The Latest News
January 2019
Guest Message
Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, I retired from my position as CEO of Housing Opportunities of SW WA as of December 31st after 32 years in this business. I feel fortunate to have had a career that I loved, and that challenged me to grow in so many ways. It's been my greatest honor to work with a staff capable of miracles and with all of you, changing our communities for the better every day.  

When I think back to my difficult days as a single mom with two small children, standing on that white line in the DSHS office waiting to apply for assistance, I can truly see how God molds us through all of the challenges we face in our daily lives. My career began at the Kelso Housing Authority as a work study student and progressed from bookkeeper/receptionist to public housing and Section 8 Specialist.   The business, and the people we serve, fascinated me. Every day was different. I realized how lucky I was to find a career where I could make a positive difference in people's lives on a daily basis. I decided I wanted to be an Executive Director at some point. I was offered a management position at the Longview Housing Authority four years later and went back to school. I was promoted to Assistant Director and ultimately hired as Executive Director January 1, 1998.

The most important decision of my early career was to deliberately seek out the most successful and innovative people in the field, here in the Pacific NW and across the country. Those mentors fired my creative juices. They taught me the fine points of advocacy and development and of sharing your knowledge with others. 

Seek out a mentor. Be a mentor. Together we can make a difference every day.

Chris Pegg
NAHRO Fellow
Retired Executive Director - Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington
Mark Your Calendars for the
Annual Conference

April 28-30, 2019
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
J oin us for two days of professional development and networking including general sessions, 7 tracks/professional interest areas with over 30 breakout sessions to choose from, an exhibit hall filled with industry related vendors and more!

Keynote Speakers:
  • Social Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author and Coach - Lou Radja
  • Director and Program Manager of Behavioral Health Services for Seattle Public Schools - David Lewis

Post Conference Seminars
  • Commissioners Fundamentals Training
  • HUD Financial Management Training
  • NAHRO RAD PBV and PBRA Training
Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington Names Jennifer Westerman New CEO

The Board of Commissioners of Housing Opportunities of SW Washington (formerly known as the Housing Authority of the City of Longview) is announcing that Jennifer Westerman has been hired as Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Westerman is replacing Christina Pegg who is retiring on December 31, 2018 after serving 20 years as CEO. 

“We are fortunate to have someone of Jennifer Westerman’s caliber and experience step into this leadership position within HOSWWA,” said Board Chairman, Wayne Ostermiller. “The need for affordable housing has never been greater. We are at a critical moment and we need experienced leadership to successfully implement our strategy. Jennifer has years of experience in this business and a passion for serving the those with the greatest needs in the communities we serve.”

Mr. Ostermiller, Board Chairperson, will be stepping down as of December 31 st as well after more than 35 years of service on the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Ostermiller was originally appointed by Mayor George Raiter. 
600 Marion County Kids
Shop with a Cop for Christmas

The Marion County Housing Authority participated in Shop with a Cop along with the Salem Housing Authority and other community organizations on Saturday, December 8, 2018. The event paired 600 youth with law enforcement and public safety professionals as they were given gift cards to shop for Christmas items. More than 100 children residing in Marion County Housing Authority apartment communities or participants in the FSS program participated. Following the Shop with a Cop event, three Marion County Housing Authority families with children and that are also low income, were selected to receive additional financial support for the holiday season. Shop with a Cop is sponsored by Believe in Your Community, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Salem Police Foundation.

Andrew Ramirez, 11, poses with Turner Police Officer Steve Reich after he helped him pick out toys during the Shop with a Cop at Walmart on December 8, 2018.

Photo Credit: Michael Roman, Statesman Journal
For Thousands in Bremerton, Paying the Rent Takes Winning a Lottery

Nearly 2,500 applied for 300 spots on the waiting list for housing vouchers.

On a recent Wednesday morning, six staff members of the Bremerton Housing Authority – the area’s largest affordable housing agency — sat in a conference room looking at a spreadsheet.

It felt like any other day at the housing administration on Park Avenue and Sixth Street. Drizzle pattered at the windows, employees, including director Kurt Wiest, shared hushed conversations in anticipation of a long weekend.

But it was a big day at the housing authority. For the first time in more than two years, staff would hold a Section 8 rental assistance lottery. An event Wiest said could “change people’s lives.”
The question was, whose?

Through the Section 8 program, the BHA pays about $1 million each month on behalf of low-income renters, with funds provided by the federal government.

NAHRO Sends 4,200 Letters to Congress,
Exceeds Lame Duck Advocacy Goal

Thanks to your help, NAHRO sent a total of 4,240 letters to Congress during the lame duck session, far exceeding our ambitious goal of 3,400 letters.

