October 2018
Message from President Marsha Parham-Green

Thank you to everyone that continues to move the MARC agenda forward. We are making up for lost time at record speed. I have been connecting with State Chapter Presidents to make sure that MARC has a presence at their State conferences. We will continue to support your efforts in any way possible.

Thank you to all the new members of the MARC board. We appreciate your dedication to MARC/NAHRO and your commitment to continuing the work we do throughout the region.

Thank you all of the MARC members that supported the NAHRO August Advocacy campaign. It was a tremendous success. The work never ends, continue to advocate. The campaign resulted in more than 3,600 letters to members of Congress
See you at the National Conference in Atlanta!


Marsha J. Parham-Green
Regional News
HABC Granted Over $700,000 to House Vulnerable Citizens
Funding will allow those with disabilities to have a place to call home
Recently, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) received notice that the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted the agency $748,668 to house low income non-elderly persons with disabilities who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or transitioning out of institutional settings. The funding is provided through HUD's Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, which furthers the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Thanks to HUD’s funding to support our Mainstream voucher program, we can help Baltimore’s most vulnerable citizens receive quality affordable housing within the community,” said HABC Executive Director Janet Abrahams. “In addition, these individual’s will receive wrap-around health and social services through our partnerships with city agencies to give them the best possible opportunities for success.”

HABC plans to administer 89 vouchers to individuals in need to ensure that they have immediate access to permanent housing. HABC expects to launch the program in December 2018.

HUD awarded nearly $99 million to 285 public housing authorities throughout the nation, which will enable nearly 12,000 non-elderly persons with disabilities to receive housing assistance.

"HUD is committed to making sure people with disabilities have a decent, safe and affordable place to call home," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "Working closely with our local partners, we help residents with disabilities live independently and fully enjoy the use of their homes."

HABC Awarded $1.3 Million HUD Grant
to Redevelop Poe Homes
Award to further agency’s mission of creating quality affordable housing

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) Executive Director Janet Abrahams is pleased to announce that the agency has received a $1.3 million Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant will be used to develop a comprehensive neighborhood plan for revitalizing the Poppleton-Hollins area, which includes Poe Homes, a 288-unit public housing development.

“We are very excited to receive this highly competitive award that will enable us to create a detailed plan to transform the distressed Poe Homes community,” said Executive Director Janet Abrahams. “We appreciate
HUD’s support of our continuing efforts to create diverse and vibrant communities in Baltimore for the people we serve.”

Baltimore is one of six cities selected to receive nearly $5 million in combined Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. The other cities include Phenix, AL; Tucson, Arizona; Camden, NJ; and Milwaukee, WI.

“Moving Baltimore forward requires transforming neighborhoods and attracting the level of investment that will raise the prospects of residents in long-neglected areas of our City,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “This latest
HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will enable us to carefully consider how best to revitalize the Poe Homes housing complex and create a living environment that is worthy of its residents and their hopes for a better quality of life. We are very grateful to HUD for supporting this important priority of our Administration.”

A comprehensive neighborhood plan and community improvement strategy will be determined through a community engagement process. The neighborhood plan will revolve around the redevelopment of Poe Homes and the integration of housing into the footprint of the Poppleton-Hollins neighborhood, which is located near the University of Maryland BioPark and stable neighborhoods such as Union Square.

“To plan a neighborhood’s transformation, it takes a strong coalition of stakeholders and a community-driven process,” said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “This planning grant will build
the capacity of local leaders to put those necessities into place. HUD’s ultimate goal is to help turn struggling neighborhoods into communities of opportunity and economic growth.”

HABC is committed to creating quality affordable housing communities and has several revitalization efforts currently underway. In July, HABC and the City of Baltimore were awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from HUD to transform the Perkins Somerset Oldtown neighborhood into a community of choice.

