Summer 2008 Mississippi Association for Housing
and Redevelopment Officials
From the President 2
HUD Happenings 6
Conference 8 &9
Maintenace Corner 12
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.
Speaking on greatly appreciated. For updates and information please visit our website
our recent at www.mahro.org.
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.
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 * firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com or you can
contact Judy Mellard at (601) 583-1881 or firstname.lastname@example.org . We also invite you to
ing asset management. visit our website at http://www.mahro.org.
We would expecially like Looking forward to seeing you at MAHRO’s 64th Annual Conference!
to extend an invitation to our
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,
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.
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
A total of 18 Mississippi representatives from Long Beach, TVRHA,
Region VI, Yazoo, Biloxi and Laurel made the journey to Capitol Hill.
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 www.mahro.org
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 www.nationaldevelopmentcouncil.org, 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 www.nationaldevelopmentcouncil.org
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
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!
Coffee is known
for being good
to the last drop. This same
phrase can be used to
House the audience
P l a n n i n g Airlick Young directs the director
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
Conference -'08 MAHRO President
waits to make the
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.
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
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.)
BOTTOM LINE: LET THE LOCAL AUTHORITY SELECT ONE OR MORE OF THESE OR MODIFY THEM ANY WAY THEY
WISH OR COME UP WITH ANY NEW IDEA NOT LISTED THAT WOULD WORK LOCALLY, WITH A GOAL OF CREATING
PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE MISSION AND IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC HOUSING. IN ANY OR ALL OF THESE THINGS,
MAKE THE FOCUS OF THEM ON THE DESERVING AND NEEDY PEOPLE WE SERVE THRU THE HOUSING AUTHORITY.
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
maintains that through the media and their publication and broadcast
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?
Has it taken congressional action through the Quality Housing
Work Responsibility Act to wake public housing from its own comfort
zone, satisfied with the status quo? We are under fire again. Only time
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:
P.O. Box 795
Starkville, MS 39759