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Summer 2008 Mississippi Association for Housing and


									                                 Summer 2008           Mississippi Association for Housing
                                                              and Redevelopment Officials

                                                             In the

                                                             From the President      2

                                                             HUD Happenings          6

                                                             Conference           8 &9

                                                             Maintenace Corner      12

                                                             MHARM                  13

                                                             From the Editor        14
Vice President of MAHRO Commissioners Ida Minor with
committee chair persons conducts opening ceremonies.         Acknowledgements       15
See story on page 7.
                                                             Calendar               16
      Speaking on                                 greatly appreciated. For updates and information please visit our website
      our recent                                  at
                                                      MAHRO is YOUR Association and we are here to serve the members.
      and upcom-                                  Please feel free to let us know how we are doing and how we might bet-
      ing events                                  ter meet your needs.
                                                      Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President.
           We had a                                                                                        Ailrick D. Young
      near record turn                                                                                  MAHRO President
      out at our recent       Ailrick D. Young
      Conference in Point Clear, AL.
                                                  MAHRO Annual
                                                  Conference–August 20-22
      Commissioners participated in
      our ever popular round table
      discussions        and           heard
      presentations from Juan Patterson
      and our State HUD Officials at one
      of the best venues in the southeast.
      Most would agree that we had an                                               MAHRO
      excellent conference and the                           MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATION OF HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT OFFICIALS
                                                                                AILRICK YOUNG, PRESIDENT
      information presented was                                              Post Office Box 2910 * Laurel, MS 39442-2910
                                                                  WWW.MAHRO.ORG      601.425.4651 * fax 601.425.7977 *
      relevant and timely. We will
      continue to provide training that
      addresses your housing authority
      needs and strive to exceed your            To: MAHRO Exhibitors:
      expectations.                              The Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (MAHRO)
          As most of you are transition-         cordially invites you to join us as an exhibitor or professional for the 64th Annual
                                                 Conference to be held at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi,
      ing or preparing to transition to          August 20-22, 2008.
      Asset Management, we contin-
                                                 Representing 55 Housing Authorities within the State of Mississippi, this Annual
      ue to seek the training tools to           Conference offers you a tremendous opportunity to make important contacts with
      assist you in your efforts. We will        MAHRO’s membership.

      conduct a number of training ses-          Enclosed is an application that must be completed and returned with your
      sions leading up to our Western            registration fee to: MAHRO c/o Judy Mellard, MAHRO Exhibits Committee no later
                                                 than Monday, July 7, 2008. Also enclosed is a list of sponsorship opportunities for your
      themed Annual Conference                   company. Please note that your company has the option of sponsoring an entire event or
                                                 co-sponsoring an event. This sponsorship will be acknowledged in the convention program.
      August 20-22, 2008 at the Beau             The Exhibit Hall is located on the Beau Rivage Convention Center Level, which is on the
      Rivage Resort and Casino. Most of          second floor of the hotel.
      these training sessions will con-          The Beau Rivage offers MAHRO Conference attendees a price of $125.00 (plus 12% sales
      centrate on the compliance issues          tax) per night, for single and/or double occupancy. To insure payment of incidentals, a
                                                 credit card or $100 cash deposit will be required at check-in for all guests. In order to
      dealing with Asset Management.             receive this special discounted rate, you must make your hotel room reservations directly by
      We also hope to have HUD                   calling Beau Rivage Reservations Department at 1-888-383-7037 and reference the
                                                 MAHRO Annual Conference no later than July 18, 2008. It is your responsibility to make
      Officials from Washington DC               your own hotel room reservations.
      presenting at our annual confer-           MAHRO genuinely appreciates your participation in making the Annual Conference a
      ence to clarify any recent asset           success.
      management regulatory changes              If you have any questions and/or suggestions regarding the Conference, please feel free to
      and answer any questions regard-           contact me by phone at (662) 495-2004 or by email at or you can
                                                 contact Judy Mellard at (601) 583-1881 or . We also invite you to
      ing asset management.                      visit our website at
          We would expecially like               Looking forward to seeing you at MAHRO’s 64th Annual Conference!
      to extend an invitation to our
                                                 Bob Farrar
      exhibitors. Your continued support         Exhibits Chairman
      and participation for 64 years is
Meridian Housing Authority
Welcomes A Second Liaison Officer
     Dareall Thompson, a seven year veteran with the       security in and around
Meridian Police Department, will serve as the second       the housing areas. The
Liaison Officer for the Housing Authority of the City of   addition of a second
Meridian. Officer Thompson is married with two children.   Liaison Officer will allow
His goals for the Meridian Housing Authority Security      residents to have more
Program are to assist in providing additional security,    police patrol to better
safety, and communication with the police department       foster and enhance a
for the residents. He plans to have an open door policy    secure environment         Liaison Officer Dareall Thompson
and encourages all residents to communicate with him       for MHA residents and
concerning all safety issues. His knowledge of police      staff. MHA would like to welcome Officer Thompson as
and Meridian Housing Authority policies is immense         the second Liaison Officer and to wish him well in his
and he plans on using his skills to better improve the     endeavor.

 Western Garden News—
 Former Western Gardens
 Residents Begins Teaching Career
  T        yrone Neal is one of many that has not let his circumstanc-
           es determine is fate. Tyrone is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher
           for the Meridian Public School District and is located at the
  Eastern Gardens Pre-K site. Tyrone grew up in Western Gardens
  with his mother for thirteen years. He is a graduate of Meridian High
  School. He attended Meridian Community College and earned an
  AA degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and then went on
  to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the
  University of West Alabama. He is currently pursuing his Master’s
  Degree in Elementary Education. When asked why he became a
  teacher, Tyrone’s response was to give back to the community. His
  inspiration, he states is Ricky Hood, Director of the Boys and Girls.
  Tyrone has been a member of the Boys and Girls Club since the age
  of eight and still volunteers on a daily basis. Tyrone is now a tutor
  for the program. Tyrone is a prime example of determination in
  overcoming obstacles to achieve your goals.                               Tyrone Neal with his Pre-Kindergarten Students.

