. MAHRO President Brian
Power and other MAHRO members manned
a MAHRO sponsored booth and conducted a
session, “Creative Ways for Housing Authorities
to Develop and
Finance Projects”.
According to Brian
Power, “Mississippi
Housing Authorities
must         become                                                                    Above: Brian Power and Mike
more creative in                                                                       Proffitt stand in front of the
providing housing                                                                      MAHRO booth.
opportunities for our
clients and involving
our association in                                                                     Left: HUD provides Housing
conferences in one                                                                     Choice Voucher Homeownership
                                                                                       and Asset Management training
way to avail ourselves                                                                 during the Mississippi Housing
to proven partners in                                                                  & Community Development
                                                                                       Conference


  About the Mississippi Association of
  Housing and Redevelopment Officials
       The Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
  (MHARO) represent the housing needs and concerns of the 57 Public
  Housing Authorities (PHAs), their residents, commissioners, and communities
  throughout the State of Mississippi. Created in 1943, MAHRO is one of the
  oldest housing associations in the state. We are the front-line providers of
  housing affordable to families in our communities. Our members offer a
  variety of housing programs including:
  • Affordable rental opportunities through the Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice
  • Voucher Programs for over 112,000 individuals representing some 35,000 low-income families. These
    citizens constitute four percent of the population of the State of Mississippi. Twenty-two percent of these
    families are elderly or disabled.
       The Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs receive approximately $91 million per year in
  federal funds. This amount, along with various other grants including the Capital Fund Program, represents over
  $187 million per year in federal support.
       This is just a reminder of how important MAHRO and its members are in serving the low-income families of
  our state. Every member should fully support our professional organization.
                                                                                                                        5
      HUD Happenings
     Auditors Must Register Via REAC
      New FASS Submission Requirement
           A Unique IPA Identifier (UII) is needed on all submissions. A UII is a randomly generated, permanently assigned,
      five-digit number that HUD will use to identify the IPA offices that perform audit and attestation services for PHAs,
      MFs, and lenders. The UII will allow HUD to track IPA office workload more effectively. This information will permit
      REAC to select firms for review based on relative risk to HUD, therefore using HUD’s resources more efficiently.
      PHAs should share the following information with their auditors and ensure that they acquire a UII:
           Before you can obtain a UII, you must be registered within HUD secure systems. Please allow up to two weeks
      to complete the registration process. Complete registration instructions and registration forms for Multifamily
      Housing Entities, Public Housing Agencies, and lenders can be viewed at www.hud.gov/offices/reac by selecting
      online systems from the topic menu on the left.
           IPAs and State Auditor Offices- Only one UII will be assigned per IPA office; individuals within an office do not
      need to obtain a UII. If you are a sole practitioner, you will need a UII for your practice.
           FOR PHAs-- HUD will require that PHA audited financial submissions and attestations performed on PHA
      audited financial submissions that are received by the FASS system as of January 22, 2001, include the UII.
           For detailed instructions on how to register for an UII view the pdf file at this link: http://www.hud.gov/
      utilities/intercept.cfm?/offices/reac/pdf/quick_guide.pdf

      Identification of Projects for Asset Management
      Developments vs. Asset Management Project Groupings (AMPs)
          Under the new Operating Fund rule, PHAs
      must identify their projects for purposes of asset
      management. Over the past several months, REAC
      has received questions from PHAs asking whether              SAGIS Overview
      the upcoming REAC PASS physical inspections will
      be conducted based on a PHA’s Annual Contribution                The Subsidy and Grants Information System
      Contracts (ACC) developments (also referred to as PIC        (SAGIS) automates the competitive and formula-
      developments) or based on the Asset Management               based processes for allocating Public and Indian
      Projects (AMPs) that PHAs have designated for purposes       Housing Office (PIH) program to fund Public Housing
      of Asset Management. This is to notify PHAs that the         Authorities/Agencies (PHAs).
      REAC PASS physical inspections will be conducted              SAGIS supports the following business areas:
      according to ACC developments for all PHAs with fiscal         • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)
      years ending on or before March 31, 2008. For all of           • Operations Subsidy Fund (OpFund)
UPDATES




      these physical inspections, PHAs that have already             • Capital Fund (CapFund)
      begun, or are in the process of beginning, to manage
      their properties according to AMPs, must provide the              The SAGIS system automates the delivery and
      inspector with the most recent rent roll showing all         management of over 20 billion dollars of subsidy
      occupied and unoccupied units on the basis of each           allocation. Programs automated through SAGIS
      ACC development as well as the configuration for each        assist more than three million low-income families
                                                                   and allocate two thirds of HUD’s annual appropriation

