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Web tool targets idea-sharing and improves cross-sector
collaboration to help low-income families
April 22, 2021
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
April 9, 2021
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
March 31, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) March 31, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon President Biden’s announcement of the American Jobs Plan:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds President Biden’s transformative American Jobs Plan to reimagine and rebuild the American economy by centering housing as key to accomplishing the administration’s top priorities of economic impact, racial equity, and climate change. The $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than one million housing units, with $40 billion targeted at the long-neglected public housing capital needs, is the size and scale that can move the needle on improving public housing infrastructure. CLPHA has called for a 10-year road map to recapitalize the public housing portfolio.
“The centrality of public and affordable housing means its impact reaches beyond shelter. It is also critical to other key elements of the American jobs plan including expanding broadband, improving childcare, and increasing health care opportunities. Public housing authorities are the most efficient delivery mechanism for these critical services because of their understanding of local needs, especially the needs of underserved communities of color. Public housing authorities stand ready to implement the bill when it becomes law.
CLPHA will work closely with Congress to ensure that the housing provisions are fully funded and remain central to the bill.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
Today, CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman was quoted in Affordable Housing Finance discussing how the shutdown threatens the stability of low-income households. Though HUD has prepared payments for housing vouchers and the public housing operating subsidy through February, Zaterman notes that the “existential threat” for voucher holders looms given the uncertainty of when the shutdown will end. If housing authorities cannot utilize HUD funding after February, there is a risk that that they will not be able to pay landlords and that landlords will subsequently begin to evict voucher-holding tenants.
Zaterman added that as HUD funding remains suspended due to the shutdown, local housing authorities are growing increasingly concerned about how they will maintain properties, make repairs, and pay employees.
CLPHA will continue our advocacy in support of PHAs and will provide members with additional news about the shutdown as we learn it.
In this December 27, 2018 article by Bruce Japsen for Forbes.com, CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman discusses the importance of cross-sector collaborations between housing and health care to improve life outcomes for low-income families and seniors.
“We’re housers with expertise in the management and operation of affordable housing for low-income families and seniors, but we are not experts in the complexities of health care service delivery,” Zaterman said. “That’s why nearly all of the public housing authorities we surveyed work with a partner to provide health services. Most would do more if they had the funding and resources to commit to their health partnerships.”
Anthony Scott, CEO of Durham Housing Authority (left) and A. Fulton Meachem, President & CEO of Charlotte Housing Authority (right) in Durham, NC.
CLPHA is pleased to see that our members are visiting each other’s communities to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices for preserving and strengthening their public housing portfolios and resident services.
In August, the Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) hosted the Durham Housing Authority (DHA) and Durham city officials on a bus tour of Charlotte public housing properties. The Durham delegation also met with CHA staff, board members, and residents to discuss how Charlotte is transforming its housing portfolio and resident services through entrepreneurial efforts in real estate development, bond programs, property management, and family self-sufficiency programs. You can watch a video slideshow of the Charlotte & Durham meeting here.
In October, residents, staff, and board members from the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) traveled to Cambridge, MA to meet with Cambridge Housing Authority staff and tour public housing communities. MPHA learned from Cambridge about their ongoing, comprehensive public housing transformation financed through the RAD program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and other funding tools. In a post-trip recap, MPHA said their residents expressed the importance of seeing and hearing for themselves that these programs did not result in displacement. In fact, said MPHA, “CHA residents were often able to simply move units and continue living in their building even as the work proceeded around them.” You can watch a video about MPHA’s trip to Cambridge here.
Representatives from the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority on a bus tour of Cambridge Housing Authority properties.
From the San Diego Housing Commission's press release:
After a nationwide search, the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego has appointed San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Lisa Jones to be SDHC’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. She becomes SDHC’s sixth leader in the agency’s nearly 45-year history, excluding those who served as interim President and CEO.