   Resident Begins Her Literary Career
          ashina Bloxson, a resident of Western            must start walking in love and showing more
          Gardens, has written an inspiring                kindness towards one another. The book may
          book about how we must start treat-              be purchased on line at www.authorhouse.
  ing others the way we want them to treat us.             com. The RAB encourages all residents to use
  She is the parent of two daughters and her               Ms. Bloxson’s example to work toward attain-
  future plans are to become a fashion designer.           ing their goals and life long dreams.
  She states in the book, that we as a society,

    Journey of
    Purpose in
    Changing Times
    2008 NAHRO Legislative Conference

                                                                               his year’s conference theme, Journey of
                                                                               Purpose, was selected to underscore the
                                                                               essential role that we play in our communi-
                                                                    ties, as well as to reinforce how critical our role will con-
                                                                    tinue to be during this year of transition and beyond.
                                                                    Represenatives were able to voice their experience and
                                                                    knowledge of what works, what does not, and why is
                                                                    essential to ensuring the ongoing availability of tools
                                                                    and resources necessary to meet affordable housing
    Representatves meet with Congressman Gene Taylor.               needs and community development challenges in our
                                                                        Taking the Journey with MAHRO President Ailrick
                                                                    Young to Washington for the March 31-April 2, 2008
                                                                    NAHRO Legislative Conference were a total of eighteen
                                                                    Mississippi representatives from Long Beach, TVRHA,
                                                                    Region VI, Yazoo, Biloxi and Laurel.
                                                                        Due to the size of the group compared to the size
                                                                    of the Legislator’s Offices we decided to split up for all
                                                                    the visits except with Congressman Taylor. We visited

    MAHRO President Ailrick Young and representatives reach their
                                                                    with the Legislator’s on the Hill on Tuesday April 1, 2008
    journey to Capitol Hill.                                                                                     Continued on page 5
Continued from page 4.
                                                                                                                 Greggory Flippen
throughout the day.                                                                                              and Cora Wade
                                                                                                                 Seals, take a quick
     A small group visited with Congressman Pickering and                                                        moment to speak
                                                                                                                 before the next
one of his staff persons. Representative from Biloxi, Long                                                       meeting.
Beach, Yazoo, Region VI, Laurel and TVRHA visited with
Congressman Taylor, who left a hearing he was participating
in too see our group. Biloxi, Long Beach and Laurel visited
with staff members from Senator Cochran’s office. Yazoo
and Region VI visited with members from Congressman
Thomson’s office and we were unable to get an appointment
with Senator Wicker’s office. All in all the visits went really
     We took an approach of first thanking the Legislator’s
for the work that we are doing on behalf of MS, lay out
concerns/position on current housing legislative issues
and Biloxi Housing Authority Representatives expressed
some concerns that were specific to the coastal Housing
                                                                    Ailrick Young, Congressman Chip Pickering, LaNelle Davis and
     This approach seemed to go over well and most of               Thomas Coleman during meetings on Capitol Hill.

the legislator’s were acutely aware of the current housing
legislative issues.
                                                                  A total of 18 Mississippi representatives from Long Beach, TVRHA,
                                                                  Region VI, Yazoo, Biloxi and Laurel made the journey to Capitol Hill.

     HUD Happenings
     NDC’s RHDFP Certification Program is Coming to MS in 2008!
          If you are considering doing development then these          Finance course.
     courses are for you and your agency. We encourage you                   NDC course dates, location and registration
     to participate in this fabulous opportunity.                      information are listed below. Also visit
          Mark Your Calendars for NDC’s Rental Housing                 for updates.
     Development Finance Professional
     (RHDFP) Certification Program in                                                                       NDC Training
          The National Development Council’s              Housing                                              Opportunity
     (NDC) 3-course RHDFP Certification
     Program is an intense training series                Development Finance
     that thoroughly examines the practice
                                                          Professional Certification Program

     of affordable rental housing finance and
     development. Participants from public
     agencies and non-profit organizations           Hattiesburg, Mississippi
     learn the steps of the rental housing
     development process, the techniques            HDFPCertification Program            TM

     used to analyze and structure financing        The National Development Council’s Housing Development Finance
     for rental housing deals, and the problem      Professional Certification Program thoroughly examines the practice of
                                                    affordable housing finance and development. Participants learn the steps of
     solving and negotiating skills needed to       the housing development process, the techniques used to analyze and
     make complicated deals feasible. Topics        structure financing for home ownership and rental housing deals, and the
     include the rental housing development         problem solving and negotiating skills needed to make complicated deals
                                                    feasible. Topics include the housing development process, Historic
     process, Historic Rehabilitation and Low-      Rehabilitation and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, negotiating, problem
     Income Housing Tax Credits, negotiating,       solving, deal structuring and more!
     problem solving, deal structuring and          Course & Tuition Schedule
     more! Participants may opt to augment
                                                    HD 420 – Rental Housing                                                  $975
     the rental housing curriculum by taking                   Development Finance                               July 21-25, 2008
     the 4-day HD410—Home Ownership
                                                         HD 410 – Home Ownership                                             $780
                                                                  Finance                                        Aug. 25-28, 2008

      State of the State                                 HD 422 – Computer Spread Sheet
                                                                  Analysis for Housing
                                                                                                                 Oct. 20-22, 2008
      Affordable Housing                                 HD 430 – Housing Development Finance:                              $975
      Symposium                                                   Problem Solving and Deal Structuring                 Feb. 2009

          The Office of Public Housing             Registration Information
                                                                                                                                 Save 10% on
      in coordination with HUD’s Policy            To register, complete and fax a printable registration form, available        tuition if you
                                                   online at, to NDC’s Training
      development and Research hosted a            Division at 859-578-4860 or complete and submit the online form.            register and pay
      State of Affordable Housing meeting in                                                                                    30 days before
      Jackson, MS, March 20, 2008. The focus       Training Partners                       Contact Information                  the start of the
      was on the availability of affordable        South MS Housing Development Corp.      National Development Council             course !

      housing and rental use with the housing                                              927 Dudley Road    Edgewood, KY 41017
                                                   U.S. Department of HUD                  ph: 859-578-4850 fax: 859-578-4860
      choice voucher program, fair market                                        
      rents, analysis of housing stock in MS,      MS Association of Housing &
                                                   Redevelopment Officials (MAHRO)
      and addressed solutions to impact the
      affordable housing barriers not only
      in the Gulf coast but throughout MS.
      Over 40 participants representing, state
      organizations, FEMA, PHAs, non profits, Board of Commissioners, Alternative Housing, Fair Housing, and Multifamily
      developers participated.