          Procurement Training                                     each year.
                                                                   Benefits of SAGIS include:
          September 24-25, 2007 in Jackson, MS                       • Elimination of redundant functions
           Please plan on joining us in Jackson                      • Improved accuracy of transactions
             to become more familiar with the                        • Increased timeliness of subsidy payments
          Public Housing Procurement Handbook.
                                                                     • On-line submission and verification
            Highlights will include procurement
           management in an asset management                         • Fewer paper-based processes
           context, procurement of professional
           services (such as legal and auditing),                  For more information on SAGIS visit:
           procurement of small purchases, and                     http://www.hud.gov/offices/reac/products/sagis/index.cfm
           a viewpoint of procurement from the
           Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
 6
Volunteers
gather on the
coast to repair                                                                             Volunteers from NAHRO,
Katrina damages
Excerpts from Journal of Housing & Community Development
                                                                                            Fannie Mae and Local
                                                                                            Initiatives Support
"Mission in Mississippi"
                                                                                            Corporation (LISC) and
     From January 29 to Feb 2, sixty-five volunteers from NAHRO, Fannie Mae and
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and two consultants from MD Strum              two consultants from MD
gathered in Long Beach, Mississippi for a week of refurbishing Katrina-damaged              Strum came together for
public housing units.
     The volunteers hailed from all over the United States, one crew even flew              Katrina victims.
in from Salt Lake City, Utah. to find naked foundation slabs, piles of rubble and
the blue tarps that covered many still-damaged roofs. And then, of course, there
were the ubiquitous FEMA trailers.
     Karen Ladner from the Waveland Housing Authority cited statistics over 90
percent of her community went underwater.
     LaNelle Davis, Executive Director of the Long Beach Housing Authority,
whose public housing units were scheduled to re-roof and gut, lost her home
as well, and is living in one of the units while she attempts to recover insurance
money.
     She noted that while some of her residents have returned, some have even
bought land and built houses, many others are not building because they do not
know what the FEMA requirements for new structures will be.
     Volunteers groups includes: NAHRO, Vicki Brandt, Tina Akers-Brown, William
Brown, Don Cameron, Faye Cameron, Paul Carson, LaShanta Deruise, Daniel
Farrell, Johnny Gardner, Keven George, Sylvia Gimenez, Kay Guy, Donald Harrison,
Felicia Jackson, Charles Jenkins, Chris Jones, Danny Kemper, Donald Martin,
Tamika McGilberry, Victor Pacheco, Brian Power, Mike Proffitt, Dionne Roberts,
Eddie Ross, David Sawatzki, Ed Scarborough, Dexter Scott, Skip Sipos, Adam
Threadgill, Donna Thomas, Marty Thomas and Ailrick Young.
     Fannie Mae: Ray Adkins, Regina Austin, Beth Bergere, Tim Carpenter, Steve
Diminuco, Jennifer Farland, Bradley Frye, Maria Day-Marshall, Miranda Do,
Moustafa Fathy, Walt Laughlin, Nicole Lester, Praveen Mantena, Victor Mays,
Eileen Neely, Veronica Nelson, Steve Peregrine, Lynne Powell, Dianne Ramsey, Jay
Schlaffer, Michael Singer, Dean Surette, Brenda Walls-Booth, Lisa Zukoff
     LISC: Stacie Birenbach, Evelyn Brown, Tamar Greenspan, Mary Paumen
     LISC Americorps: Latah Holloway, Tammy Maze, Rolanda
Mills, Caroline Stuckett
     MD Strum: Stanley Slie, Joe Darby
     "Going to Mississippi and helping the Long Beach Housing
Authority recover from the storm damage was a rewarding
experience that I won’t soon forget,” said Marty Thomas. "I met
and worked with volunteers from all over the country, men
and women who were not afraid of hard work and getting
their hands dirty. Everyone worked well together, and no one
complained.”
     Final score? Five buildings re-roofed, six fully gutted, and an
exhausting but worthwhile experience that noneone will soon
forget.
                                                                  Stripping away damaged material, then laying down new ply-
                                                                  wood, a middle layer ofwaterproofing, and, finally, new tiles.
                                                                                                                                   7
    Legislative Conference
                   MAHRO Invades Washington
                   Delegates from Mississippi on the hill.                                             NAHRO President
                                                                                                         Don Cameron
                                                                                                         addresses the
                                                                                                           conference.




