The Latest News
The Importance of Serving People with Criminal Histories
I want to challenge my fellow housing professionals to think differently about our role in serving people with criminal histories. According to the FBI definition of a criminal record seventy million Americans have a criminal record - that's one in three adults who have a criminal history. We can serve people with criminal histories in two ways. First, we should lower admission barriers and consider creating - local preferences into our federal housing programs and waiting list priorities into our non-federal affordable housing apartment communities. Next, we should become second chance employers for people with criminal histories.
The National Institute of Justice reports that within three years of release 67.8% of released prisoners were rearrested and the term for this is called recidivism. Here in Lane County the recidivism rate is 26% because the State of Oregon and local jurisdictions have made intentional investments in reducing the recidivism rate. Homes for Good has a partnership with a local non-profit, Sponsors Incorporated, and through this partnership we have intentionally provided housing opportunities for individuals that have returned to Lane County after successfully completing their prison sentences. The individuals that we serve in partnership with Sponsors Inc. have a recidivism rate of 13% and our goal is to reduce the rate to less than 10% by continuing to enhance the case management and supportive services necessary to achieve this goal. We have developed two low-income housing tax credit apartment communities that prioritize admissions for this population, we have created a local preference for our Housing Choice Voucher program, we are also in the process of creating a local preference into our public housing apartment communities and lastly we are in the process of becoming a second chance employer.
To serve this population it is critical to create dynamic partnerships with local jurisdictions, law enforcement, parole and probation and non-profits that serve this population. It is paramount that we as housing providers forge non-traditional partnerships that create cost savings for the community more broadly and serving this population is a tangible way for us to achieve this important goal. One of the key drivers for reducing recidivism rates in your communities is the provision of affordable housing coupled with the necessary supportive services for this population to stabilize and succeed. We are excited about the work we are doing in our community in providing housing and services to people with criminal histories and we would be honored to share our experiences and resources as you might be considering prioritizing serving this population in the housing resources that you administer.
Homes for Good (formerly HACSA)
PNRC Merit Scholarship Winner
The 2018 PNRC winner for the NAHRO Merit Scholarship is Anastasia Andreeva from the Housing Authority of Jackson County (OR).
Anastasia and her family emigrated from Russia five years ago. When she arrived as an 8th grader she did not speak English. She is now an excellent student with a 3.9 (weighted) grade point average and she has been accepted to the University of Oregon where she will study Chemistry and plans to have a career in Pharmaceuticals.
Anastasia (Stacy) will receive $1,000 from PNRC and will receive at least $1,000 from NAHRO but could win up to $5,000.
Housing Authority of Yamhill County
Appoints New Executive Director
After a nationwide search, the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of Yamhill County (HAYC) has selected Massey Casper as their new Executive Director. Massey will be joining HAYC on July 9, 2018 and is replacing Elise Hui who will be leaving the agency after almost 18 years to move to Florida.
HAYC and its non-profit arm, the Yamhill County Affordable Housing Corporation (YCAHC), provide housing assistance to low-income citizens throughout Yamhill County. A full range of services is offered, including rental subsidies, non-subsidized workforce rental housing, special needs housing, self-sufficiency programs, and homeownership education and assistance.
Joyce Morrow, Board Chair for HAYC, said that prior to joining HAYC Massey worked at the Providence Housing Authority in Rhode Island as an Associate Director of Facilities Management administering and implementing a comprehensive program of corrective and preventative maintenance for the 3rd largest housing authority in New England consisting of 2,600 public housing apartments. Massey also served as Director of Finance and Administration for the Marlborough Community Development Authority; as Senior Asset Manager for Madison Park Development Corporation; and as Financial Analyst for WinnResidential. He is an MBA graduate from Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island and has certifications from the Project Management Institute, Massachusetts NAHRO, National Apartment Association; and NeighborWorks America. Massey is passionate about finding innovative solutions to develop and preserve affordable housing.
Tobacco-bond refinancing to save state $5 million
SEATTLE - The state of Washington will save an estimated $5 million over the next five to six years, thanks to the refinancing of a portion of an existing bond issue by the Washington State Tobacco Settlement Authority.
With the refinancing, which closed June 20, the Tobacco Settlement Authority will be able to pay off approximately $43.6 million in bonds sooner than anticipated-saving interest and returning tobacco-settlement revenue to the state earlier than anticipated.
"We take our stewardship of these financial tools very seriously and have watched the market for opportunities to save the state money," said Carla M. Dewberry, chair of the TSA. "We're very pleased to have again taken advantage of such an opportunity."
The $5 million savings come from refinancing and restructuring of an allowable portion of tax-exempt bonds the TSA issued in 2013, which themselves refinanced the original 2002 bonds.
The tobacco-settlement bonds originated in the late 1990s, when 46 states reached a settlement with the major tobacco companies over violations of antitrust and consumer-protection laws. Washington was awarded about $4 billion, to be received in annual payments over time.