      Affordable Rental Housing Crisis
           The state of Mississippi is in an affordable rental housing crisis. A large portion of the rental stock in Mississippi is
      approaching 30 or 40 years since construction, and there is a need for rehab or replacement. Mississippi housing stock
      is old, and since Hurricane Katrina affordable rental housing is very scarce.
           Lack of availability of adequate, affordable rental housing has resulted in a severe Housing Choice Voucher crisis.
      PHAs across MS are experiencing the continued impact of Katrina issues effecting the utilization and lease up of the
      Housing Choice Voucher program. The housing authorities that were in the most severely impacted areas were able
      to request preservation of their funds for 2008. However, we do not know what the budget will entail for 2009. Other
      housing authorities in the federally declared disaster area have not been given the option to preserve their funds or
      explain the impact Katrina has had on the area housing stock.
           The state seeks to lose 35 million dollars if funding cannot be preserved. This is a significant loss – one third
      of the total 90 million dollars in funding. Potentially, 8,100 families could be impacted by this loss. In the midst of
      this affordable rental housing and Housing Choice Voucher crisis, it is more important than ever that Public Housing
 6    Authorities start developing.
Executive Directors Retreat—
    Good to the last drop!
M           axwell
            Coffee is known
            for being good
to the last drop. This same
phrase can be used to
                        House                                                                    the audience
                                                                                                 on Continuity
                                                                                                 Of Operations
                                                                                                 P l a n n i n g Airlick Young directs the director
                                                                                                 (COOP). Their
describe the 2008 Executive                                                                      topic dealt with Emergency
Director’s Retreat that was                                                                      Disaster Preparedness.
held February 10-12, 2008.                                                                            After a great luncheon,
This great event was held                                                                        the group was geared up for
in Meridian, MS and hosted                                                                       the second half of the session.
by MAHRO’s Central Mini                                                                          Holly Bellino and William
Group. The Co-Chairs, Betty                                                                      Radau informed the attendants
                                                Above ? and Thomas Coleman
Reed, executive director of                                                                      of the MASS updates.
Yazoo City Housing Authority       Below: Barbara Skipper, Maggie Forest and Milan Hoze               Stan Beasley, executive
and Ron Turner, executive                                                                        director for Canton Housing
director of Meridian Housing                                                                    Authority, Sheila Jackson,
Authority did an outstanding                                                                    exeutive director for Jackson
job to make this a successful                                                                   Housing Authority and Alfred
retreat.                                                                                        Moore, executive director for
     Monday,         February                                                                   Holly Springs Housing Authority
11 was the first day of the                                                                     were participants for a panel
session. After greetings from                                                                   discussion entitled “How Are
MAHRO’s presiding president,                                                                    You Surviving?” All hats were
Ailrick Young, prayer followed                                                                  off to the panel for a job well
by Pastor Zachary Operton                                                                       done.
of Mount Olive Baptist                                                                               Katina Pace with Mississippi
Church in Meridian, MS. The                                                                     Home Corporation addressed
attendees were welcomed to                                                                      the audience with tax credit
the great city of Meridian by                                                                   information.
the honorable Mayor John                                                                             Although the sessions
Robert Smith, Alvin Stewart,                                                                    were concluded, this did not
Meridian Housing Authority’s                                                                    end the evening. There is
board chairman, and co-                                                                         nothing like good food, good
chairs, Betty Reed and Ron                                                                      fun, good housing authority
Turner.                                                                                         family and live entertainment
     Lanelle     Davis,     VP                                                                  featuring “Shed Waters and the
Professional Development,                                                                       Sweet Sounds of Meridian” to
reported      on     training    Above ?, Holly Belino, Curtistine Mitchell, Calvin Mitchell,
                                                                                                complete a good day!
updates.      Holly Bellino,                     and Royal Ann Spencer.                              Tuesday, February 12 was
Director of Jackson’s HUD                                                                       the final day for the retreat.
                                    Below: Holly Belino, Bob Farrar and LaNelle Davis.
office, shared with the group                                                                   Ken Love, Vice President of
some HUD updates and                                                                            Business Development with
goal plans. Shirley Bowen, a                                                                    Energy Conservation, shared
representative of Enterprise                                                                    information and material
Corporation of the Delta                                                                        focusing on Energy Performance
(ECD) was very informative                                                                      Contracting.
concerning           Creative                                                                        As it is with all good things
Revitalization/Community                                                                        coming to an end, MAHRO’s
Development. Steven Sneller,                                                                    2008 Executive Director’s
a HUD representative and                                                                        Retreat was adjourned!
Jim Nakashima of Monterey
Housing Authority educated
    MAHRO Commissioner's
    Conference -'08                                                                           MAHRO President
                                                                                                  Ailrick Young
                                                                                              waits to make the
                                                                                              opening remarks.