                 L
                             ed by President Brian Power, a MAHRO Legislative Committee traveled to our nations
                             Capitol March 19-21, to address key issues that concern our state, public housing, com-
                             munity revitalization, and most importantly the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The
                 occasion was the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Annual Legislative
                 Conference.
                                                                Highlight of the conference was a visit to Capitol Hill and
                                                           meetings with Mississippi Legislators to express concerns
                                                           over national and state housing issues. The main topic
                                                           discussed was problems Mississippi Housing Authorities
                                                           are experiencing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
                                                           Mississippi delegates from the coastal authorities took the
                                                           lead in the Katrina discussions with the staffs of Senator
                                                           Trent Lott, Senator Thad Cochran and Representative
                                                           Gene Taylor. President of MAHRO Power expressed to the
    Above: Mississippi coast delegates plead their case.
                                                           Mississippi Legislators our appreciation for the support
    Below: MAHRO President Brian Power and delegates
             meet with Senator Lott's aide.                that has already been provided. All three pledged their
                                                           continued support.
                                                                Back to the Conference and morning session on March
                                                           19; this session was highlighted by keynote speakers James
                                                           Carville and Mary Matalin who gave an enlightening and
                                                           entertaining look at today’s most important political issues
                                                           as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Washington politics.
                                                           Co-authors of the national best seller All’s Fair: Love, War,
                                                           and Running for President, both Matalin and Carville are
                                                           key players on the national
                                                           political       stage,        having
                                                           between them worked for
                                                           every president over the last
                                                           25 years.
                                                                                 Continued on page 9


                                                           Left: President Brian Power confers
                                                           with Senator Cochran's staff.

                                                           Right: LaNelle Davis and grandson
8                                                          ? in the ? between House and Senate.
NAHRO Legislative Conference
Continued from page 8

                                                In this presentation,
                                            Carville       and       Matalin
                                            combined their unique
                                            experience to provide a
                                            stimulating, candid and
                                            provocative analysis of the
                                            day’s headlines and today’s
                                            hot-button issues from
                                            both sides of the political
                                            aisle.                                    Arick Young and Peggy O'Connell with James Carvelle

  Floyd Johnson and Thomas Coleman               Other          interesting
look on as discussions go on in Rep. Gene
              Taylor's office.              sessions were updates on Public Housing, Section 8 Programs, Community
                                            Development, and a Congressional Staff roundtable where staff members
from various House and Senate offices discussed the issues the new 110th congress will likely face, and offered
insights and perspectives of their Congressional members on those issues.
     The Mississippi delegation considered the conference to be quite beneficial and successful. President
Brian Power did an outstanding job of leading the discussions and emphasizing the needs of Mississippi Public
Housing to include continued Katrina recovery.


Maintenance Corner— Emergency Plan Action
      Emergencies wreak havoc on                                                                 when an emergency situation
organizations each year. Whether                                                                 occurs can bring your organization
it’s an ice storm destroying power                                                               to its knees.
lines, a fire threatening your                                                                        Of course we can’t stop a natural
office building, a bomb threat                                                                   disaster or even a man-made
or suspicious mail, a hurricane                                                                  disaster, they will happen! What can
or tornado. All these things have                                                                we do to lessen the adverse effects
the potential to destroy lives and                                                               during an emergency situation?
property. How you respond can                                                                    Be prepared by being aggressively
ultimately determine the severity                                                                proactive with a comprehensive,
in loss of business, property, health                                                            ready-to-implement Emergency
and lives.                                                                                       Action Plan. Right now is the time
      When we see an emergency                                                                   to develop an Emergency Action
situation or disaster in another                     TVRHA Maintenance Director Johnny Taylor,   Plan or update the plan you have
place, sometimes we think, “It’s                         shows Emergency Disaster Plan.          and by all means train your staff.
time to get prepared, that could                                                                 Don’t be lulled into a false sense
happen here”. Unfortunately,                     or our health, it’s scary. Just to              of security just because things are
sometimes we think, “That could                  name a few; natural gas lines, gas              calm. {Remember 911}
never happen here”. If we just stop              stations, power lines, tractor trailer               In the immortal words of Larry
to think of the things outside our               rigs loaded with all kinds of toxic             the Cable Guy “GIT-R-DONE”.
front door that have the potential               materials and of course Mother                                         Johnny Taylor
to cause damage to our property                  Nature. Being caught off guard                              Maintenance Committee

