The Latest News
August 2017

President's Message

Hello friends and colleagues,

Beginning on October 2nd, the Biennial Election for National NAHRO Sr. VP and President begins. This is the opportunity for all NAHRO associates to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice. Shockingly, not many associates choose to participate in this election process.  In fact, during the last contested election, PNRC only had a 10.6% voter turnout rate. I know we can do better than that. Let me break that down even more and give you state by state statistics from that election.

Alaska had 28 registered associates. Of those eligible to vote, 2 cast ballots making the turnout rate 7.1%. Idaho had 80 registered associates. Of those eligible to vote, 28 cast ballots making the turnout rate 35%. Oregon had 302 eligible voters and 18 cast ballots. This gave Oregon a 6% voter turnout rate. And Washington had 451 eligible voters. With only 43 casting ballots, the Washington turnout rate was 9.5%.

To really put this in context, keep in mind that the last contested election was won by 69 votes. This is a situation where every vote truly does count!

So why does this matter to you? Just like every election, if you are not exercising your right to vote, decisions are being made for you and your voice is not being heard. NAHRO is a member organization. It does work on your behalf to advocate for funding levels, to be at the table in policy creation, to develop national partnerships that can benefit your agencies in your communities, and to provide networking and training opportunities. NAHRO is the organization that we count on to lead the way in each of these areas. NAHRO is YOUR organization. We are a small region and, in order for our voices to be heard, we MUST have greater than 10% voter turnout.

Interestingly, not all associate slots are filled at our agencies. September 13th is the deadline for agencies to update their associate slots. Are you an associate member? You will know with the publication of the August 15th NAHRO Monitor. Each registered associate will receive a hardcopy of the Monitor mailed to the address on file.  Instructions for filling slots are included in this newsletter. Only the Executive Director or selected agency official can make changes to the agency's associates listing. I would encourage you to work with your agency leadership to ensure that all of the agency slots are filled.

As registered associates, please take time to review the candidates' webpages on the NAHRO website so you can make an informed decision when you cast your vote. Our work is challenging. Our work is important. Please engage yourself in this process and cast your vote! I know our region can do better than a 10% turnout rate.

Please email me if you have any questions.

How to Add or Update Your Associates

1) On your computer or laptop, open a web browser (please use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).

2) Login to the NAHRO website (, using your web login credentials.
Username: (Your email address on record) 
Password: (Your NAHRO member id)

If you have problems logging in or have forgotten your NAHRO member ID, please contact .

3) Once you've logged in, click on this link When prompted, copy/paste your agency's 10-digit membership order # located on your current renewal and starting with the numbers 1006, and click on the SUBMIT button.

4) Review the associates list that gets generated. Click on :  to submit changes to your associates in NAHRO's database. Please provide a unique email address for each and every associate. If an associate does NOT have an email address, NAHRO will mail a "paper ballot" for voting to the mailing address on record.

Regional News
Two named to Housing Finance Commission
Vancouver councilmember, Yakima housing director begin four-year terms

Governor Jay Inslee has named Vancouver City Councilmember Alishia Topper and Yakima housing professional Lowel Krueger to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The two start their four-year terms on the Commission immediately.

"We are excited to have two such accomplished individuals join us," said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission. "Their perspectives on our statewide housing challenges will be extremely valuable."

Alishia Topper was elected to the Vancouver City Council in November of 2013. In addition to her public office, she works as the deputy tax-service manager for the Clark County Treasurer's Office.