    M             ore than 240 people gathered at the Historic Resort of Point
                  Clear, Alabama to “Catch the Vision!” These were representatives
                  of 44 housing authorities across the state of Mississippi. We’re
    talking about a red carpet affair! VIPs such as, the President (of MAHRO), the
    Vice-President (of Commissioners), the Secretary of State (of MAHRO) and
    Past Presidents (of MAHRO) attended this special event. We are referring to
    MAHRO’s 2008 Annual Commissioners Conference held April 13-15, 2008 at
    the Grand Marriott Resort.
         Mrs. Ida Minor of Hazlehurst, Vice-President of Commissioners, did a
    remarkable job presiding over this great conference. The general session
    opened with the presentation of colors performed by Veterans of Foreign
    Wars color guard. Mr. James O. Belton, Commissioner for MRHA VII, led the
    Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Cora Wade Seals, Commissioner for Laurel Housing
    Authority, led the National Anthem and Mrs. Peggy Strickland, Commissioner
    for Winona Housing Authority, offered the invocation.
         The attendees were greeted and welcomed by Ida Minor; MAHRO
    President, Ailrick Young; SERC Vice-President of Commissioners, Marijo
    Denson; David Clark, Chairman of Eastern Shore Chamber; and Holly Bellino,       Above: Vice President of Commissioners,
                                                                                     Ida Minor of Hazelhurst greeted and
    Jackson HUB Director.
                                                                                     welcomed attendees.
          After briefing the group on the HUD updates, Holly Bellino presented a
    power point presentation concerning Mississippi Affordable Rental Housing        Below: With pen and paper in hand and
    Challenges. At the end of her presentation, Holly demonstrated with a fishing    powerpoint, HUD Director Holly Belino
                                                                                     presents her "Catch The Vision" to the
    rod and reel how to “catch the vision” and make it become reality.               commissioners.
          Juan Patterson from Plano, Texas, owner of PSystems, provided the
    audience with a very informative power point presentation entitled Changing
    Role of the PHA Commissioner. He ended his presentation with word to the
    wise, “Commissioners, you are the wind beneath the wings of your PHA!”
          At the conference to “Campaign for Housing America,” was Charles
    Weatherly, Commissioner for Starkville Housing Authority. He shared some
    interesting projects and events that his housing authority used to promote
    Housing America Campaign 2008. He challenged each commissioner to
    “Make Something Happen” to promote the campaign at his/her housing
          We have heard that talk is cheap. Well, this was not the case for the
    roundtable discussions held during the conference. There were seven different
    discussions going on and all of the information was valuable and useful.
    Holly Bellino and Gerolene Rayborn, Commissioner for MRHA VIII, discussed
    Diversifying Your Funding. Juan Patterson and William Radu (HUD) discussed
    Responsibilities of the Commissioner. Lucious Cameron, Executive Director
8                                                                                                                 Continued on page 9
"We Caught the Vision" at Point Clear
Continued from page 8
                                                       for MRHA VII and Robert Baughman, Commissioner for MRHA VII
                                                       spoke on Management Assessment Subsystems. Tommy Robinson,
                                                       Executive Director for MRHA IV, and Philip Rutledge, affiliated with
                                                       Arthur Gallagher, had a MHARM Questions and Answers Session.
                                                       Geraldine Moore and Dawn Gainwell, Commissioners for Yazoo
                                                       Housing Authority discussed Building A Better Team. Wayne Winter,
                                                       Commissioner for Clarksdale Housing Authority, shared ideas of
                                                       how they were Assisting with the Golden Years. Last but not least,
                                                       Earl Weeks, Executive Director for Columbus Housing Authority,

Above: Commissioners at roundtable discussions.
Below: Commissioners and spouses at the banquet.

                                                                                             Above: Relaxing with game of
                                                                                             crochet on the grounds of the Grand
                                                                                             Marriot Resort at Point Clear.
                                                                                             Below: Judy Mellard agrees—it was a
                                                                                             great conference!

                                                              Patience Mike, patience.
Tommy Robinson and Brian Power enjoying the banquet.

discussed Public Relations with Residents and Community.
     Although there was a chill in the air, this did not stop the scheduled outdoor
team building activities. Participants engaged in bingo, fishing, putt-putt golf, table
tennis and horseshoe. There were winners and fun!
     After a day of informative sessions, discussions and activities, the group settled
down to an elegant dinner and entertainment from Jones Jr. College, Ellisville, MS
nationally recognized show choir, “Jones on on Stage.”
      Other highlights of this conference included Tax Credit information shared
by Juan Patterson and Commissioners of the Year Award. Commissioners nominated for this award were: George
Winter for the Clarksdale HA; S.B. “Sammy” Platt III for the Columbus HA; Patricia Bell for the Attala HA; Delores Harbor
for the Yazoo HA. The Commissioner Service Award was presented to Merle McKewen for the Jackson HA and the
Commissioner of the Year Award was presented to Jeanelle Kidd for Meridian HA. Congratulations to all recipients!
     As Ida Minor, Vice President of Commissioners, stated in the bulletin, “We hope that you were able to Catch the
Vision at this 2008 Annual Commissioners Conference. Take the vision with you and help it to become reality.”
     Hope VI America Campaign—2008
         The Campaign is a year-long public awareness effort established with
     the purpose of informing the public and decision makers about the need
     to meet the country’s affordable housing and community development
     challenges. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
     Officials (NAHRO) is joined in the campaign by partners from the non-
     profit, governmental, and private sectors, including the State association
     (MAHRO) and local housing authorities in our state.
         “Make Something Happen” to promote the Campaign locally.