Welcome to MARC's New Executive Board Members

Recently the MARC Executive Board has had some changes and we wanted you to be aware of those changes:
  • Kathryn Walter - Secretary (Housing Authority of the County of Beaver, PA)
  • Dorothy Carty-Daniel - VP of Commissioners (Housing Authority of the City of Perth Amboy, NJ)
At Large Members 2018-2021 (will take office after NAHRO Conference in October)
  • Gary Centinaro (Housing Authority of the City of Beverly, NJ)
  • Dale Gravett (Housing Authority of Chester County, PA)
  • Walter McNeil (Housing Authority of the City of Orange, NJ)
  • Cynthia Osborne (Elkton Housing Authority, MD) 
  • Stacy Spann (Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, MD)

North Bergen Housing Authority Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

North Bergen’s senior citizens were treated to a delicious lunch and a vibrant live concert and flamenco dance performance on Sept. 24, 2018 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The cultural event took place at Lawler Towers and was hosted by the North Bergen Housing Authority (NBHA). Mayor Nicholas Sacco greeted the seniors and raffled off gift certificates to Target, accompanied by Commissioner Julio Marenco, Freeholder Anthony Vainieri and NBHA Executive Director Gerald Sanzari.

A large crowd of seniors enjoyed catered lunch from Rumba Cubana and Noches de Columbia, followed by a spirited dance recital from the group Flamenco Flavor, featuring singer/guitarist David Castellano and dancers Laura Castellano and Monica Herrera. The performance included both traditional Spanish and contemporary Latin sounds, with the dancers whirling in colorful costumes.
This was the second year the NBHA celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, after hosting an event last year. The party ended with celebratory cake for everyone.
PAHRA Presents Annual Bellamy & Best Practices Awards at Annual Conference
Each year PAHRA recognizes members who have implemented innovative ideas, explored successful entrepreneurial activities, exhibited excellence in design, shown progressive program operations, provided outstanding customer service or supportive services in a unique way, or created a lasting impact on their communities.  
Fourteen excellent entries were submitted to participate in the 2018 Best Practices Showcase. Two agencies were presented with Bellamy Awards, PAHRA's highest level of recognition; two agencies earned Best Practice Awards; and all others received Certificates of Merit in recognition of their accomplishments. 

PAHRA Elects New President & Executive Board - Welcomes New Board Member
The Pennsylvania Association of Housing & Redevelopment Agencies (PAHRA) proudly announces the election of Joseph T. Kohut as President of the Board of Directors for a two-year term commencing September 2018 through September 2020.

Mr. Kohut serves as Executive Director of Wayne County Housing Authority, an agency that administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program throughout a large geographical area in both Wayne County and Pike County, covering over 1,300
square miles located in the extreme northeastern tip of Pennsylvania. Joe also serves as Vice-President of the Housing & Redevelopment Insurance Exchange (HARIE).
President Kohut has been a staunch supporter and a driving force behind PAHRA for many years. The presidential role is not new to him, as he previously served in this capacity from 2002-2004, ending a ten-year tenure on the PAHRA Board of Directors spanning the decade from 1994-2004.

Perhaps it was the seven-year itch that prompted Joe’s return to the Board of Directors in 2011 or more likely a request from the PAHRA membership to reprise his leadership role within our organization. We are pleased that Joe’s current tour of duty with the PAHRA Board of Directors has culminated once again in his presidency.

Mr. Kohut will be supported by Executive Board members:
  • • First Vice-President Kelley Cevette
  • • Second Vice-President Daniel Kanuch
  • • Secretary Daniel Farrell
  • • Treasurer Stephen Bucklew; and
  • • Executive Members-at-Large Brian Yaworsky and Danielle Powell

Rounding out the remainder of the PAHRA Board of Directors are:
Steven Fischer • William Lisak • Senghor Manns • Denise Miller • Tonya Mitchell-Weston • Ken Pick • Martha Robbins • Mark Yauger • Ex-Officio Affiliate Member Alex Kline

As the presidential gavel is passed, Senghor Manns will continue to lend his unique skill set to our association as he assumes the position of Immediate Past President. In this role, Senghor replaces former President Cheryl Johns, who departs the Board after 10 years’ service in many capacities. Cheryl plans to remain actively involved in important PAHRA committee matters and to participate in PAHRA functions wherever and whenever needed.
PAHRA welcomes newly-elected Tonya Mitchell-Weston to the Board of Directors for a three-year term. Tonya brings with her a strong background in social services and public administration. She currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Housing Authority of the County of Warren located in northwestern PA bordering New York state.
Apprentices Graduate
From Training Program

Three dozen young men and women graduated from the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Modified Apprentice Training Program and are on their way towards self-sufficiency.

