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Summer 2008 Mississippi Association for Housing and Redevelopment Officials In the INFORMER From the President 2 HUD Happenings 6 Commissioners 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 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Speaking on greatly appreciated. For updates and information please visit our website our recent at www.mahro.org. annual MAHRO is YOUR Association and we are here to serve the members. conference 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 Commissioners 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 * email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact Judy Mellard at (601) 583-1881 or email@example.com . 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 Bob Farrar exhibitors. Your continued support Exhibits Chairman and participation for 64 years is 2 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 K 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, 3 Journey of Purpose in Changing Times 2008 NAHRO Legislative Conference T 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 communities. 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 4 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 well! 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 Authority's! 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. 5 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 www.mahro.org Mark Your Calendars for NDC’s Rental Housing for updates. Development Finance Professional (RHDFP) Certification Program in NDC Training Hattiesburg! 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 TM 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 $585 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 ! UPDATES 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 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 7 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 authority. 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.” 99 Hope VI America Campaign—2008 Housing 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. 10 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 work. 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 demolition. 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. 11 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. 12 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. 13 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 14 Judy Pinson retires from Mississippi Regional Housing Authority V After more than 31 years, Judy Pinson retired from Mississippi Regional Housing ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 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 15 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 (TBA) 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 MAHRO INFORMER P.O. Box 795 Starkville, Mississippi 39759 The MAHRO Informer is an official publication of the Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Please submit articles to: MAHRO Informer P.O. Box 795 Starkville, MS 39759 www.mahro.org 2
"Summer 2008 Mississippi Association for Housing and "