     Projects and Events that your local housing authority board and staff can do in promoting the campaign.
     1) Proclamation. Have the local Mayor declare by Proclamation that April is Housing America Month. There might
        be a photo op with this, along with a story for the local paper. (Photo of the local board with the mayor or the
        local Board chairman and a local housing resident with the mayor, etc.) NAHRO already has adopted a procla-
        mation to support the Campaign, and MAHRO will do the same. Enclosed is a sample draft that you may use or
        modify as needed. Have your local or board attorney “tweek” it if you wish.
     2) Birthday Party. Have a birthday party at the local housing authority to celebrate the occasion of the ??th year
        since the founding of the local authority. Maybe have a “cake cutting” with a couple of the eldest residents on
        hand for a photo op and news story. A tree planting at the housing site and/or tours of the housings facilities
        might be tied in with this event or held separately. Contact the Arbor Day Foundation or a local garden club to
        assist you with the tree planting. (Another op for more publicity). The children could be invited to be involved by
        painting a mural or posters related to the event.
     3) Coffee Break. Local banks, especially the one that handles your housing funds, might have a “coffee break” one
        day for the ED and board and/or representatives of the local resident councils of the local housing authority. This
        might tie in with No. (2) or held as a separate event.
     4) Capital Funds Program. If some construction or renovation is underway using the Capital Funds Program, a
        photo op or news story might be written focusing on Capital Funds projects in recent years and what they have
        done to upgrade our housing units. This could emphasize the importance of the Capital Funds Program to keep
        these valuable community assets maintained and upgraded for the deserving and needy people in our midst
        who might not otherwise have a safe, clean and affordable home. If the project warrants it, a ribbon cutting or
        dedication might be done when it is complete.
     5) Section 8 Homeownership. If your local housing authority is offering the Section 8 Homeownership Program,
        have the local news media publicize the event when a resident transitions to homeownership. A ribbon cutting
        at the new home might be staged for a photo op and/or news story.
     6) Community Outreach Services. Single out some of the best known local outreach programs of the local hous-
        ing authority, and have a photo op and news story related to them. Might involve them with the Birthday Party.
     7) Festivals, Events. If the local community has some type of spring festival or annual event, see if the local author-
        ity might partnership with the effort. An example in Starkville is a thing called Starkville Reads at the library, and
        we might see if we can get one or our eldest residents or young student who is a resident to be involved. We also
        have a thing called Cotton District Arts Festival. We might see if we can set up some kind of display about SHA at
        the festival or have children drawing murals/posters at the festival site.
     8) Local Churches, Schools, Libraries. These and other local organizations might want to be involved in some way
        if they were asked.
     9) Resident’s Council. Discuss with your local Resident’s Council and see if they have any ideas on how to promote
        the campaign locally or want to be involved.
     10) Resources. Buttons, pens, t shirts and other promotional items are available for purchase from the NAHRO web-
        site tool kit at very reasonable cost. These could be used effectively at any or all of the events. (Go to: NAHRO.
        org, click on the Housing America logo on the right side of the page. From the Housing America Campaign -2008,
        scroll down to Housing America Store. You will find the various products there.)

Gulf Coast Housing Authorities
Post Katrina Report
By: William J. “Bubba” Harper
     “You can’t judge the success or failure at the end of your        damaged or destroyed, 80 are
journey until you have carefully considered the beginning.”            now completed and occupied.
     Recently we made a call to the five Gulf Coast Housing            Waveland/Bay St. Louis Hous-
Authorities to inquire as to their progress in the aftermath           ing Authorities—It is well publi-
of Hurricane Katrina. The participants included the                    cized that to the Waveland and Bay St. Louis Housing Authorities
Housing Authorities of Biloxi, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis, and          were the recipients of a 100% total and catastrophic loss of their
Waveland.                                                              housing inventory.
     Each of these coast housing authorities are the                        The Waveland Housing Authority though small with
recipients of a 100 million dollar CDBG grant, administered            75 housing units, an office, and a new warehouse was
by the Mississippi Development Authority. The monies that              among the healthiest, most successful, and well managed
each PHA is to receive is based, at least in part, on the size,
                                                                       and maintained PHA’s in the state.
number of units, damages, etc. sustained by each PHA by
                                                                            When Katrina waters receded, all that could be salvaged
Hurricane Katrina.
                                                                       was the remnants of their maintenance warehouse, which
     It appears that the preliminary assessments, including
                                                                       after the storm, apparently served as home and incubator
physical needs, cost estimates, application and draw down
                                                                       for hundreds of black widow spiders that claimed the
procedures, and a myriad of environmental hurdles have
                                                                       warehouse as their home.
been completed or are near completion, paving the way to
                                                                            In addition, Karen Ladner, Executive Director after
access those monies.
                                                                       sustaining catastrophic damages to her home, now resides
     The CDBG monies and their availability will prove to be
                                                                       in a storage shed on her property that was spared from total
a significant milestone in the recovery effort of the PHA’s.
                                                                       loss. The colorful and affable maintenance man, “Poochie”
The Dept. of H.U.D., Miss. Development Authority, and
                                                                       Luxich spent several years building his new home with his
their consultants deserve our congratulations for their hard
                                                                       own hands and time, spent only one single day in the new
                                                                       home when Katrina came to claim it.
     This, of course, is just the beginning for the coast PHA’s
as brick, mortar, and occupancy remain on the horizon and              The Bay St. Louis Housing Authority—likewise, was deter-
much work remains to be done.                                          mined to be a total loss with 101 housing units designated for
The following is a brief “snapshot” of the status of each PHA.
                                                                            Despite the loss, heartbreak, and suffering of residents
Long Beach Housing Authority—Located immediately north                 and staff, the Waveland and Bay St. Louis Housing Authorities
of the east/west running railroad tracks, benefited from their loca-   have picked themselves up and “soldiered on”. They are now
tion in that the railroad apparently served as a “buffer” to protect   completing the process of combining the two former PHA’s
their 75 housing units and office from total destruction.              into one single PHA, hereinafter designated as the Bay/
      LaNelle Davis, Executive Director, informed us of their          Waveland Housing Authority.
intentions to utilize their CDBG monies to comprehensively                  Karen Ladner reports that their reconstruction efforts
rehab their housing units, including the office and community          are forecasted to be completed in stages with stage I
center. Plans and specifications for the project are currently         targeting 41 public housing units and 39 tax credit units
being prepared by the well known and accomplished                      in Waveland and 65 public housing units and 64 tax credit
architectural firm Jones/Zander, Ltd.                                  units slated for the Bay St. Louis area. In addition, they will
     Although heavily damaged, the Housing Authority has               administer 15 Section 8 Vouchers with applications for an
managed to occupy 42 of their 75 housing units as the date             additional 160 vouchers scheduled for the future.
of this writing. Many thanks to LaNelle Davis for her tireless              What was once thought to be impossible is becoming
efforts to affectively recover despite her own personal loss           a reality as these fine dedicated Housing Authority directors
of her home.                                                           facing a myriad of seemingly insurmountable obstacles
Biloxi Housing Authority—The day before Hurricane Katrina              from personal and family loss, funding shortages, wind
struck the coast, the Biloxi Housing Authority had 474 units of        pool insurance reported at an incredible 300% cost
conventional public housing in their inventory. They also had          increase, environmental, elevation and code changes, and
384 units of housing under construction under a HOPE VI Pro-           competition for expensive and precious property suitable
gram, with 199 Section 8 vouchers issued. The day after Katrina        for development, have resurrected life from chaos.
struck, the Biloxi Housing Authority had sustained a loss of 272            Many battles have been won and some lost, but the war
conventional housing units with 172 of the 272 housing units           goes on with the final event to be scheduled at some future
being totally destroyed. Their Section 8 Voucher program went          date, when some fine glorious day we will be participating
from 199 voucher holders to zero voucher holders, and their 384        no doubt in some ribbon cutting or grand opening event,
HOPE VI units were either destroyed or heavily damaged.                opening the door for the needy people of our beloved
     Mr. Bobby Hensley and his staff are to be commended               community. This, my friends, is when the rubber meets the
on their recovery progress to date. Mr. Hensley reports                road. It is what we live and work for and we pray for the
that as of this writing, they are 90% complete with repairs            continued guidance and dedication of the fine men and
to the HOPE VI units, have issued 210 Section 8 Vouchers,              women participating in our recovery.
and report that of the 272 conventional units that were                     Good luck and God bless.
     Maintenance Corner—by Johnny Taylor