“Thank you for giving us a path to realize our potential,” said Marcus Graham, one graduate who was hired as a junior analyst for DCHA property management, at the September 13 ceremony. “Thank you for making the work fun…and for taking the time to help us perfect the skills.”
Graham also said he never expected the program’s managers would truly care about the participants and added that the time that was spent with the graduates “has not gone unnoticed.”

“The reality of this program has far exceeded our expectations,” said Graham, who said in addition to job opportunities, the program has renewed his sense of belonging and achievement.

Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Summer Intern Wrap-Up with Mayor Peduto
New Jersey NAHRO
Fall Conference

November 13-15, 2018
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Don't miss this opportunity to network with your peers and local officials attending the annual League of Municipalities conference
Awards of Merit in Housing and Community Development
Applications for 2019 are now being accepted
Award Categories:

Program Innovation: Resident and Client Services -- Includes programs that enhance the lives of residents and clients:
  • Self-Sufficiency Programs—Including employment, job readiness, homeownership counseling, etc.
  • Youth Programs—Including education, summer programs, recreation, etc.
  • Elderly or Special Needs Housing—Social Services Programs—Including health, social programs, security issues, etc. for the elderly, homeless, mentally or physically disabled, etc.
  • Other—Those programs that cross categories above or are general services in support of all residents/clients.

Program Innovation: Community Revitalization -- Includes programs that have a positive economic impact on a neighborhood or city, i.e. balanced growth, economic development, job creation; creative financing, public/private partnerships, mixed-use developments, neighborhood preservation.

Administrative Innovation -- Includes programs that improve the efficiency or effectiveness of administrative operations or the general functioning of the agency, i.e. management systems, maintenance, community relations, inter-agency cooperation, computer use, professional development and public relations.

Program Innovation: Affordable Housing -- Includes programs that produce affordable housing in an innovative manner, i.e. creative financing, public/private partnerships, mixed income developments, adaptive reuse, special needs housing.

Project Design -- Focuses primarily on the physical or landscape design of a building or project. (If what is most innovative is the program or financing rather than the design, the program should be entered in an Innovation Category.) 

There are four types of design:
  • Project Design: New Project-- For new buildings or developments.
  • Project Design: Modernization/Rehabilitation Project -- For the modernization, rehabilitation, preservation, or alternative use of existing buildings, developments or areas regardless of their original architectural intent. 
  • Project Design: Enduring Design-- Recognizes those projects which were completed before December 31, 2007, which show continued excellence in design and original program and in the creative aspects of its statement by today's standards.
  • Landscape Design -- Recognizes the use of landscape design to enhance the sense of community, increase security, provide recreational areas, advance environmental efficiency, or to augment natural landscapes.

For details on the awards program, eligibility requirements and to submit your 2019 application, click here.
Finalists for What Home Means to Me Poster Contest Selected

The 13 winners of the “What Home Means to Me” calendar contest have been seleced.

NAHRO will be revealing all the winners on Twitter and the Housing America website throughout October. Winners will be revealed here .

The grand prize winning poster will be revealed at the NAHRO National Conference in Atlanta, GA.

See the finalists artwork here .
What is Your Agency Doing to Celebrate Housing America Month?

In 2007, Housing America was created and October was designated as the annual month for NAHRO and its members to collectively raise awareness of the need for, and the importance of, safe, decent and affordable housing in quality communities. Events are held around the country by housing authorities, redevelopment agencies and government entities to spotlight the great works that have been done and the successes that so many residents have experienced. Sadly, there continues to be an unmet housing need for many of America's most vulnerable.  
Here you can find examples of what NAHRO members have done to recognize and celebrate Housing America Month.
Event Media Kit
Use our media kit to help get the word out about your event!
Event Ideas
  • Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • Property Opening
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
  • Beautification Project
  • Resident Activity
  • Proclamations
If you need assistance contact Ashanti Wright at
Congressional Public Housing Caucus Competition Continues

The regional competition to get Representatives to join the newly-formed Congressional Public Housing Caucus continues.

