July 2020
Message From President John Mahon
Greetings MARC Family,

I hope you, your families, and people you serve are safe and well.

While we continue to face the challenges and realities of COVID-19 and issues of systemic racism, we also have some people and things to celebrate and acknowledge. Surely, there is a fine balance, but we cannot forget the graduations, weddings and births as well as the accomplishments of those in the MARC Region who work towards our mission. Times may be tough, but MARC is up to the task, demonstrated by the information we are providing in this month’s newsletter.

If there ever was an example of the impact MARC members have on their communities and NAHRO, there will be no question after you read what we have put together for you today.

NAHRO held its first virtual conference. Originally planned for New York City, the Summer Conference had to be converted to a virtual format as a result of COVID-19. There were many informative sessions and dynamic presenters. MARC played an especially important role in the conference as members were the moderator and panelists on the important and current topics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Additional MARC members also provided insight and experience on other sessions.

We are also extremely proud of the recognition MARC members received during the conference.  MARC is the proud home of the grand prize winner of the “What Home Means to Me” 2020 (calendar) poster contest.  

MARC is also the home of Abby from Johnstown Housing Authority, PA, a NAHRO National Merit College Scholarship winner. Abby was also selected as one of the 2020 NAHRO-LDG Scholars – we couldn’t be prouder!

And it does not stop there. MARC members won an incredible 17 Awards of Merit for the outstanding work they do for their clients. Please review the list further down.

The MARC family will also be expanding. With the delays caused by the COVID-19 crisis behind us, we were able to tally up the votes for our Executive Board elections earlier this year. I am pleased to announce that Liz Glenn, Senghor Manns, and Stephanie Pastula will be returning to the board and am proud to welcome to the MARC family, Irma Gorham of Paterson, NJ and Kim Taylor of Trenton, NJ.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR WINNERS AND WELCOME TO OUR CONTINUING AND NEW BOARD MEMBERS !!

I was concerned that there would be limited information to share this month, but found I was very wrong. Please also note the Professional Development section of the newsletter. Realizing the financial situation that the COVID-19 crisis has put the regions in, MARC has entered into a profit sharing agreement with NARHO where by simply entering the code MARC2020, MARC will receive a portion of the proceeds from that course. Having to cancel our largest annual revenue source this past year, our conference in Atlantic City, you can use some of the funds earmarked for that conference to get quality training for your employees AND help sustain MARC.

I also want to remind everyone that August Recess Advocacy begins next week. Your voice is important. Your voice needs to be heard. Help NAHRO reach its goal of sending 8,501 letters to our elected members of Congress. Visit the NAHRO Advocacy page and see how easy and quick it is to make a difference!   More information about August Recess Advocacy is in this newsletter. 

Finally, MARC is planning to continue the discussion on systemic racism. While the Board has had discussions on this topic, we are planning a forum open to the entire membership. Please look for information on that event in the near future.

Wear a mask. Keep social distance. Keep socially conscious. Common sense is for the common good.

Warmest Regards,
John
REGIONAL NEWS
Amendments to the Region’s Bylaws and Election of At-large Members to the Region’s Executive Board
 
Just prior to the shutdown due to COVID-19, the region conducted a hybrid election for amendments to the Region’s Bylaws and the election of five at-large members to serve three-year terms on the Executive Board.
 
The results were certified by the Nomination and Election Committee (N&E) on June 24. Clif Martin, Chair of the N&E, reported on the results of the election at the June 30 Executive Board meeting, which was unanimously approved by the Executive Board.
 
The Results: 
 
Amendments to the Region’s Bylaws. Added the territories of Puerto Rico within the region’s geographic area; Added provisions to address eligibility and removal of Executive Board Members, and language required by the IRS—more detailed statement of purpose and dissolution of the Region. ( Article I, Article II, Article IV, and Article XI).  For an updated and complete set of by-laws.  Read here  
 
There were seven candidates for five at-large seats.  The following members were elected to three-year terms each, from October 2020 through October 2023.
 
Elizabeth Glenn - Maryland
Irma Gorham - New Jersey
Senghor Manns - Pennsylvania
Stephanie Pastula - Pennsylvania
Kim Taylor - New Jersey
   
Current Executive Board Roster  Read here
WILMINGTON HOUSING AUTHORITY
Willie Pass, Chief Operating Officer of the Wilmington Housing Authority, has officially been appointed as the Co-Chair of the Housing Local Product Council for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Pass, who also serves on the Legislative Council for PHADA, finance committee for the HAIG Group and as a member-at-large on the DE NAHRO Board said “I am both humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to bring my expertise in housing to an organization such as Urban Land Institute. I believe that such a connection will benefit not only those we serve in the community but allow for us to build and foster partnerships with those who are experts in the re-development arena. These partnerships will further go a long way to better both the Housing and Development Industries as well.”   READ MORE
The Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) announced the roll out of a new program to provide WHA residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants Utility Allowance Payments (UAP) via debit card. The cards will be issued by the US Bank ReliaCard ® and the monthly program funds will be loaded to the cards automatically each month. The ReliaCard Prepaid Debit Card Program is only for families who receive a monthly Utility Assistance Payment (UAP).  READ MORE





