Housing authorities across the country are interested in joining the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration, but many are unclear on how to become an MTW agency, or how to implement flexibilities once they achieve MTW status.
Starting today, we'll be publishing a series of periodic interviews with the NMA team. First up is Carrol Vaughan, vice president of professional services. Carrol has previously written for the NMA blog on such subjects as HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), the proposed voucher reform legislation currently known as AHSSIA, and the project-based voucher (PBV) program.
Tell us about your work experience.
I've been in the affordable housing industry for about 28 years. I ran a nonprofit in 21 counties in Kentucky, was executive director of a medium-sized housing authority in North Carolina, and executive vice president and COO for San Diego Housing Commission. Before that I worked for an executive search firm!
How did you get your start in the industry?
Completely by accident. I was living in Kentucky and saw an ad in the local newspaper for a position in community development. I went by to pick up an application (in my jeans and t-shirt) and was hired by the director that afternoon.
How many years have you been at NMA?
One and a half, this time. Three years in the late '90s.
Master's degree in public administration.
What's one topic you're most passionate about in the affordable housing industry?
I believe decent housing is the number one necessity in life for someone to be successful. Without housing, families can't send their children to school, or keep a job.
What's your favorite part about your job?
Working with people at different agencies and producing work that they feel is helpful and worthwhile.
Describe your typical work day.
Lots of conversations with people, both staff and clients. Writing or reviewing proposals. Managing engagements to ensure everything is on track and our clients are happy.
Tell us about a successful project that you had a part in.
A very large agency asked us to assess their programs and help establish an effective quality assurance department. I was the engagement manager, and feel that we provided lots of good ideas and worthwhile recommendations. Plus, it was in a great city and it was fun!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Good question. I've worked professionally since I was 15, and I don't have hobbies, as most people would define. I truly enjoy the work I do. However, I do like to entertain, travel, and spend time with my 'kids' — two Maltese and one Labrador.
Through her veterinarian, NMA VP Carrol Vaughan provides a foster parent home for dogs that have been abandoned or abused. Carrol is also a socialization volunteer for the American Service Animal Society. Look for her in June at the 2013 NAA Education Conference in San Diego and the 2013 NCSHA Housing Credit Conference in San Francisco.
This article was recently published in the Spring 2012 issue of the SERCulator. As it may be of interest to housing professionals across the United States, we're reposting it here.