At the beginning of August, NAHRO kicked off a special competition between its regions to see which region can get the highest percentage of their Representatives to join the Congressional Public Housing Caucus.

The winning region will receive one free NAHRO training and one free registration to NAHRO’s Washington Conference in April. The competition will run until the NARHO National Conference that begins on October 25.

This new caucus was formed recently by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and they need your help to gather support for this critical caucus. To learn more about what a congressional caucus is and why it’s important for public housing to have strong congressional support, visit NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center.

To participate in the competition, simply visit the Advocacy Action Center and send a pre-drafted letter to your Representative asking that he/she join the caucus. If you’ve already sent your letter, follow-up is critical.

 As of September 17, only seven members of Congress have officially joined the caucus. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Representative’s office to urge them again to join the caucus.
Advance Registration Closes October 10th
Spend three jam-packed days learning, teaching, networking, and being inspired at the NAHRO National Conference and Exhibition, from Oct. 25-27, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Here are just some of the educational opportunities in store:
  • 40+ learning sessions on hot industry topics such as Moving to Work, the Rental Assistance Demonstration, partnerships with educators and healthcare professionals, and more;
  • Dynamic plenary speakers;
  • A solution-filled exhibit hall with over 70 industry vendors;
  • Plenty of networking opportunities
  • A housing and community development tour coordinated by the Atlanta Housing Authority; and
  • For Commissioners, NAHRO Professional Development is offering conference registrants a special opportunity to attend either the Ethics for Commissioners seminar or Commissioners’ Guide to Oversight and Monitoring seminar while also attending the conference.
The John L. Carroll Memorial Scholarship was established in 1993 exclusively for small public housing agencies. Each awarded scholarship will cover the tuition of one NAHRO Professional Development live seminar or online course registration.  
The fall application period is now open, and the deadline for applications is October 18, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET. Agencies may apply online at:
Application Criteria:

  • The agency must be a current member of national NAHRO.
  • The agency must have no more than 550 combined HCV-assisted and/or Public Housing (current or RAD-converted) units. 
  • The agency must submit the online application before the scheduled deadline.
  • The agency may apply for only one scholarship per application period. 
 All scholarship applications will reviewed by the national NAHRO Professional Development Committee. A maximum of 10 scholarships will be awarded during each application period.

Award winners will be notified after the selections have been finalized. It is not necessary to know the location or date of a specific training product. NAHRO training programs are held throughout the continental United States. Please see NAHRO’s Training Calendar for a complete list of seminar dates and locations.
New Director of Professional Development Announced

NAHRO is pleased to announce that Jennifer Naughton has been named the Director of Professional Development and will oversee NAHRO’s professional development program. This includes the development of new education programs that respond to the needs of NAHRO members and the housing and community development industry.

Jennifer is an education and credentialing expert. Her 25+ year career has focused on identifying what people need to learn for success on the job and in their career, and then developing the most effective and efficient solutions to address those needs. 

Prior to NAHRO, Jennifer served as the senior director of Competencies and Credentialing at the Association for Talent Development and as an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Among Jennifer’s proudest accomplishments were earning the distinguished Hammer Award for her role on the IRS modernization project, starting up the industry’s first certification program for training professionals. 
Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Education (Human Resource Development) from the George Washington University and is SPHR certified. Jennifer is a recognized leader in the credentialing industry and has published two books, several chapters and articles, and has presented at numerous industry conferences. For Jennifer’s full bio, see

DC Housing Authority - Washington, DC

Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County - Glen Burnie, MD

Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, MD

Philadelphia Housing Authority - Philadelphia, PA

Virgin Islands Housing Authority
Human Resources Manager   (St. Thomas)
District Manager   (St. Croix)
MARC NAHRO State Chapters
Do you have news to share from your agency?
E mail MARC Regional Service Officer, Kristen Damazio
at or call 202-580-7203.