                                                                                                                                            99
     Hope VI

     Hope becomes reality
     Meridian Housing Authority
     celebrates grand opening
     Just one year ago, Meridian Housing
     Authority reported the beginning of
     the rebuilding of J. T. Davis Courts.
     Now, families are moving into brand
     new housing units. Community
     partners including the mayor, elected
     officials, city and county employees,
     utility companies, staff, and of course
     the residents, came together to make
     this happen. They all played a major
     part in the
     rebuilding
     efforts of J. T.
     Davis Courts.
     Congratulations
     to Meridian
     Housing
     Authority on
     their Grand
     Opening.                                                                                   Meridian Housing Authority
                           All gather for the the ribbon cutting and Grand Opening                   J.T. Davis Courts
                                       of the new HOPE VI development.




     Biloxi Housing Authority—First development since Katrina
                                                                                     Bobby Hensley, Executive Director of
                                                                                     Biloxi Housing Authority, and Holly
                                                                                     Bellino, Jackson Hub Office Director of
                                                                                     HUD Public Housing are all smiles dur-
                                                                                     ing the Grand Opening of Cadet Point
                                                                                     Development. Cadet Point is the first
                                                                                     housing development in East Biloxi
                                                                                     Post- Hurricane Katrina. The 67 unit
                                                                                     development was part of Biloxi Hope
                                                                                     VI revitalization plan, and was under
                                                                                     construction at the time of Katrina.
                                                                                     After being completely demolished due
                                                                                     to Katrina, this beautiful development
                                                                                     complete with verandas overlooking
                                                                                     the ocean and bay has been rebuilt
        Bobby Hensley and Holly Belino in front of new Cadet Point Development.
                                                                                     from the slab.
10
MAHRO/HUD
Occupancy Workshop
May 15-16, 2007 Beau Rivage, Biloxi, MS




T
         his year’s Occupancy Workshop will have to
         be written down as one of our best work-
         shops. There were 117 participants repre-
senting 35 housing authorities. Excellent instructors
and speakers were brought in from various agencies
including: the Social Security Administration, Carolyn                        Brian Power, President of MAHRO, and Mike Proffitt
Duckworth; Mary Stanton, Department of Hunan                                  Secretary of MAHRO and Executive Director of
                                                                              Brookhaven Housing Authority
Services; representatives from TANF, Child Support
& Food Stamp Office, Holly Bellino, Jackson PH HUB
Director. The two-day workshop broke out into con-
current sessions where HUD representatives and pub-
lic housing/ Section 8 personnel shared their experi-
ences and expertise. Eugene Rudder from Exceed
Corporation was sponsored by LISC and presented a
session on “Asset Management – On Site Manager’s
Point of View”.

      Right: Gloria Smith, PHRS of HUD Public Housing, asks questions about
      TANIF during the HUD/MAHRO Occupancy Workshop.




Commissioners Corner—
Status of resident on the Board of Commissioners
     As we all know, Mississippi PHAs have been exempt each year from the Quality Housing
and Work Responsibility Act’s requirement of having a person assisted by the PHA included
on the Board of Commissioners. This exemption has come through the appropriations
process. The FY 2007 Appropriations Bill again contains a provision that exempts the states
of Alaska, Iowa, and Mississippi from this requirement.
     There is a conflict between the Federal Housing Law and the Mississippi Ethics and Mississippi Housing Authority
Laws. MAHRO was successful in getting the Mississippi Housing Authority Law amended to allow an assisted person
on the board if required by federal law. MAHRO also attempted to get the Mississippi Ethics Law amended, but
was unsuccessful. Therefore, there continues to be a conflict with having an assisted person on the board. The
Mississippi Ethics Commission issued a strong opinion regarding the conflict between federal law and Section 109
of the Mississippi Constitution, which cannot be amended without a popular statewide vote.
     We will continue to press for a permanent exemption from this requirement since it is very unlikely that Section
109 of the Mississippi Constitution will ever be amended. We believe that the HUD Report to Congress dated May 31,
2002, required by the Appropriators, supports the request for a permanent exemption. The requirements stipulated
in Section 210 of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005 that calls for the establishment of an advisory board of not less that six residents
would be a very good permanent solution.

