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Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 NMA Housing Awards!

Posted by NMA on Oct 5, 2015 2:31:33 PM

Today at the third annual NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference in Miami, Nan McKay and Associates announced the four winners of the 2015 NMA Housing Awards. We first launched these awards nearly a decade ago to recognize excellence and innovation in the affordable housing industry.

Since then, we’ve been honored to read and evaluate a great number of worthy entries, and this year was no exception. Read on to learn more about this year’s winning agencies.

2015 Excellence in Housing

Fort Wayne Housing Authority

The Fort Wayne Housing Authority offers a truly remarkable spread of achievements, including a robust partnership with the City of Fort Wayne to help the homeless, a resident resource center that promotes self-sufficiency, a financial literacy program, a newly constructed energy-efficient senior housing community built with mixed financing, a newly constructed permanent supportive housing complex for young adults aging out of foster care, and an urban gardening program that has been so successful, participants are able to sell excess produce at a local farmer's market. 

2015 Excellence in Housing
(Honorable Mention)

Nevada Rural Housing Authority

Nevada Rural Housing Authority has long been a member of the Rural Nevada Continuum of Care (RNCoC), but in 2012, NRHA began chairing the organization and providing guidance to the state's small nonprofit and county social service agencies to improve assistance offered to the homeless. NRHA volunteered to lead the effort to create and implement centralized or coordinated intake centers, a complex task with no additional funding.

Through 2014, 11 centralized intake centers were created and the NRHA has become a clearinghouse of sorts for homeless rental assistance in rural Nevada.

2015 Pioneer in Housing
(Large Agency)

King County Housing Authority

King County Housing Authority has been working to address the lack of affordable housing and resulting homelessness in its community for decades. Recognized by HUD as a high-performing housing authority, KCHA was granted Moving to Work (MTW) status in 2003 to develop innovative responses to the region's housing crisis.

KCHA stepped up and took action by building strong community partnerships, aggressively pursuing all competitive voucher allocations, implementing flexible programs through MTW, and designing multiple supportive housing programs that have received local and national attention, including one of the nation's largest housing choice voucher programs for non-elderly persons with disabilities. 

2015 Pioneer in Housing
(Small Agency)

Housing Authority of the City of Freeport

The Housing Authority of the City of Freeport has received local, state, regional, and national recognition for the innovative ways in which it encourages and supports residents in achieving self-sufficiency. HACF offers services and programming above and beyond basic housing, including educational, employment, and empowerment opportunities. Its workforce training has graduated over 100 participants, and 90 percent of its graduates have retained employment.

With this success, HACF added youth programs and additional hands-on training, transforming the local workforce and helping its students achieve self-confidence and personal development.

The #NMAHousingAwards is an annual event created to honor agencies that build bridges to the future and generate real change in their communities and the affordable housing industry.

Topics: energy efficiency, foster children, literacy, mixed financing, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, seniors and elderly, The Housing Conference

Meet the NMA team: Betty Turner

Posted by BEMuser on Mar 6, 2014 9:38:02 AM

Betty TurnerToday in the NMA "Meet the Team" interview series, we sit down with senior associate trainer Betty Turner. With longstanding expertise in subjects including transition to asset management, supervision, and working with commissioners, Ms. Turner frequently trains popular NMA classes such as Public Housing Management, Public Housing Specialist, Supervision and Management, and Hearing Officer Workshop.

Tell us about your work experience.

I have over 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry and have worked in both public housing and Section 8.

How did you get your start in the industry?

I ended up in the industry because I needed a job! I had no clue what a housing authority was about — in fact, I didn't know the government was even involved in housing!

How many years have you been at NMA?

Nine years. Ten years this September.

Education credentials and professional organizations?

B.S. in business administration, and some graduate school. I'm semi-retired now, so I don't do a lot with professional organizations anymore.

What’s one topic you’re most passionate about in the affordable housing industry?

Public housing management. You have an opportunity to work with the whole family in a very meaningful way.

What's your favorite part about your job?

I love training, especially when I see the class participants really getting it!

Describe your typical work day?

Up at 5:30 a.m., in the training room by 6:45 a.m., no lunch, out of the training room about 6 p.m.

Tell us about a successful project that you had a part in.

A collaboration with the social services department in assisting kids aging out of foster care with eligibility for family unification Section 8 vouchers.

Hobbies outside of work?

Movies! There's just something magical about sitting in a large, dark room full of strangers eating popcorn.

NMA senior associate trainer Betty Turner honed her creative team-building skills over more than three decades as executive director of both large and medium-sized PHAs.

Topics: asset management, commissioners, foster children, hearing officer, Meet the NMA team, public housing management, supervision

Announcing the winners of the 2012 NMA Housing Awards

Posted by NMA on Jan 3, 2013 11:22:52 AM

For the second time in less than five years, the St. Petersburg Housing Authority was honored with NMA’s highest recognition, the Excellence in Housing Award. SPHA received the award for its demonstration program to provide housing for young adults aging out of foster care. Below is the full list of award winners:

2012 Excellence in Housing Award
St. Petersburg Housing Authority

Our judges were greatly impressed by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority's demonstration program to house youth aging out of foster care. In collaboration with other local assistive agencies, SPHA helps young adults transition from dependency on the foster care system to self-sufficiency, overcoming the numerous obstacles stacked against them.

2012 Pioneer in Housing Award (Large Agency)
Philadelphia Housing Authority

At a time when energy efficiency and green building methods are of prime importance, the Philadelphia Housing Authority is leading the way in developing sustainable sites that will save money for residents and taxpayers in the long term. Distinguishing itself through the use of tax credit financing and acting as its own developer, PHA has formed partnerships with private financial institutions and received an investment grade rating (AA-) from Standard and Poor's, as well as top ratings on bond issues from S&P.

2012 Pioneer in Housing, Honorable Mention (Large Agency)
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has taken a leadership role in addressing homelessness through innovative programs to extend Section 8 vouchers to the chronically homeless, a population that can be one of the most challenging to serve. HACLA has also provided regional leadership in reducing barriers to access for the homeless and for ex-offenders.

2012 Pioneer in Housing Award (Small Agency)
Housing Authority of the City of Freeport

The impressive number and variety of resources, trainings, and programs offered to residents support the Housing Authority of the City of Freeport's stated philosophy of providing a hand up, rather than a handout. As the HACF notes, "The great thing is that these programs are able to be duplicated at any housing authority in any community with persons who are dedicated to improving the lives of their residents and making the housing properties a better place to live."

2012 Pioneer in Housing, Honorable Mention (Small Agency)
Anniston Housing Authority

The Anniston Housing Authority manages an elderly community that includes 56 apartments. AHA wanted to create a community garden where residents could grow their own produce, but encountered some unusual obstacles. AHA came up with a unique solution — "gardening in a bag." The entire project cost less than $1000 and provided residents with exercise, fresh vegetables, and a popular social activity.

You can read more about these agencies’ achievements on the NMA website.

Topics: energy efficiency, foster children, green building, NMA Housing Awards, seniors and elderly, sustainable communities

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