IAHA Award Winners

2019 IAHA AWARD WINNERS

Anne Smith with Menard County Housing Authority Receives the 2019 David W. Morgan Award

SUMMARY:

Anne Smith has worked for the Menard County Housing Authority for over 30 years. During that time, Anne has served on numerous committees to help expand not only her knowledge but for all those involved in the housing industry. Anne has been a leader in developing new sources of funding for her housing authority including tax credit properties and the RAD Program. In addition, Anne involves her staff to help create new sources of funding and is very supportive of their ideas and designs, creating a team environment. Ms. Smith attends several trainings annually to stay up to date on current housing issues so that she can work proactively. to address situations in the housing field.

Anne spent many years serving as a member of the IAHA Board; has worked on the Maintenance/Management Clinic to raise money for the scholarship fund; worked on the committee for the IAHA Annual Meeting and is currently the Chair of the Membership Committee for the IAHA Board. Anne is an active member of the Central Illinois Council of Housing Officials.

In addition, Anne is currently a PHADA Trustee representing Illinois Housing Authorities, was past chair of the Small PHA Committee and is currently chair of the PHADA Membership Committee.

In Anne's spare time, she volunteers for several local organizations and committees staying involved in her community and county. Anne created a local thrift shop "Give and Take" not only for the residents of Menard County Housing Authority but for the entire county. Anne works tirelessly for the local food pantry and organizes the "Back to School" and "Angel Tree" programs. In addition, Anne is the organist for her local church.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:

2002-Developed 20 single family tax credit properties in Menard County

2006-/Developed 68 single family tax credit properties

2014-Replaced 33 LIPH with 33 tax credit properties/RAD PBRA funding (3rd  in  the nation to receive RAD funds)

2018-Converted remaining 126 LIPH units to the RAD Program

Helped manage the Piatt County Housing Authority

Currently manages the Section 8 program for the State of Illinois

Managed the Alexander County Housing Authority Section 8 program

Anne has always been the person other housing authority directors can call with questions concerning housing programs

Anne always has a smile and a hug for everyone within the IAHA. You can always count on her to brighten up the room with her vivacious personality.

 

 

Peg Barkley on behalf of the Macoupin County Housing Authority Team Receives the Outstanding Achievement Operational Excellence Award.

SUMARY:

Around 2012 they saw their first bed bug case in their public housing developments in Virden and for several years they were doing, roughly, three treatments per week at different units at different sites. This went on for three (3) years. It was definitely a losing battle.  They would treat one unit and another one would pop up. The bed bugs would just spread from apartment to apartment and come back to the treated units' month after month.  They felt as if they would never get the bed bugs under control and actually thought eventually all of their apartments would become infested.

In 2015 their maintenance department devised a plan to build a heat trailer to help battle this problem. The maintenance team purchased an enclosed trailer, wired and set up heaters inside to heat furniture and other belongings.  They came up with a bed bug treatment policy that they follow for every unit and every bed bug case. The team goes in and removes all items from an apartment into the trailer. This trailer will hold roughly the belongings from a 2- bedroom unit. They then heat the belongings in the trailer for 3-days. At the same time the items are being heated inside the trailer, the apartment has heaters set up inside and is being heated for that same amount of time. This ensures that all crevices have a chance to heat to the 120-degree temperature that is recommended to ensure that all bed bugs are dead, and, in the trailer, they average 140-degrees to make sure the bugs are dead. They then treat all baseboards, outlets and floors once the heat treatment is done in the unit. The team moves the tenant's belongings back into the units and encase the mattress and box springs. They not only treat the affected unit, but they do preventative treatment to the neighboring units. Once treatment is complete, they schedule a 5-week weekly inspection at each treated unit to ensure that all signs of bed bugs are gone. With the weekly inspections of the treated units, they also provide education to the residents of the affected unit and the neighboring units to help minimize the reoccurrence of a bed bug infestation. The education covers tips on how to avoid preventing an infestation, helps them identify bed bugs and their eggs, education on how to manage and treat for bed bugs and cleaning suggestions. Bed Bug education continues throughout the year at annual recertification appointment and through our monthly newsletter. The education is the most important part of the process. They also do preventative steps to prevent bed bug infestations by heat treating every empty unit after a tenant has vacated and before refurbishing for a new renter. This heat treatment on an empty unit is treated the same way an infested unit would be treated to ensure that any bed bugs that were there undetected were destroyed.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:

The Macoupin County Housing Authority is worthy of this award due to the continued success of their procedure and program. We feel these steps have helped the agency eradicate bed bugs. While they still have cases from time to time, they have gone from three (3) treatments per week of infested units to roughly three (3) cases of infested units this past calendar year; and repeat cases of the same unit are almost non-existent. They have also started providing support services to neighboring Housing Authorities to help treat their units/facilities and education their staff and tenants.

Lynda Krulac with Fulton County Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Resident Relations Award

SUMMARY:

In 2008, Lynda Krulac, began a “Back to School” program to assist all school-age children of the Fulton County Housing Authority’s family site with age-specific backpacks full of all the needed supplies on each child’s required school supply list. Each year Lynda personally shopped for all the items and prepared the bags herself to be delivered to the children. After several years, other local agencies and churches started to provide similar services for area children, so Lynda went to work organizing an alternative to the backpacks. In 2012, Lynda partnered with Mel’s Sporting Goods in Canton and evolved her program to ensure every school age child in the Housing Authority was issued a voucher to receive a brand-new pair of shoes for school. The shoe voucher was a huge hit until last year when the sporting goods store no longer carried shoes in its inventory. Lynda did not let this stop her “Back to School” program. Instead, she partnered with Camille’s, a local screen printing/apparel store and arranged for each child to receive a “school jacket” for the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, Lynda had the jacket embroidered with the child’s name on it. This school year Lynda plans to provide each child living in the housing authority with a hooded sweatshirt.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:

Lynda has spent countless hours organizing local businesses, her staff and housing authority families to ensure the children of Fulton County Housing Authority have the necessary items for school. Building a child’s self-confidence is very important and Lynda is doing this by providing the necessary tools for the housing authority children to attend school and have all the supplies needed to become a successful and productive student. I believe Lynda Krulac and the Fulton County Housing Authority Staff deserve to receive the Outstanding Achievement in Resident Relations.

 

Tom Upchurch with Jefferson County Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Creativity Award

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM:

Educational training for ECHO ED's regarding service dogs, emotional support animals and Reasonable Accommodation process in granting these requests.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM:

Mr. Upchurch volunteered to provide an educational program for ECHO ED's regarding the rules and regulations regarding granting reasonable accommodations for service dogs and emotional support animals. Mr. Upchurch provided information surrounding the differences in ADA rules and Fair Housing regarding this subject. Mr. Upchurch brought his service dog, Henry, to the program to dispel some of the myths surrounding service animals.

THE RESULTS OR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM:

The entire group now has a better understanding of the differences of both agencies in granting reasonable accommodation requests for service and emotional support animals. Bringing Henry had a positive result on everyone in the room. The presentation was very interactive and informative; many questions were answered. Mr. Upchurch brings unique knowledge to the subject as an ED himself and was able to present situations an ED might encounter and provide helpful information to address those issues as they arise.

 WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:

Mr. Upchurch is worthy of the Outstanding Achievement in Creativity Award for his work to ensure ECHO ED's understand the differences in service and emotional support animals.

Using Henry during his presentation and allowing the group to interact with him was great because everyone at the meeting now has an understanding of what a Facility Service dog can bring to the environment. Mr. Upchurch is very knowledgeable in this area and has attended seminars and training on his own to add to his knowledge base. This is a great program and Mr. Upchurch and Henry would be an asset to any ED training program in the future.

 

Dennis Green with Pekin Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Miscellaneous Award

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM:

IAHA Handbook for ED's

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM:

In an effort to assist new ED's, IARA Board members asked to have a handbook put together containing information on subjects ED's are often tasked with. The handbook contains information on such subjects as the role of the ED; Illinois Housing Authority Act, agency planning, etc. Mr. Dennis Green volunteered to put the handbook together.