                                                                                                                                   11
     Clarksdale Housing Authority
     SLA Jones Center Goes Fishing…most busting at the gills to get there!
     By: Royal Ann Spencer



     S       pring was in the air, and the participants at the SLA
             Jones Activity Center, a senior center operated by
             the Clarksdale Housing Authority and adjacent
     to its elderly complex, were “busting at the gills” to go
     fishing. They not only wanted to go fishing, they knew
                                                                                 edges, much to the relief of those
                                                                                 afraid of Mr. No-shoulders…snakes! It
                                                                                 was the perfect place to fish.
                                                                                       The elderly group was not Royal Ann Spencer
                                                                                 disappointed, as they pulled bream
     exactly where they wanted to go. The problem was it                         after bream out of the water with a catfish thrown in
     was a private, gated lake, adjacent to a luxurious hunt-                    occasionally. One CHA resident said, “I couldn’t get my
     ing lodge in Quitman County.                                                hook baited fast enough. They hit every time you throw
           Gertrude Vincent, Center Director, got on the phone,                  it in.”
     and in a few short minutes had obtained permission for                            Everyone that went caught fish, nice fish, and plenty
     the Jones Center to take a group fishing there. About a                     to put on the their tables when they got home. The
     week later, a man met the van load of eager fishermen                       group took turns fishing and enjoying a picnic lunch
     and unlocked the gate for them. To say they were                            prepared by the Jones Center. It was perfect weather for
     impressed would be an understatement.                                       the spring’s first dinner on the grounds.
           After a short drive through the woods, they                                 No one wanted to leave when it was time to go, but
     came upon an opening with a                                                   the van had to get the clients back to the Center in time
     beautiful lake sitting in front of                                            for some of them to be picked
     the magnificent lodge. It was their                                           up at 4:00 PM. They reluctantly
     first time to see Gumbo Flats. First                                          left, but with happy memories
     class, lighted piers were there. The                                          of a great day of angling and
     grass was trimmed around the                                                  the thoughts of returning as
                                                                                   soon as possible and doing
                                                                                   it again.




      Jones Activity Center participants enjoy a fun-filled day of fishing and
                          a picnic lunch at Gumbo Flats.



     Alzheimer’s Workshop Held At Clarksdale Housing Authority

     T        he Clarksdale Housing
              Authority hosted a work-
              shop on Alzheimers and
     other mental health issues on
     May 15, 2007. Held in the audito-
                                                                                         in the disease, life expectancy can be
                                                                                         increased up to 10 years.
                                                                                              Arnold also touched on other areas
                                                                                         of mental health that she felt were
                                                                                         important. Just like Alzheimers, early
     rium at the Jones Activity Center,                                                  diagnosis and treatment is definitely
     the workshop was for all of the                                                     the ideal situation in any mental illness.
     housing authority resident as                                                       By educating the general public on
     well as the general public. The                                                     what to look for and recognize, this
     turn-out was excellent.                                                             becomes more of a reality.
         Diane Arnold from the                                                                The Clarksdale Housing Authority
                                                 Diane Arnold conducts workshop.
     Mississippi Department of                                                          regularly schedules events such as this
     Mental Health presented the                                                        for its residents, often opening it up to
     informative program. She concentrated on making those             the other citizens in Clarksdale as well. Coming up later
     in attendance aware of the signs of early Alzheimers.             in June, a seminar on hypertension will be presented
     She stressed the importance of identifying and making             by Dr. Kenneth Kellough from the North Delta Medical
     an early diagnosis. If medication is started soon enough          Clinic.
12
   MHARM—Your Own Insurance Provider
   By: Tommy Robinson