But due to a recession-related budget crisis, in 2002, state legislators decided to borrow against these future revenues. The Governor appointed the Tobacco Settlement Authority to issue the bonds and incur the debt. The resulting sale of bonds to investors generated $450 million for the state general fund.
Ever since, the TSA has continued to pay off the debt using 29.2 percent of the state's annual revenues from the tobacco settlement. A TSA bond refinancing in 2013 saved the state approximately $90 million over the life of the bonds.
The current refinancing means that the 29.2 percent currently used by the TSA to repay the debt will begin flowing directly to the state earlier than anticipated-a return of $5.6 million.
The transaction would have been larger and generated more savings, but the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the advance refunding of bonds in the interest of offsetting other tax cuts.
Thanks to the Tobacco Settlement Authority, the state has no obligation or liability related to the bonds. The bonds do not affect the state's credit, credit ratings, or borrowing capacity.
Exciting Programs and Events
Nampa Housing Authority (NHA) has some exciting programs and events happening in 2018. All of our activities are free for our residents and the community.
Afterschool program- Our Afterschool program runs through the school year. The children read, complete homework and enjoy making crafts.
Low Impact Fitness program- This is a weekly low impact fitness class that is great for burning calories and strengthening muscles. This class is tailored to everyone' fitness level.
Outdoor Cardio & Dance event- This is event is based off a grant we received regarding awareness and prevention of diabetes in our community. We have had 2 events and will have one more in September. This class is a 2 hour event that is fun and energetic with dance and cardio.
Dining with Diabetes-
Dining with Diabetes is a cooking school and nutrition education program designed for people with diabetes and their family members or caregivers.
Books, books and more books- NHA has partnered with First Book and the Campaign for Third Grade Level Reading. In doing so we hav
e received free books and we give them out to children that come into our office, in our free mini libraries, at summer feeding sites and at our Resident Appreciation Day
Summer Camp- Our summer camp is for our residents and the community. It is free and is 4 weeks long. We have partnered with 4-H and University of Idaho Extension. This year the children will be learning Robotics, Shark Tank: Money and Business, Food & Fun, and Exploring with Science.
American Red Cross and Homes for Good
Team-Up on Smoke Alarms
Earlier this year Homes For Good Property Management Division Director, Darlene Kelly, began working with executives at the American Red Cross in Eugene to team-up on new extended-term Smoke Alarms. The Red Cross was awarded a grant for the installation of modern 10-year Lithium Battery Smoke Alarms. The installation program consists of various requirements that include trained volunteers at each unit to install new alarms, along with a brief educational component on Emergency Plans and Fire Safety for the residents who voluntarily sign-up for the Smoke Alarms.
The initial property selected for the first installation was Parkview Terrace. The program was introduced at the May Resident Meeting.. A total of 95 of the 150 residents signed-up for the scheduled event on Saturday, June 9th.
The Red Cross used the Parkview Community Room as a staging area for training, coordination and orchestration of the Smoke Alarm installations. The event was well planned, communicated and organized with approximately with 15 trained Red Cross volunteers spending the day on the project.
Additional Installations at Homes For Good properties are tentatively scheduled for later this Summer after the Wildfire Season. This includes Riverview Terrace in Cottage Grove and Firwood in Eugene.
We thank our friends and colleagues at the American Red Cross including Shirley Keeton - Disaster Program Manager, Corinne Mares - AmeriCorps Communications Coordinator, Carisa Hettich, Denise Juarez, Curtis Peetz, along with the entire staff and volunteers who generously contributed their time and professional skills in dedication to the safety and care of our residents at Parkview Terrace and Homes For Good.
Family Self-Sufficiency 25th Anniversary Celebration
On June 10th the Family Self-Sufficiency program celebrated their 25th anniversary with a reception at the Hult Center Studio. We were joined by staff, participants, and partners and were honored to hear from two of our participants, Kari Johnson and Niyah Ross, about the successes they were able to achieve in the FSS program. Congratulations to the FSS team on 25 years of serving our residents!
The event also honored Charity Ghumman, FSS' volunteer extraordinaire, who has been working with the FSS program for 9 years. Charity has been with the FSS program since March 15, 2009. There are so many things Charity does with very little guidance or supervision and if she can she says yes when asked to assist other staff in Resident Services. She is always pleasant and fun to work with and so quiet most of the time we don't even know she is in her office. We do know there are few volunteers like her who show up week after week, year after year and we are so grateful to have her on our team. Charity, we thank you.
First Story Key Reception
On June 22, 2018 a number of us from Homes for Good and Hayden Homes First Story Foundation attended a Key C
eremony for one of our Public Housing residents and graduate of the FSS program who became the Reprograms 111th homeowner!