                                                                                                         Johnny Taylor

          Would your residents know what to do if a fire         the detector because it went off falsely or it was
     started in their home? Would their children? Most of us     chirping due to a low battery. PHA’s have tried many
     would probably answer “NO”. Here’s just one example. A      different ways to prevent residents from disconnecting
     resident was in the kitchen cooking. Something on the       the detector with little success. I think education is the
     range boiled over and caught fire. The resident exited      only way to correct this problem. Fire extinguishers are
     the kitchen through the back door passing within            the best means of saving a unit that’s available to our
     inches of the fire extinguisher, which was hanging on       residents. Face it; all of us will have “another” a fire. Some
     the wall beside the back door. Thankfully, a neighbor       PHA’s have decided not to furnish fire extinguishers
     called the fire department, which arrived quickly and       because they’re a problem to maintain. Extinguishers
     extinguished the fire.                                      are removed from the unit to cool down canned drinks,
          I know it would be impossible to train all of our      sold at the local pawn shop, the regulations require
     residents, but the time to start is now.                    third party inspections and REAC writes up the PHA
          Take the time to review fire safety facts and tips     and deducts points if they fail inspection. Yes, they are
     with the residents at any opportunity so they can be        a problem to maintain, but what’s the cost of a burned
     prepared in the event of a fire emergency in their          unit versus the cost of maintaining fire extinguishers in
     home.                                                       the units?
          A couple of things I consider very important are            The protection of life and property is critically
     smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Residents           important; fire is just one area where we can make a
     should know how to test the smoke detector. They            difference. Make fire safety an area where you’re pro-
     should also know the difference between a smoke             active.
     detector and a carbon monoxide detector. Both are                Remember what Larry said, Get “R” Done.
     important. The main reason smoke detectors fail is                               Johnny Taylor—Maintenance TVRHA
     because someone removed the battery or disconnected

      Mississippi Regional Housing Authority V appoints new director
           David Miller was recently         the former Executive Director
      appointed January 2008 to the          will be staying on as a part-
      Executive Director’s position at       time consultant and she is an
      Mississippi Regional Housing           enormous help in that area.
      Authority in Newton, Mississippi.      With all of her experience and
           David has been with Region V      a competent staff, he feels
      for almost 28 years where he was       confident the housing authority
      the Public Housing Director and        will continue to operate
      Asset Management Director. He          smoothly.
      has been with the Authority since           Many projects are underway
      September 1980.                        such as units in Carthage that
           As Executive Director, David      will be rehabbed and some in
      is responsible for overseeing          Union are being demolitioned.           New Executive Director David Miller for
                                                                                        Mississippi Regional Housing V.
      the operations of the housing          There have been many changes
      authority. He has dealt with most      in the last serveral years, such as           MRHA V serves eleven
      all aspects of public housing, but     the project-based accounting and          counties in central Mississippi
      feels his biggest challenge as         moving to a new facility. David           that provide Section 8 housing.
      Executive Director is working with     has been at the authority long            Seven of those eleven counties
      the budgets and of course that is a    enough to have seen it all. You           provide public housing. There are
      big part of the director’s position.   have to change with the times and         11 board members represented at
      But to his advantage, Judy Pinson,     keep moving towards the future.           the authority.
MHARM holds Insurance Workshop
                                                   The MHARM Insurance workshop was held on May 12-13 in
                                              Choctaw, MS. The workshop was well attended and provided
                                              beneficial risk management training as well as good information
                                              about our insurance program. Training topics included a briefing
                                              on the new Risk Management Agreement and Loss Funds, Tenant
                                              Fire Safety Orientation by Ginger Hand Fire Safety Coordinator
                                              of the Meridian Housing Authority, and Loss Control Sessions
                                              by Phil Hinton, A.J. Gallagher
                                              Risk Management Services
                                              Loss Control.
MHARM Board members at the workshop.
                                                 Training continued the
next day with Chris Rock, Branch Manager of Gallagher Bassett Services
providing insight on claims reporting and review. Philip Rutledge provided
an overview of coverages and Tommy Robinson presented the model
Disaster Preparedness Plan. The session ended with a report on MHARM
financial information.
    The workshop was a success with many positive comments from those
                                                                             Johnny Taylor and Sheila Johnson take time
who attended.                                                                out to have a chat.