                                                 YOU CAN PREVENT FIRES
                                                 Housing fires cause thousands of deaths each year
                                                 and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.
                                                  Many people think “it will not happen to me”
                                                  but it can happen and many times with deadly
                                                  consequences. Carelessness can endanger your
                                                  family, friends and neighbors.
                                                                                                                         FIRE FACTS
Many of the leading causes of housing fires are absolutely PREVENTABLE.
Three of the major causes of housing fires are Unattended Cooking, Candles and Smoking Related Incidents.
The following safety tips are easy to follow and could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.         Between 1999 and 2002, there were
                                                                                                                114,000 reported home fires associated
The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following safety tips:                                  with cooking equipment every year,
                                                                                                                resulting in an annual 290 deaths and
                                                                                                                4,380 injuries.
Cooking safety                                                                                                  During 2004, an estimated 17,200 home
                                                                                                                structure fires started by candles were
                                                                                                                reported to local fire departments.
� Always use cooking equipment tested and             � Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid              These fires resulted in an estimated 200
  approved by a recognized testing facility.            handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the           civilian deaths, 1,540 civilian injuries
                                                        stove, put on an oven mitt and smother the              and an estimated direct property loss of
� Never leave cooking food on the stovetop              flames by carefully sliding the lid over the            $200 million.
  unattended, and keep a close eye on food              pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the
  cooking inside the oven.                              lid until it is completely cool. Never pour             In 2003, there were an estimated 25,600
                                                        water on a grease fire and never discharge a            smoking-material structure fires in the
                                                        fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can            United States. These fires caused 760
� Keep cooking areas clean and clear of
                                                        spray or shoot burning grease around the                civilian deaths and 1,520 civilian injuries.
  combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags,
  drapes and food packaging).                           kitchen, actually spreading the fire.

� Keep children away from cooking areas by            � If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and
  enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet
  (1 meter) around the stove. Keep pets from
                                                        keep the door closed to prevent flames from
                                                        burning you and your clothing.                                           Smoking material-
  underfoot so you do not trip while cooking.
  Also, keep pets off cooking surfaces and near       � If there is a microwave fire, keep the door                                  related safety
  by countertops to prevent them from                   closed and unplug the microwave. Call the
  knocking things onto burner.                          fire department and make sure to have the
                                                        oven serviced before you use it again. Food         � If you smoke, smoke outside.
� Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled           cooked in a microwave can be dangerously
                                                        hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from        � Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
  sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can
  dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.             microwaved food carefully to prevent steam          � Before you throw out butts and ashes, make
                                                        burns.                                                sure they are out, and dousing in water or
� Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a                                                                 sand is the best way to do that.
  scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is
  heated.                                                                                                   � Check under furniture cushions and in other
                                                                                                              places people smoke for cigarette butts that
                                                                                                              may have fallen out of sight.

Candle safety                                                                                               � Never smoke in a home where oxygen is
                                                                                                              being used.

                                                                                                            � If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes.
� Extinguish all candles when leaving the room        � Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter              They are less likely to cause fires.
  or going to sleep.                                    inch and extinguish taper and pillar candles
                                                        when they get to within two inches of the           � To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you have
� Keep candles at least 1 foot away from                holder. Votives and containers should be              to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy,
  things that can catch fire, like clothing,            extinguished before the last half-inch of wax         have been drinking, or have taken medicine
  books and curtains.                                   starts to melt.                                       or other drugs.

� Use candle holders that are study, won't tip        � During power outages, avoid carrying a lit          � Keep matches and lighters up high, out of
  over easily, are made from a material that            candle. Use flashlights.                              children's sight and reach.
  cannot burn, and are large enough to collect
  dripping wax.                                       � The use of candles in bedrooms and
                                                        sleeping areas is strongly discouraged.
� Keep candles and all open flames away from
  flammable liquids.                                                                                            Information provided by