Pennsylvania Association of Housing
and Redevelopment Agencies (PAHRA)
PAHRA announced six recipients of its 33 rd Annual Scholarship Awards. PAHRA stated: “ We are honored to support these very deserving students in their search for success as they strive to achieve their academic goals and move forward to secure their futures.”    READ MORE

PHILADELPHIA HOUSING
AUTHORITY
PhillySEEDS, Inc. , a PHA subsidiary, has honored 77 PHA residents seeking higher education with $291,000 in scholarships. The scholarships, given to both graduating high school seniors and students already in college, were noted during the PHA Board of Commissioners virtual meeting.   READ MORE

NATIONAL NAHRO NEWS
INDIVIDUAL HONORS AWARDS APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSING SOON AUGUST 17 
 

Have you ever admired the dedication and talent of a colleague? Have you ever wanted to recognize a colleague for outstanding work? Here’s your chance!
 
  • NAHRO invites nominations for these individual awards:

  • Outstanding Professional of the Year Award
(formerly the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award)

  • The International Research and Global Exchange Award 
(formerly the John D. Lange International Award)

  • Commissioner of the Year Award 
(formerly the Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award)

  • Emerging Leader Award

  • Roll of Achievers 
 
Submit nominations now through August 17

August Recess Advocacy
Kicks Off Next Week!
The humidity in DC is rising and Congress is fleeing the city - that can only mean it’s almost August recess! Lawmakers next month will officially leave Washington for the annual August recess, returning home to their states and districts to hear from constituents like you. Now more than ever it is important that your voice is heard. 

NAHRO has set an ambitious goal of sending 8,501 letters to Capitol Hill during August recess and we need your help to achieve this goal. Every Monday throughout the month, we’ll focus on a new topic. These are the important topics we’re targeting this year:

August 3: COVID-19
August 10: Vouchers for all eligible
August 17: Increase housing supply
August 24: Increase access to resident services
August 31: FY 2021 Transportation - HUD Funding
We’ve made it even easier for you to participate directly through your mobile phone. Download NAHRO’s new mobile Advocacy App today and send letters every week from your smartphone - watch this instructional video on how to access the app.

To access the NAHRO app (only available to NAHRO members):

1. Visit your smartphone’s app store: either the Google Play Store (Android) or the Apple App Store (iPhone).

2. Search for “NAHRO Advocacy Action” in the app store.

3. Download and open the app.

4. Sign in. Your username will be your first name and last name (no space in between, not case sensitive) and password will be your last name (lowercase).
Don’t want to download the app? You can also send letters through NAHRO’s website at the Advocacy Action Center .

You can follow our progress on Twitter using #Housersatwork .
NAHRO’s New Housing Proposals
Focus on the Future
NAHRO recently unveiled   Housing Beyond the Pandemic. It is a bold, forward-thinking proposal on how to expand access to affordable housing to more Americans and to make this economic recovery more equitable than the last. The proposal focuses on four topics: increase housing supply + improve affordability, preserve existing units, stabilize families, and progress, not paper.
MARC NAHRO has partnered with NAHRO PD on their Distance Learning trainings that will directly benefit members and our Region!
 
Members will receive a discount of $10 on every NAHRO Distance Learning training and MARC NAHRO will also receive a revenue share for each participant from our region through December 31, 2020!
 
How does it work? When registering, please use code MARC2020 and your discount will automatically be applied, it is that simple!
 
Please note this code must be used when registering as it cannot be retroactively applied.
 
Upcoming NAHRO Professional Development e-Learning and Distance Learning Opportunities:
 



*August 26-Sept. 3:   Commissioners Fundamentals  - Distance Learning (Use Code: MARC2020)

*September 1 -9:   HCVOEIR  - Distance Learning (Use Code: MARC2020)


Please advise NAHRO of your agency’s training needs by completing the MARCNAHRO PD Survey.
 

For a comprehensive list of Professional Development offerings,


Interested in a distance learning opportunity?
Contact Professional Development professionaldevelopment@nahro.org



A NAHRO Certification is the best way to prove you have the knowledge and skills required for your field. MARC NAHRO congratulates its 23 associates of member agencies who were NAHRO Certified this year.   CLICK HERE TO READ
NAHRO Online Summer 2020—July 23-24
MARC NAHRO Congratulates Regional
Presenters and Winners!
Regional Members presented at sessions:

This year, the region was poised to host NAHRO’s in-person summer conference in New York. The host region supports NAHRO conferences in many ways. One of the most significant ways is for members to share their knowledge and expertise by presenting at sessions. As we all know, the first step to making a good event great is to invite dynamic and knowledgeable speakers. President Mahon and Board members Elizabeth Glenn, Senghor Manns, and Stacy Spann were part of this stellar line up. Additional members in the region who presented include Jonathan Gouveia (NY), Gregory Russ (NY), Eva Trimble (NY), Michelle Sandidge (Pittsburgh), and Leslie Springs (Pittsburgh).
What Home Means to Me 2020 Calendar Grand Prize Winner 
Annually, at the Washington Conference, NAHRO honors the grand prize winner, whose artwork is featured on the calendar’s cover. Due to the cancellation of this year’s conference because of COVID-19, the grand prize winner, who resides in the region, Owen, age 13, Puerto Rico, was honored at the   NAHRO Online Summer 2020 Conference.  (We are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to meet Owen at a NAHRO conference in the future.)
 