MHARM—Your Own Insurance Provider
By: Tommy Robinson

“What to Consider When Developing a Site Specific Risk Management Plan”.
    Risk Management is a global approach to protecting personnel, property, members of
the public and finances. Routine to every risk management program are specific pre-loss and
                                                                                            Tommy Robinson
post-loss activities:
Pre-loss issues include:
n   Regularly scheduled and documented site safety reviews
n   Regularly scheduled and documented employee safety meetings
n   Specific procedures to both document and prioritize response to maintenance issues
n   Site security reviews; checking for property lighting, removal of overgrown landscaping, locks,
    security personnel, etc.
n   Documented playground inspections, including removal of out-dated equipment and updating
    appropriate surfacing material
n   Transfer the liability whenever possible, obtain appropriate certificates of insurance (including
    Additional Insured, Hold Harmless and Waiver of Subrogation provisions in your favor)
n   Tenant fire safety training
n   Bomb Threat response plan
n   Review of appropriate responses to potential violence including hostile or armed people.

Post-loss issues include:
n Written procedures to assist injured persons
n Written procedures to minimize property damage
n Specific claim reporting procedures – including internal reporting and notification to your
   AJG (BB&H) office
n Specific plan to protect property or people from further harm created by hazardous conditions
n Emergency response procedures
n Immediate access to emergency contacts, numbers.
Please contact us if you’d like additional information. We have sample procedures for your review.
     From the Editor
     Thinking outside the box
     “Behold the turtle; he only makes progress when he              while “thinking outside the box”
     sticks his neck out.”                                           at a time requiring innovation
          Innovative, bold, daring, and even audacious are           and daring to cope with cultural
     but a few adjectives that define “thinking outside the          change. Our industry was under
     box.” It is understanding that in the over used cliché          fire but just as steel is tempered
                                                                                                                  Informer Editor,
     “the bottom line,” there really isn’t a bottom line. As         with fire so will daring, innovative          Floyd Johnson
     Warren Bennis writes, “there aren’t any lines …we               and sometimes audacious people
     persist in grasping at neat, simple answers, when we            achieve great things. They are the executive directors
     should be questioning everything.” I have in my library         who made their own assumptions, took calculated
     Bennis’s book, “On Becoming A Leader.” I have read it           risks, determined a path and moved on to success.
     through twice and gone to it for reference numerous                  In doing a some reading for this article I came
     times. Though his book is aimed at the corporate                across two speeches by American industry leaders that
     world I am amazed that how much                                                  lend themselves to the theme “thinking
     his view of leadership parallels that                                            outside the box”:
                                                    Just as commercial insti-
     of military leadership. His view is not                                               The first, “Creating a New Order of
                                                    tutions produce prod-
     theoretical but comes from the study                                             Things” was made by Alfred S. Warren,
     of real live highly successful leaders.        ucts that makes peoples           then Vice President of General Motors.
     He has learned from those in real              lives better, healthier and       He makes the point that inevitably
     life that are a mix of leaders from all        more pleasant, so do we.          both the public and private sector is
     walks of life. In every single case study      Our product(s) are just           continually looking for ways to do the
     he presents, and they are numerous,            a little more intangible.         job better at lower cost and that the
     risk taking is a necessary ingredient          Safe, decent and sani-            best way to accomplish this is through
     of successful leadership and that              tary housing, our basic           better products and quality service. He
     translates to “thinking outside the            mission, if provided as           also makes the point that in our rapidly
     box.”                                          it should be, inevitably          changing, fast paced society, the best
          The public housing community              leads to better, healthier        way to fail at this is to embrace the
     needs to continually remind itself             and more pleasant lives.          status quo.
     that we have a large stake in the                                                     Anytime anything important must
     physical, moral and social well being                                            be done, courage is required because
     of American society. Just as commercial institutions            whatever course is followed, there is always someone
     produce products that makes peoples lives better,               who will criticize, particularly where there is change
     healthier and more pleasant, so do we. Our product(s)           or uncertainty. While it is not necessarily the physical
     are just a little more intangible. Safe, decent and             courage found on the battlefield, it is certainly the
     sanitary housing, our basic mission, if provided as it          moral courage that is found there. We do what we
     should be, inevitably leads to better, healthier and            must in spite of obstacles, personal consequences or
     more pleasant lives. And then there are those additional        pressures. Fear of failure in any new undertaking is
     duties that have been levied upon us the last few               understandable but to quote Mark Twain, “Courage
     years—child care, home ownership, youth programs,               is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of
     drug education and elimination, and mentoring, just             fear.”
     to mention a few that contribute immeasurably to self                “It must be remembered that there is nothing more
     sufficiency. Some of the public housing community               difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, nor more
     has not risen to the challenge these “additional duties”        dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order
     present. “Thinking outside the box” will get us on              of things. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would
     the right track. Remember the little pamphlet “SERC             profit by the preservation of the old institutions,and
     SUCCESS STORIES” prepared a few years ago? It is                merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by
     a compilation of 48 successful ideas translated into            the new ones.”
     programs to enhance resident self-sufficiency. Every                                      —Machiavelli, The Prince (1513)
     one of those ideas were thought out and implemented                  Machiavelli was a sixteenth century political
Judy Pinson retires from Mississippi Regional Housing Authority V
                                        After more than 31 years, Judy Pinson retired from Mississippi Regional Housing