                                                                                                                                                               13
     From the Editor
     Me, Myself and I and Self Love
          At the outset let me declare myself as a traditionalist,   preparation for writing this article
     one whose mode of thought and behavior I inherited              I rented a cross section of movies
     from family generations. It’s a generational thing!! It has     and watched them more or less
     much to do with my Presbyterian Calvinistic upbringing          one after the other. Of the six or
     on one side of the family and Wesleyan on the other.            eight I watched every one of them
     In addition to that I am an alumni from the United              used the “f” word multiple times.                    Informer Editor,
     States Marine Corps, a tradition rich organization that         The Hollywood elite are leading the                   Floyd Johnson
     relies on its traditions to motivate and maintain values        way.
     of sacrifice, honor, patriotism and faithfulness to God,          W h i l e s o m e H o l l y w o o d p e o p l e l i ke B a r b a r a
     Country and fellow marines.                                       Streisand and George Clooney are truly progressive fanatics,
          In my traditionalist world wrong is the opposite of          most of the liberal media figures are not in that category. They
     truth, truth is the opposite of lies and those who obey           are more interested in themselves, in their personal success,
     the law as opposed to criminals. There was a time in              than in some political jihad.”
     our country when these things were recognized in                                                                         Bill O’Reilly
     black and white. What was – was; it was that simple
                                                                          We can go on and on with what Bill Oreilly in his
     but in the past few years we have
                                                                     book “Culture Warrior” calls the vicious assault on our
     allowed shades of gray to creep
                                               In my traditional-    American culture. Our traditional American values are
     in by shifting blame or making
                                                                     desperately in need of defense.
     excuses, or not acknowledging             ist world wrong
     our serious moral dilemma.                                        “There are in the body politic, economic and social, many and
                                               is the opposite
          There was a time when the                                    grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war
                                               of truth, truth is      upon them."
     family gathered around the table
     to take their meals following a           the opposite of                                                      Theodore Roosevelt
     prayer of thanksgiving. It was a          lies and those             None of our traditions are safe from this onslaught.
     time of family love, conversation         who obey the law      “In God we trust” would be removed from the face of
     and good humor. Now we are                                      our money. Indeed these forces of evil would like to
                                               as opposed to
     fortunate if a family can sit down                              completely remove it from our vocabulary in the name
     to a traditional Thanksgiving,            criminals.            of separation of church and state.
     Christmas or birthday. Mealtime is                                “Happy, happy Christmas that can win us back to the to the
     a great time for parenting.                                       delusions of our childish days, that can recall for the old man
          Where did all of this begin? Where has society               the pleasures of his youth, that can transport the sailor and
     failed? The sixties have come to be known as the protest          the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside
     decade or better still the protest generation as opposed          and his quiet home”.
     to the “greatest generation” before them. Somehow                                                                 Charles Dickens
     black and white merged into gray with a blurred vision
                                                                          Every year as Christmas approaches we get flooded
     of todays problems. If I were a polster I would go out on
                                                                     with news accounts of nativity scenes being removed
     the streets to see just how many young people know
                                                                     by court order, or school Christmas pageants being
     the “golden rule”. “Nah; asking a question like that in to-
                                                                     cancelled. To quote Bill O’Reilly again:
     days world would be too politically incorrect. My guess
     those knowing it would be in the minority. If I’m wrong           “Public expression of faith–one of the freedoms most cher-
     I wouldn’t miss it by much. You probably don't know it            ished by our Founding Fathers – should not beallowed to fall
     but you probably came from a traditionalist generation            victim to a pervasive misunderstanding of the First Amend-
     when it was taught even in schools. Did you know that             ment perpetuated by a handful of secularists and judicial
     practically every major religion in our world recognizes          activists. In particular, during this time of religious celebra-
     that time honored traditional statement as a necessary            tion for so many Americans (Christmas and Hanukah), we
     part of their creed? It does not belong to Christians             should remember that we should, by right, be free to exercise
     alone. Just as a reminder it goes like this: “Do unto             our religious beliefs openly and to celebrate those beliefs as
     others as you would have them do unto you.”                       we choose.”
          We live in a cynical age. I’m convinced that there           For generations, Christmas trees, nativity scenes,
     are certain powerful politicians who would like to see            Menorahs and other traditional public holiday items have
     our country fail in every worthwhile endeavor. Our                been displayed in places of business and public squares, large-
     young people seem to worship music that is irreverent             ly without objection. Groups could sing carols, schools could
     and demeaning, Hip Hop and Rap music with its                     hold pageants, children could exchange Christmas Cards…
     vile treatment of traditional values, its demeaning of            Today, however, it seems the first order of business every
     women with vulgar name calling and language, its                  December may soon be for Americans to consult their law-
     celebration in the killing of cops and its glorification          yers. For only then might they know whether they are in the
     of violence is nothing short of extreme cynicism. In              proper setting or sufficiently in compliance with complicated
14
Long time Region Seven executive director to retire




                                                                                                        ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
                                               Bob Brumfield, Executive Director at the Mississippi
                                          Regional Housing # Seven is retiring June 30, after fifty
                                          years at that job. During his tenure as Executive Director
                                          Bob served as president of MAHRO in 1968 and served on
                                          numerous committees at MAHRO and SERC.
                                               Bob is a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law
                                          School having graduated in 1953 and has been engaged in
                                          law practice in McComb, Mississippi, ever since along with
                                          his Housing Authority duties.
                                               He is married to his wife Dennie and they have three
                                          daughters, Janet Brumfield of Atlanta, Betsy Brumfield of
                                          Dallas and Brenda Swords of Tupelo. Dennie has been a
                                          great supporter of Bob his entire career and has been seen
                                          at all MAHRO and SERC Conferences.