Watch Owen’s video; translated in English below:
My name is Owen Lasalle, I am 13 years old and I live in the Residencial Montana in Aguadilla, PR, I live with my mom Yanira Blas and my brother Dylan Concepción. My favorite past time is sports, especially basketball which I have not been able to enjoy due to COVID19, social distancing and the preventative measures that we must take. I like to draw and play PlayStation with my friends. My home is very important to me because it provides security and happiness. My most beautiful memories are when we gather as a family on Thanksgiving, we all eat together and give thanks to God. When I grow up, I want to join the Airforce or be an Aircraft Mechanic. My biggest dream is to be an NBA player and buy my mom a house. If I could change one thing in this world, I would stop crime.

My inspiration for the creation of my drawing was the love of my family, when I found out that my picture won, at first I could not believe it and later I was very proud to be able to represent Puerto Rico. For me it was important to win, as I loved the thought of being able to travel and represent the kids of P.R., especially those in public housing to show that we have a lot of aspirations and talent. I am very grateful for the people that helped us get our home, and I ask that they keep helping families so that no kids will have to sleep in the street. My message for the community is to fight to reach your dreams.
TWO-TIME WINNER!! 
2020 NAHRO Merit College Scholarship Winner and 2020 Cohort of
NAHRO-LDG Scholars

At the opening plenary session, MARC NAHRO was excited to learn its regional nominee, Abby from Johnstown Housing Authority, PA was awarded a Merit Scholarship. She is one of seven who will receive $1,000 from NAHRO and an additional $1,000 from Kentucky-based affordable housing developer LDG Development to provide support for her higher education pursuits. 

Eligible students must reside in HUD-assisted affordable housing administered by NAHRO member agencies, who submit applications on their behalf.
 
Abby was one of the three merit winners who was selected  2020 Cohort of NAHRO-LDG Scholars .
 
Abby plans to enter Indiana University of Pennsylvania this fall, where she will continue her studies toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). A participant in the Dual Enrollment Program since 2018 while attending high school, Abby has achieved a 4.0 GPA in her studies with 22 credits earned thus far. The Dual Enrollment program has enabled her to graduate high school with her freshman year of college already completed. Described as “the epitome of diligence and determination,” Abby effectively juggles high school, college courses, work, volunteering, sports – soccer, swimming, track, and field – and other leadership activities such as Envirothon Team Captain and 4H Treasurer. 
Recognizing Excellence -
2020 Housing and Community
Development Innovators
Eighty-eight housing and community development agencies received 181 Awards of Merit for a wide range of affordable housing and community development programs.

These included  nine  MARC NAHRO agencies that were honored for 17 Awards of Merit:

“We’re proud to honor the hard work and creativity our members have shown in meeting the needs of their local communities, said NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman. “Now more than ever, it’s important to showcase their solutions and share them with others who might get inspired.”

“These awards also remind us of the exceptional work of housing agencies whose amazing efforts are also on full display during this overwhelming year,” said NAHRO President Sunny Shaw. “They are battling the effects of a global pandemic and, in many areas of the country, working through their community’s frustration on the unequal pace of justice and racial equity.

Through it all, NAHRO’s members continue to work hard to provide housing, opportunity, and care.”  
  
Regional awardees are below, and full descriptions of their winning projects are available here .

New Jersey
Bayonne Housing Authority - 2x winner
Edison Housing Authority - 1x winner
Madison Housing Authority - 1x winner
Woodbridge Housing Authority - 1x winner

Pennsylvania
Allegheny County Housing Authority - 3x winner
Clarion County Housing Authority - 1x winner
Housing Authority of the City of Erie - 1x winner
Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh - 5x Winner
Philadelphia Housing Authority - 2x Winner
MARC NAHRO is now on Twitter @MARCNAHRO1 Please follow us! If your agency has a separate Twitter account, please let us know so we can follow! 
Send your response to RSO Sylvia Bowen 
Community Outreach
We would love to receive a mixture of articles and pictures—best practices during COVID-19, uplifting messages—to lift people up and community engagement.  
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Put your open positions in front of candidates who have the skills and experience that your agency needs to excel.
MARC NAHRO State Chapters




Central Eastern Pennsylvania
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MARC NAHRO Regional Service Officer | 202.580.7201 | Sylvia Bowen | www.marc@nahro.org