                                   Authority V December 31, 2007. She most recently served as Executive Director
                                   overseeing operations and staff with the Authority.
                                        She has enjoyed working in public housing and has been a part of many changes
                                   in the past several years, especially while serving as Executive Director. Most of her
                                   experiences have been very positive, but like most new HUD requirements, changes
                                   in asset management have been the most time consuming. “Our Authority was
                                   operating somewhat like the process they wanted to implement, so it was not that
                                   difficult for us to make a transistion,” she stated.
                                        Judy will be a part-time consultant for the Authority where she will assist David
                                   Miller, the current Executive Director, with operations and budgets.
                                        Judy and her husband Gary, a retired school adminstrator, live in Little Rock,
                                   MS. She is looking forward to her favorite hobbies such as yardwork, traveling and
                                   spending time with nieces and nephews. She is also very active in her church.
 Former Executive Director at           “I feel like I have the best of both worlds , I work Mondays and Tuesdays and am
    MRHA V Judy Pinson.            off the rest of the week. I will serve in this capacity until no longer needed.”

Awards presented at 2008
Commissioner's Conference
  Honored at the recent Commissioners
 Conference at Point Clear were Patricia
 Bell for the Attala HA; Delores Harbor
 for the Yazoo HA. The Commissioner
 Service Award was presented to Merle
 McKewen for the Jackson HA and the
 Commissioner of the Year Award was                                            William Radau, Sammy Platt (Columbus HA)
 presented to Jeanelle Kidd for Meridian.                                      and Holly Bellino

 Meridian Housing Authority appoints interium executive director
    The Meridian Housing Authority’s Board of                    they have five children.
Commissioners has chosen Ronald J. Turner, Sr. to                     He currently serves
serve as the Interim Executive Director for the HUD              on the Rental Assistance
high performing agency. Mr. Turner began his public              Committee of the National
housing career over twenty years ago as a property               Association of Housing and
manager with the Memphis Housing Authority. He                   Redevelopment Officials.
began serving the Meridian Housing Authority in                  He serves the Mississippi
an interim Executive Director’s capacity January 7th.            Association of Housing &
He served as MHA’s Deputy Executive Director over                Redevelopment Officials
the past six years under the administration of former            as the co-chair person
Executive Director, Derwin Jackson.                              to the Central Mini-
    As Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Turner was                 Group. Additionally, he
primarily responsible for the successful operation               serves as Sunday School             Ronald J. Tuner
of the organization’s Housing and Maintenance                    Superintendent at the Mt.
departments. He also supervised the Housing Choice               Olive Baptist Church.
Voucher, and Community and Supportive Services                        Mr. Turner has assisted in MHA developing
programs along with Homeownership and AmeriCorps                 several important partnerships, which have positively
services provided by the Authority. Mr. Turner played            impacted the lives of over 3,000 residents of the state’s
a major role in assisting the Authority in securing              largest public housing authority. Mr. Turner expresses
and administering the $17.3 million dollar HOPE VI               his gratitude to MHA Board and staff for allowing him
Revitalization Grant.                                            to continue the legacy of serving the residents of
    The HOPE VI grant, along with major support                  Meridian with vigor and resolve. Although there are
from the Mayor of the City of Meridian, the City                 many new challenges ahead for the agency, Mr. Turner
Council members and the Lauderdale County Board                  remains confident that MHA will continue to achieve
of Supervisors, has totally revitalized over 342 newly           the goals of providing decent, safe, and affordable
constructed dwelling units in the J.T. Davis Courts and          housing opportunities for all eligible citizens of
former Victory Village communities. Mr. Turner has               Meridian.
been married over twenty years to his wife, Angela, and
                                                                           Calendar of Events
Thinking outside the box
Continued from page 14
scientist, often called the father of political science. He propounded     July 25-27, 2008
some rather radical and disturbing ideas but one thing is for sure, he     NAHROSummer Conference
was an expert on coping with change, particularly cultural change.         Nashiville, TN
     The second speech, “Where Have All The Risk Takers Gone,”
“Recapturing Americas Conquering Spirit,” was made by C. J. Silas,
                                                                           August 7, 2008
Chairman and CEO of Phillips Petroleum. His premise is that nothing
                                                                           MAHRO Executive Directors
worthwhile is ever accomplished without some degree of risk. He
                                                                           Board SummerMeeting
maintains that through the media and their publication and broadcast
                                                                           Biloxi, MS
of mostly troubling events such as the Love Canal and Three Mile Island    August 20-22, 2008
incidents, our nation is exchanging “free enterprise” for “frightened      MAHRO Annual Conference
enterprise.” Haven’t we all seen the media proclaiming the bad incidents   Biloxi, MS
in public housing?
                                                                           September 2008
     Has it taken congressional action through the Quality Housing
                                                                           HUD/MAHRO Workshop
Work Responsibility Act to wake public housing from its own comfort
zone, satisfied with the status quo? We are under fire again. Only time
                                                                           Jackson, MS
will reveal if we have the steel to follow through. There is no doubt
that we have the leaders in SERC-NAHRO and our state organizations         October 26-28, 2008
to lead the way but it will take “thinking out of the box.” There might    NAHRO Annual Conference
even be some hidden leaders out there who will step forward and not        San Antonio, TX
only think but “speak out of the box”. There is this story about Thomas    November 7-8, 2008
Carlyle, the Scottish philosopher who lived in the 1880’s:                 SERC/NAHRO Committee
     “One Sunday morning, he was getting dressed to deliver a speech       Meetings
to a large audience. His mother was sitting near the front door. She       Biloxi, MS
asked, “And where might you be going, Thomas?” He replied, “Mother,
I’m going to tell the people what’s wrong with the world.” His mother      November 9-11, 2008
tugged gently on his sleeve and said, “Yes, Thomas. But are you going      SERC/NAHRO Fall Workshop
to tell them what to do about it?”                                         Biloxi, MS
                          Floyd Johnson—MAHRO Informer Editor

P.O. Box 795
Starkville, Mississippi 39759

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


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