“The greatest threats to the well-being and success of our community are the housing affordability and homelessness crises that continue to plague us. In other words, San Diego cannot succeed without the success of the San Diego Housing Commission. Doing so will require compassion, experience, savvy and expertise,” City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said. “Having worked with Lisa Jones over the last few years, I’ve witnessed her demonstrate those attributes and do so while always prioritizing the people who most need our attention. With her guidance, we’re taking active steps toward ensuring everyone in San Diego can have a home they can afford.”
The San Diego City Council serves as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, which oversees SDHC. Council President Elo-Rivera appointed the Ad Hoc Working Group for the Recruitment of the San Diego Housing Commission President and Chief Executive Officer, which led the recruitment process.
“We need a leader who expands access to affordable housing, leverages external resources to help people get off the streets, reverses historical actions that have segregated communities, and invests in the hard-working staff at the Housing Commission. That leader is Lisa Jones,” said City Council President Pro Tem Joe LaCava, the Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group. The group consisted of City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, former City Councilmember Chris Cate, SDHC Vice Chair Ryan Clumpner, SDHC Commissioner Johanna Hester, former SDHC Vice Chair Robert Spoon, former Community HousingWorks President and CEO Sue Reynolds, and Derrick Luckett, a longtime licensed real estate broker.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be entrusted with the leadership of the San Diego Housing Commission at this pivotal time. As housing costs increase and resources continue to be limited, it will take innovative approaches and partnerships to make the progress that San Diegans need. Engaging with the community is one of my core values. I want to reach out to our community stakeholders, our community members and people across our city who don’t know we are there for them to better reach and serve those that need us the most. I look forward to working with our City Council, Mayor Todd Gloria, our Board of Commissioners, our community partners and our outstanding staff to develop more diverse, person-centered solutions to serve families facing housing instability or homelessness,” Jones said.
In her more than 20 years of service in the areas of affordable housing and homelessness, she has developed and implemented housing assistance approaches that focus on the unique needs of the people being served. She has adhered to the additional values of building relationships, collaborating with community organizations, promoting transparency in government, and fostering equity, diversity and inclusion.
She most recently served as SDHC’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. In that position, she oversaw key strategic and policy initiatives across agency divisions, including SDHC’s Strategic Plan, SDHC’s Moving to Work designation, and homelessness initiatives.
“I am sincerely excited about Lisa being named as CEO. Her ability to couple strategic thinking and innovation when developing ways to help the organization achieve the mission is outstanding. She also has a deep commitment to using the lived experience of the people the San Diego Housing Commission serves as a guide when crafting support programs that are meaningful. These qualities are essential for the leader of this organization as we strive to address the housing and homelessness crisis in the city. I am confident she will have a profound and positive impact in her new role,” SDHC Board of Commissioners Chair Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell said.
Before joining SDHC in 2017, Ms. Jones worked for seven years for the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino in the positions of Operations Manager, Director of Housing Administration, and Vice President of Housing Services. Concurrently, for several years, she also acted as Executive Director of Knowledge and Education for Your Success, a nonprofit affiliate of the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Institute of Leadership and Management with the University of West Anglia, England. She also is an alumnus of the Impact Center’s Women’s Executive Leadership Program.
From the San Diego Housing Commission's press release:
With funding from a new grant announced this week, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) will launch a program to create a pathway for careers in healthcare for youth ages 18 through 26 in the City of San Diego who receive federal rental assistance.
The $604,000 grant from Prebys Foundation will provide funds over a period of two years for “Healthcare Career Catalyst for Young Adults,” an SDHC Achievement Academy program to provide Certified Medical Assistant training and life skills at no cost to eligible youth.
“The opportunity for a career in healthcare as a Certified Medical Assistant can be life-changing for young adults in families with low income. This program is a significant, positive step to support these youth and reflects our strategic priority to help families increase opportunities for self-sufficiency and quality of life,” SDHC Interim President & CEO Jeff Davis said. “I thank Prebys Foundation for partnering with us on this effort by providing this essential funding."