Through Homes for Good's Partnership with First Story, the nonprofit arm of Haden Homes, Lisa and Kimmy were able to purchase their home in Springfield with a 30 year, interest free loan on a newly refurbished home. First Story presented the Fresh Start Key to Lisa and Kimberly's new home. Lisa graduated from FSS a year early with over $17,000 in her escrow account and completed an IDA for home ownership totaling $12,000. Lisa chose to put $27,000 down on their new home thus reducing her monthly mortgage payment for her new home, appraised value of around $204,000.00. Lisa has been highly motivated and determined to do whatever she had to do to become a home owner because it has been her #1 goal. She attended all the first time home buyer classes at NEDCO. Congratulations to Lisa and Kimmy!
Resident Services Health Navigator Project
Homes for Good has been fortunate enough to be a host site for a Resident Services Health Navigator project in
partnership with Senior & Disabled Services, Cascade Health and United Way. Our first round of Health Navigators just completed their year at Riverview and Parkview, with the next round arriving in the fall. Navigators are available on-site once a week to assist residents in planning health activities and accessing health resources. It has been an amazing partnership and we look forward to building on this idea to hopefully expand to new sites!
Family Self Sufficiency Training - Coming this Fall!
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a critical and exciting component to the future of the Housing Choice Voucher /Public Housing Programs. Through this course you will gain or refresh your knowledge of the elements needed to create a successful and innovative FSS program. While attending this interactive course you will discover how to be an effective and creative coordinator using best practice case management techniques, including dissecting regulations to insure proper reporting, collecting data, and creating a linkage from the Housing Choice Voucher program to Homeownership. Learn how to create dynamic partnerships within the community to maximize the resources for your participants. Attendees will learn how to form a non-profit organization, to assist with securing and enhancing future FSS funding. You will be inspired to make a difference in the lives of those families you serve! This course includes a proficiency test.
Who Should Attend:
Executive Directors, Senior/Key Management staff, Supervisors, FSS Coordinators or Managers, and individuals monitoring escrow accounts.
- Understand the importance of innovative and dynamic case management by identifying participants needs to create the Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP).
- Organize an FSS program to meet current demands and best practices.
- Change the image of the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing through FSS to create positive community awareness through self-sufficiency.
- Learn how escrow credits are calculated
- Utilizing community resources to build a robust Program Coordinating Committee (PCC)
- Establish a non-profit organization to support the basic operations of the FSS program and create a platform to become self-sustaining.
- Engage in the development and operation of a Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership program including management, counseling, recruiting and financial readiness for participants.
Watch your inbox for more information!
If your agency has any training needs, please contact Regional Service Officer, Kristen Damazio at 503-828-5371 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In many cases there is enough interest from other agencies that the region will sponsor the training (no financial commitment from the agency except for your attendee registration). All you need to do is provide the location!
2018 NAHRO Summer Conference
Though advance registration for the NAHRO Summer Conference - Innovate 2018: IMAGINE - has closed, you'll still be able to register on-site in San Francisco starting on Thursday, July 26.
And for commissioners, NAHRO Professional Development will once again offer Innovate 2018: IMAGINE registrants an exclusive opportunity to attend our Commissioners' Fundamentals seminar. This popular training (led by NAHRO Faculty member Jim Inglis) is available at a substantially discounted rate and will not require an extended hotel stay. Commissioners' Fundamentals will run parallel to concurrent sessions, meaning that seminar attendees will have full access to (and won't miss a moment of) all of Innovate 2018: IMAGINE's main events, including the Opening Plenary Session and networking receptions. Just a few spaces remain open - register on-site!
There's still time! You can get flights on Southwest from Portland and Seattle for under $200.
NAHRO offers a variety of awards and recognition to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the housing and community development field. Make sure your deserving candidate is nominated for one of the following awards:
M. Justin Herman Memorial Award
NAHRO's most prestigious award, honors an exceptionally qualified person who has made outstanding contributions to the quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development.
John D. Lange International Award
acknowledges a person who has made contributions to the international community.
Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award
celebrates the accomplishments and service of an outstanding commissioner.
Emerging Leader Award
recognizes an individual who has been involved in NAHRO at the national, regional and/or chapter levels for at least five years and has distinguished him/herself as an Emerging Leader.
Deadlines for these awards: AUGUST 15, 2018.
The winners will be honored at NAHRO's National Conference
in Atlanta, GA: October 25-27, 2018
NAHRO Fellowship Program
venerates recipients who have demonstrated exemplary qualities as housing and community development advocates, professionals and/or volunteers.
Deadline for applications: July 1, 2018
Roll of Achievers
showcases residents who have made noteworthy efforts to improve as an individual or as a member of the community. Applications are accepted all year.
For additional information on these awards, click here.
Looking for a new job or just want to see what's out there?
If you have position to be posted, please send it to Kristen Damazio,
Regional Service Officer at email@example.com
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