The lame duck session is a critical time in Washington when members of Congress return to Capitol Hill following a federal election to complete unfinished business before the close of Congress. The lame duck session is usually an extremely productive time and presents opportunities for lawmakers to push forward priorities or bills that need to be completed prior to the end of the year.

NAHRO focused on two topics important to housing and community development: finalizing FY 2019 Transportation-HUD spending and the  Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) .

While Congress was able to make progress on a number of important issues, neither of NAHRO’s priorities were addressed before the end of the lame duck session. Congress does appear to be on track to avoid a government shutdown during the holidays, but unfortunately, the spending bill they passed is another continuing resolution that will extend federal funding through Friday, February 8. This means final spending decisions for FY 2019 will be delayed until at least four months into the fiscal year.

Additionally, attempts by the House to address tax issues were unsuccessful and no vehicle for the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act emerged. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), one of the original sponsors of the bill, is retiring, but the other sponsor Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) will carry on the fight for the bill in the new Congress. NAHRO looks forward to working with Sen. Cantwell to support her bill and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Thank you for your continued support during this productive lame duck session and throughout 2018!
Awards of Merit in Housing and Community Development
2019 Application Deadline is this Friday, January 11th  

The NAHRO Agency Awards Program was created to give national recognition to the achievement and innovation of NAHRO agency/organizational members throughout the country; to provide additional opportunities to inform the public of the best in housing and community development; and to create a resource bank of information on significant, innovative activities performed by housing and redevelopment agencies and community development departments. Since 1989, NAHRO has honored more than 6,000 programs. The awards application process opens in October and closes in January.

The Agency Awards Program is a two-tiered program consisting of the Awards of Merit and the Awards of Excellence. The first tier of the program, the Awards of Merit, are submitted to National NAHRO and sent to Regional Juries for review. The second tier of the program, the Awards of Excellence, are selected from the Award of Merit winners nominated for an Award of Excellence by the Regional Juries. They are sent to National Juries who may select up to 24 Awards of Excellence in a given year.

The Awards Application consists of two main parts. A Program Summary that describes the program in 100 words or less and a Program Narrative that creates an overview of the program that addresses a set list of questions/topics in 2,400 words or less. For more information, please review the 2019 Awards Flyer. 

Visit the NAHRO Website for more information.

2019 Deadline/Application Fee:  
Late: $150 by January 11, 2019
2019 NAHRO Biennial Elections

The NAHRO leadership changes hands biennially with the election of a President and Senior Vice President by the NAHRO membership. 

Campaigning for biennial elections begins at national conferences in even-numbered years and concludes with the election in the fall in odd-numbered years. NAHRO Associates and Allied Individual members are eligible to seek the office of NAHRO President or Senior Vice President.
Candidate for President:
Sunny Shaw, CME
Executive Director,
Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships
Pocatello, ID
Twitter: @sunnyshaw7

Candidate for Senior Vice President:
Patricia S. Wells. CME
Deputy Executive Director,
Oakland Housing Authority
Oakland, CA
(510) 874-1516
2019 Calendar
'What Home Means to Me'

Each year, NAHRO's Housing America campaign holds a poster contest for children living in affordable housing owned or administered by NAHRO member agencies. Participants create posters that express the theme of “What Home Means to Me.” The contest is a collaborative effort of NAHRO’s local and state chapters, regional chapters and national NAHRO.
Proceeds from the calendar sales go to a fund for the contest winners. The 12 national honorees will each receive $100 Visa gift cards. The Grand Prize honoree will receive an iPad; his or her family will also be provided with transportation to and from, as well as lodging at NAHRO’s 2019 Washington Conference. The Grand Prize honoree will also receive a framed copy of their original artwork and will tour Capitol Hill.
This year, calendars are available for $9.99. Shipping charges are included. All of the proceeds go to the 2019 contest winners' gifts.
1/16/2019 Labor Standards - e- Learning; Online 0.25 CEU

1/23/2019 - 1/24/2019 - HQS Refresher - e-Learning; Online 0.50 CEU

1/30/2019 - 1/31/2019 - HCV Homeownership w/ Proficiency Test - e-Learning; Online 0.50 CEU

2/6/2019 - 2/7/2019 - Workshop for Executive Directors e-Learning; Online 0.50 CEU

Property Management Division Director  - Homes for Good, Eugene, OR

Program Specialist - Community Builder - Tacoma Housing Authority, Tacoma, WA

Assistant Director of Human Resources - Home Forward, Portland, OR

Custodian - Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Anchorage, AK

Housing Specialist - Housing Authority of Yamhill County, McMinnville, OR

For a list of all of the job openings in the region, please visit our website.

If you have position you would like included in the newsletter and on the website, please email Regional Service Officer, Kristen Damazio at
 PNRC NAHRO | 202-580-7203 | |