The grant is among $30.6 million Prebys Foundation awarded to organizations throughout the San Diego region in the program areas of Visual and Performing Arts, Youth Success, Healthcare, and Medical Research"
"Our communities are better thanks to the work of the San Diego Housing Commission,” said Grant Oliphant, CEO of Prebys Foundation. “This is why we are proud to invest $604,000 to their work advancing our shared vision for a vibrant and thriving region. We encourage others to support, learn more and celebrate their work."
The "Healthcare Career Catalyst for Young Adults” program builds upon a similar partnership between the SDHC Achievement Academy and Western Medical Training Center that graduated nearly 200 people as Certified Nursing Assistants.
For the new program, the SDHC Achievement Academy will partner with Western Medical Training Center for a comprehensive Certified Medical Assistant course consisting of online and on-campus learning, labs skills, and a clinical externship. Through a partnership with the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), program participants will also receive help to establish and build their credit.
More than 4,800 potential program participants have been identified among individuals ages 18 through 26 in households with low income that receive federal rental assistance from SDHC. These young adults include “disconnected” and “overburdened” youth who experience barriers to work and school and/or pressure beyond what is considered normal or healthy for their age. They also may live in underserved communities and have traditionally faced barriers to financial self-reliance.
Approximately 45% of these potential program participants identify as Hispanic or Latino, and more than half identify their race as Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Color (BIPOC).
The program will enroll up to 80 people—20 in each of four six-month program sessions offered over two years.
Program participants may also receive the following resources, funded through the grant:
- Credit building loans through IRC’s CEO;
- Assistance with opening checking and savings accounts, as needed, with a $50 savings deposit incentive upon initial enrollment, followed by $100 halfway through and another $100 upon completion;
- A $250 monthly stipend to augment participants’ income;
- A $150 one-time assistance payment toward a computer or similar digital device;
- A $30 monthly stipend to support internet or hot spot access;
- A public transit pass or gas card; and
- Supplies such as scrubs/uniforms and shoes.
From Opportunity Home San Antonio's press release:
Opportunity Home San Antonio was awarded a grant from the Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation in support of the ConnectHomeSA program, helping to narrow the digital divide in the community.
Through the grant, 480 devices will be awarded to Opportunity Home residents upon their successful completion of the ConnectHomeSA digital literacy program, with another 60 devices budgeted for residents to access in public housing community rooms.
“As a trusted funder in Bexar County, the Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation is delighted to support San Antonio Homeownership Corporation and their goal to narrow the digital divide in Bexar County by providing a grant that will help provide internet access, digital literacy and access to devices for housing assistance recipients in the community,” said a spokesperson from the Foundation.
In 2015, Opportunity Home became a ConnectHome community, a program created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that focuses on providing residents with the three core components of digital inclusion — access to affordable internet, access to devices, and digital skills training. Upon completion of the CHSA program, participants earn a free refurbished digital device.
“Digital literacy and basics are fundamental to our everyday activities, so when our residents are able to become exposed to these skills, it is integral to their growth,” said Jessica Strom, Opportunity Home digital inclusion manager. “Once they gain the knowledge and obtain a device, they are positioned for success in employment, education, and have improved health outcomes.”
This grant allocation from the foundation aids in narrowing the digital divide in San Antonio. Currently, one in six households in the city do not own a computer and one in four households do not have access to internet or reliable broadband.
From the Global Business Coalition for Education's press release:
The Global Business Coalition for Education announced the Southern California College Attainment Network (SoCal CAN) has been awarded $100,000 in the Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge, a nationwide competition to help boost youth skills across the U.S.
SoCal CAN is a nonprofit that works in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to provide comprehensive college and career advice to public housing residents, focused on breaking the cycle of poverty. SoCal CAN was selected from hundreds of applicants across the country.
The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge honors teams of nonprofits, education organizations, and cities working with the business community to create innovative programs that help prepare young people for meaningful careers. The group also awarded grants to 14 finalists. For the next year, all 15 organizations will be part of an incubator program to share leading practices and connect with business and city leaders invested in youth skills development. The Skills Friendly Cites Network will help their ideas to grow and inspire others.