For her work to find solutions for affordable housing and homelessness, she was named a 2017 "Advocacy All-Star" by the Association of Washington Cities. She is also vice president of the board of Columbia Credit Union and serves on the boards of the Council for the Homeless and Vancouver's Downtown Association.
She has been recognized locally as "Accomplished and Under 40" and one of Clark County's Most Interesting People. Ms. Topper is a graduate of Washington State University and holds a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University.
Lowel Krueger is the executive director of the Yakima and Kittitas County Housing Authorities. Before joining the Yakima Housing Authority in 2008, he was the chief financial officer for the Yakama Nation Housing Authority and an assistant state auditor.
In addition, Mr. Krueger serves the boards of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officers, Association of Washington Housing Authorities, Impact Capital, and several housing-related councils in Yakima and Kittitas counties.
A lifelong resident of the Yakima Valley and a Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Krueger holds a bachelor's degree from Central Washington University and a Master's in Business Administration from Washington State University. He also completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy's School of Government.
The two new Commissioners will vote in their first meeting next Thursday, July 27, at 1 p.m. at the Housing Finance Commission in downtown Seattle. The Commission recently honored outgoing two-term Commissioners Pam Tietz of the Spokane Housing Authority and Skamania County Assessor Gabe Spencer.
Tacoma Housing Authority to Celebrate and Cut the Ribbon on the Final Phase of Bay Terrace in the Hilltop

Monday, August 7, 2017; 1:00 to 4:00 PM
2550 S. G St., Tacoma, WA 98405
Please join Senator Patty Murray, Congressmen Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer to help Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), residents and neighbors celebrate the completion of Bay Terrace in Tacoma's exciting Hilltop neighborhood. The program will include remarks from residents, community leaders, and others who made this ambitious development possible. The program will feature live music, refreshments from local artisans, and self-guided tours, with Mayor Marilyn Strickland as our Program Emcee.
Bay Terrace is THA's newest development in the Hilltop. THA demolished 81 old, unsightly public housing units. In their place, in two phases, THA has built a brand new community:
  • 144 affordable apartments for a range of incomes
  • walking distance to the coming light rail station on MLK Ave.
  • walking distance to public schools
  • more apartments accessible to persons with disabilities
  • financially sustainable operations
  • 7,000 sq. foot community building with Head Start classroom, computer lab and meeting space
  • appropriately higher density as directed by the city's comprehensive plan
  • environmentally responsible design
  • bigger tree canopy
  • designed for families, children, teenagers, and grandparents
  • outdoor play areas and gathering spaces
  • working gardens for residents
  • outdoor art
We also wanted Bay Terrace to look lovely.  Join us on August 7th and judge for yourself!
Construction Manager/General Contractor: Absher Construction Company
Architect: GGLO Architects, LLC
Financing: JP Morgan Chase; RBC Capital Markets; Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority;Tacoma Housing Authority
Changes in Leadership at the Housing Authority
of Jackson County
Scott Foster

After 30 years of service to HAJC, Executive Director, Scott Foster retired on June 30th. 

HAJC is pleased to announce that Jason Elzy has been named executive director effective July 1st. Jason's experience and qualification are uniquely suited for this position as he brings with him an 18-year career experience with HAJC. Jason has always conveyed his strong commitment and passion for the mission, vision, values and the culture of HAJC and he is respected for his unwavering ethical standards and integrity. Jason has vast knowledge in compliance, property management, asset management and real estate development. Jason's appointment comes with the fullest confidence that he will continue to be an excellent steward of HAJC's mission and a leader and advocate for the agency and the community it serves.

Peninsula Housing Authority
has begun the Mt. Angeles View Public Housing redevelopment in Port Angeles
Phase I starting July 20, 2017
Home removal and demolition has begun

This phase removes and replaces one for one, 33 units of family public housing and will also include the construction of 30 additional units of affordable housing. The project includes replacement of 3 city streets with their accompanying infrastructure and creates the location for a new Boys and Girls Clubhouse on site. 

This project has been in the agency's pipeline for numerous years and is moving forward with National Equity Fund as our equity partner and funding support from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission's 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, the Washington State Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund, the City of Port Angeles Community Development Block Grant award through the Washington State Department of Commerce, Clallam County Opportunity Funds, Public Housing Capital Funds and Clallam County 2060 funds.
The first units will be available for occupancy in October 2018 with the last units brought on-line in January 2019. 
First Year of HACSA Housing Plus Scholarship!
HACSA was able to give out two scholarships to students who are graduating high school while in  housing with HACSA support and moving on to college. Both students will get $500 a year for the first two years of their schooling.
The first scholarship recipient, Venes
sa will be attending Lewis and Clark C ollege to study Environmental  Studies.  While in high school she has worked part time, been involved in community activism and school clubs, and has been named "Student of the Month" by the Register Guard. She has worked hard to secure financial assistance from Lewis and Clark for some of her tuition costs and the scholarship from HACSA will be additional help removing the financial burden of college and letting Venessa concentrate on her studies.
The second scholarship recipient, Ellie, will be attending Oregon State University to major in BioHealth. She hopes to use the degree to go onto graduate school and become a Physician Assistant. She has volunteers with bags of Love, Parenting Now! and Eugene Safety Town while in high school - experiences she hopes to take with her as she works with families and children in the future. Ellie is excited to get this scholarship and be able to better utilize her time in college to study and gain experience needed to achieve her career goals.
HACSA employees can make donations to the scholarship fund directly from their paycheck. blue-swirls-header.gif
Tumwater School District Partners with Housing Authority