 Gloria Smith, PHRS to retire
  We plan to honor the retirement of Gloria Smith, PHRS
  of the Jackson Hub Office, with a special farewell. So
  please join us Thursday, July 31, 2007 at 10:00 am. Her
  retirement is a very special occasion – the culmination
  of a career, and an event you will not want to miss!




 Coast commissioners receive award
    The Bay St. Louis and
 Waveland Commissioners
 receive an award for
 the hard work and
 determination          in
 consolidating the Bay
 St. Louis and Waveland
 Housing       Authorities
 in order to provide
 affordable housing in the
 most effective manner.



                                                                                                                15
                                                                                                Calendar of Events
Me, Myself and I
Continued from page 14
  Supreme Court “multi-pronged” or “balancing” tests before celebrating [Christmas              August 7, 2007
  or Hanukah].”                                                                                 MAHRO Summer Board
                                                                       Bill O’Reilly            Meeting
                                                                   Culture Warrior              Biloxi, MS
      In the first part of this article I made the statement that there was a time
in our history when many things could be seen in black or white, but now                        August 8-10, 2007
we have seen shades of gray creep in that distorts our moral vision. Later I                    MAHRO Annual Conference
said that our traditional values must be defended.                                              Biloxi, MS
      “A Scholar Warrior is capable of perceiving right and wrong in an all too
gray world and is just as capable of defending on the basis                                     September 9-11, 2007
  of that unstinting belief.”                                                                   PHADA Legislative
                                                                             Deng Ming-Dao
                                                                                                Conference
      There is a article appearing in a recent issue of the “U.S. News and
World Report “entitled” “Its All About Me”. The article asks many questions                     Washington, DC
about the young people of today but centers on their “self love”. There is a                    October 2007
statement that reads:
                                                                                                HUD/MAHRO Workshop
  Young people today are more narcissistic than their parents – dangerously so, the new
                                                                                                (TBA)
  Study concludes. San Diego State psychology Prof. Jean Twenge first warned about
  the burst in self-love – and its likely side effects of depression, anxiety, and cynicism –   Jackson, MS
  in her 2006 book, Generation Me. For the latest study, Twenge and her team analyzed           October 28-30
  over16,000 college students’ responses to the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, find-
  ing a jump in narcissism scores between 1982 and 2006. ”Isn’t narcissism just having a
                                                                                                NAHRO Annual Conference
  lot of self-esteem? “Someone who has high self-esteem has confidence In individualist         San Diego, CA
  areas but also tends to value good Relationships with other people. Someone who’s             November 2-3
  narcissistic is missing that piece about other people and relationships.”
                                                                                                SERC/NAHRO Committee
      So here we get to the crux of the matter, its “all about me”. Ideas like
the Golden Rule are forgotten or set aside for convenience sake. The Ideas
                                                                                                Meetings
of “living my life any way I want to” without regard to how it affects other                    Marco Island, FL
people is all too prevalent. It is a recipe for disaster.                                       November 4-6
      We have strayed away from the old tried and true (Give me that old
Time Religion of our forebears). We must return to teaching moral values                        SERC/NAHRO Fall Workshop
and recognize that we are our brothers keeper. They may keep the ten                            Marco Island, FL
commandments out of our court houses but they can’t keep them out of
our hearts and homes.
                                                                               Floyd Johnson
     The opinions expressed in this article
     are those of the author and not necessarily
     those of SERC-NAHRO officials.



MAHRO
INFORMER
P.O. Box 795
Starkville, Mississippi 39759


 The MAHRO Informer is an
 official publication of the
 Mississippi Association of
 Housing and Redevelopment
 Officials.
 Please submit articles to:
 MAHRO Informer
 P.O. Box 795
 Starkville, MS 39759
 www.mahro.org

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