This is the second cohort of winners in the Challenge, run by the Global Business Coalition for Education, a movement of businesses committed to ending the global education crisis. The initiative is made possible by support from Dell Technologies and Deloitte.
“We’re thrilled to receive this extraordinary recognition. Our cities thrive when our young people thrive,” said Alison De Luca, executive director of Southern California College Attainment Network. “Project SOAR is nurturing the skills and talents of youth in public housing. One-on-one support ensures that their college and career dreams become a reality and breaks the poverty cycle for themselves and their families. Partnerships with colleges, businesses, and social service providers ensure no one falls through the cracks. We’re excited to continue expanding this work since nearly 2.2 million Americans live in public housing.:
“With this Challenge, we’re spotlighting groundbreaking work across the country to nurture skills in young people and help set them up for success,” said Justin van Fleet, executive director of the Global Business Coalition for Education. “This is our way of encouraging youth-serving nonprofits, companies and cities to work together, building skills for the next generation."
The Big Ideas Bright Cities Challenge provides local nonprofit leaders the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading companies and organizations, including businesses focused on digital transformation. This year, the challenge drew hundreds of applicants from 24 states. They had to show collaboration among nonprofits, city leaders, young people, and businesses. Winners were selected based on 10 Standards for Creating Skills-Friendly Cities.
“A ‘skills-friendly’ city does more than just train its workforce,” said Maia Wagner, director of US giving and impact at Dell Technologies. “It cultivates an ecosystem of technology, education, and community support that sets its people up for future success. We are proud to support this holistic initiative that drives innovation at the community level."
“As the workforce evolves, so should the way we think about supporting youth and providing access to resources and education that can match the skillset required for them to fulfill their career aspirations,” said Kwasi Mitchell, chief purpose & DEI officer at Deloitte. “We’re proud to support the Global Business Coalition for Education in its commitment to helping address the systemic barriers that can stand in the way for today’s youth and providing resources that can help create a better, more equitable future for all."
The previous winner, Action Greensboro, in North Carolina, helps find paid internships for young people, including low-income and first-generation college students, and provides stipends for youth to work with minority- and women-owned businesses.
From the Houston Housing Authority's press release:
The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) and Cardiac Solutions have partnered to achieve a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first housing agency in North America to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) with LUCAS compression devices and AED Sentinel camera remote monitoring for all AEDs in all of its public housing complexes. This strategic initiative aims to enhance emergency response capabilities, specifically targeting Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) incidents, the leading cause of death in the United States.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the chances of survival significantly increase when bystanders perform CPR and defibrillation before first responders arrive on the scene. SCA occurs approximately once every 34 seconds in the United States, making it imperative to have life-saving equipment readily available in public spaces.
"Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a silent and swift killer, and our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents led us to take this proactive step," said David A. Northern, Sr., President and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority. "By installing AEDs in all our public housing complexes, we are empowering our communities and enhancing our emergency response capabilities to save lives."
LaRence Snowden, HHA Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, adds, "This groundbreaking initiative aligns with our commitment to providing a secure living environment. This positions HHA as a leader in proactive community welfare initiatives, setting a precedent for housing agencies across North America."
Jon Seale, CEO of Cardiac Solutions, expressed his support for the HHA's initiative: "The Houston Housing Authority's commitment to safety and readiness is commendable. Equipping public spaces with AEDs, LUCAS devices, and AED Sentinel remote monitoring is a crucial step in improving survival rates during cardiac emergencies. We are proud to collaborate with HHA on this life-saving endeavor."
The partnership also addresses the HHA's experience with two significant incidents since March 2023, where the lack of immediate medical assistance devices and training hindered the response to medical emergencies. The HHA recognizes the critical importance of swift and effective intervention in such situations, and this initiative is a direct response to bridge this gap.
In addition to installing AEDs, the HHA emphasizes the importance of ongoing training for staff and residents. This training ensures that individuals are well-equipped to provide immediate assistance during a cardiac emergency, aligning with industry standards and recommendations.