J uly 31, 2017 will be a "blue ribbon" day for Tumwater School District and the Housing Authority of Thurston County as a new partnership is officially formed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Allen Orchard housing development on Dennis Street in Tumwater. This partnership encompasses the vision of many.  With several units of the 24-unit development reserved for some of Tumwater School District's McKinney-Vento qualifying families, a seed of hope has been planted for these families.

The conversation started when Housing Authority Board Member Neil McClanahan visited with Tumwater School District Superintendent John Bash and they had a "What If" conversation ... "what if" we could partner and help some of our neediest families, "what if" we could reserve housing for families of Tumwater School District, "WHAT IF?"  From there, others were brought into the conversation as the new housing project, Allen Orchard, was starting construction.

Housing Authority Executive Director Chris Lowell shares, "The concept of providing housing - with services - has been a goal that the Housing Authority of Thurston County has viewed as a high priority. It has been demonstrated for many years through existing communities in the County that combining housing with services has greatly enhanced the success rate to achieve self-sufficiency for at-risk households. The construction of Allen Orchard began in August of 2016 and is on schedule to be occupied in August of 2017. The Allen Orchard project totals 24 twin homes, including ten 3-bedroom units and 14 2-bedroom units. This community was designed to provide work force housing along with housing for homeless and at-risk households. When the conversation started regarding reserving units for Peter G. Schmidt families, we were excited to reserve some of the units for PGS families that were currently homeless.  Case managers staffed at the Housing Authority will be working on-site with families in conjunction with counselors and staff from Peter G. Schmidt Elementary, which is directly across the street. It is the vision of this blended community to stabilize the children and watch them grow physically, emotionally, and academically from elementary school through high school and hopefully through higher education."

Peter G. Schmidt Counselor Sidney Reid worked closely with the Housing Authority in identifying potential residents for Allen Orchard. As she reflected on the process, Sidney said:
"This has been a very rewarding process, but very hard at the same time. Through this process, families have opened up about their specific situation. Trying to prioritize six families to refer to the Housing Authority as those 'most in need' was very difficult. But also through this process we were able to provide other services to families that we didn't know needed them. I have heard time and again how PGS has been so supportive ... I am proud to be a small part this great community and I am extremely thankful for this amazing new partnership with the Housing Authority. I can't wait to see the results!" 
Research shows that when a student's basic needs are met - food, clothing, housing, etc. - they are better able to arrive at school ready to learn. We are excited about this new partnership that removes one of those barriers and will provide students the security of a home.
Candidates for NAHRO Senior Vice President


  Register Now for the National Conference!

The 2017 NAHRO National Conference and Exhibition: Building Bridges to the Future will be held in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, October 27-29.  This can't-miss event will feature focused learning sessions, thought-provoking speakers, a solution-filled exhibit hall, a housing and community development tour coordinated by our local host agencies, networking opportunities, and much more!  Commissioners will also have a special opportunity to attend NAHRO's Ethics for Commissioners seminar while also attending the conference.  Check the conference website regularly for program content updates.

Pittsburgh is a city that's continually recognized as a must-see destination. Most recently, Harper's Bazaar named Pittsburgh one of the "Best Places to Travel in 2017." With outstanding attractions, award-winning restaurants and world-class accommodations and, add to that, the friendly people, affordability and walkability, it's the perfect recipe for a memorable conference experience.   

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