THE RESULTS OR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM:

Overall, ED's have found the Handbook to be a valuable resource for hard to find information. Information provided many years ago, sometimes is difficult to locate when HUD manuals or Guidebooks are revised. For example: From Lindsey Morris, as a fairly new ED with minimal training for my new role, I found information in this handbook, I was unable to find anywhere else at the housing authority. While completing paperwork for a vendor, I was asked what type of corporation the agency is. I was unable to answer that question until I found the answer in this handbook, delineating housing authorities as municipal corporations. In putting this handbook together and providing information in one place that is easily accessible, Mr. Green and IARA have provided the ED with another tool in assuring our residents have safe affordable housing.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:

Mr. Green is worthy of the Outstanding Achievement for Miscellaneous Award for his work in putting together the IAHA Handbook for ED's. Gathering all of this valuable information in one place was a herculean effort. Utilizing his many valuable years at the helm in public housing, provided this project with information most new ED's and some seasoned ED's would have difficulty finding or obtaining.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 IAHA Award Winners

Deanna Mitchell with Richland County Housing Authority Receives the 2018 IAHA David W. Morgan Menorial Award.

I would like to nominate Executive Director Deanna Mitchell from the Richland County Housing Authority for this wonderful award. Deanna has been at her housing authority job for 40 years. Think about that ...40 years!!! Deanna started working in the office of the housing authority when she was just a teenager in high school and throughout those 40 years has blossomed into the seasoned veteran most of us know and love.

Deanna is a very active member of IAHA, currently holding office of recording secretary and has been an IAHA board member for many years, in charge and creation of the IAHA Facebook page, a member of maintenance and management planning committee since the beginning of time (or so it seems), is a very active member of the ECHO council, has organized many trainings, and has helped countless office staff/executive directors throughout her very long tenure. She has personally talked me off countless ledges over the years. As if her housing authority doesn't have enough to deal with Richland County Housing Authority recently acquired the Section 8 programs from Clark and Cumberland counties.

Deanna is so deserving of this honor for all she does for her housing authority, IAHA, ECHO and the support and counseling she gives to all. She really does go the extra mile and after 40 years that sure tells you she really believes in what she is doing for her clients, community and peers.

As Deanna says ... it's going to be ok ... don't worry so much ... HUD can't eat you!

 

Montgomery County Housing Authority Receives the 2018 IAHA Operational Excellence Award.

Summary: The Montgomery County Housing Authority operates 191 units of low-income public housing in Montgomery County, Illinois, 37 multifamily units that were converted to RAD in 2017, as well as 89 Housing Choice Vouchers, manages 4 tax credit developments with single family homes as well as elderly apartments. They have received a Tax Credit allocation in 2018, and approval to convert another 50 units of Low Income Public Housing to RAD in 2019. They have also purchased 32 market units 3 market rate apartment complexes in Hillsboro in the past 5 years. As of the recent FYE 12/31/16, MCHA reported a PHAS score of 93, and has been a high performing agency in both Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs under the direction of Kelly Moroney as CEO since in April 2005.

Description : The Montgomery County Housing Authority's main objective is to be the leader in making available decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for low and moderate income persons through effective management and the wise stewardship of public funds in Montgomery County, Illinois, population 30,000.

Results/ success: CEO, Moroney, was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer for the Montgomery County Housing Authority on April 20, 2005. Since that time she has made it her mission to find ways to upgrade the very aging stock of Public Housing Units in MCHA’s portfolio, despite the shrinking Operating and Capital Fund Subsidy. She also made it her mission to keep the occupancy rate for MCHA at or above 98% each and every year, which she has managed to do over the past 10 years. She managed to do this by bringing on a full time inspector to ensure that all of MCHA’s properties, both inside and out, were being maintained at a high level. She also hired summer staff to help with landscaping and other site improvements each year. She implemented policies, procedures, and monthly planning meetings to bring leasing, maintenance, and administration together to create game plans on how to most efficiently deal with all upcoming vacancies as well as marketing strategies to increase the waitlist.  This included creating a website with an online application. By these measures and others, MCHA earned 100% of the occupancy points on their most recent PHAS Score under both the management and capital fund sections. Also, on the FYE 12/31/16 PHAS Score MCHA earned 39/40 points in their Physical score despite having 60+ year old buildings. In addition to these major jumps, MCHA also earned all points in payables and receivables, which ultimately led to and maintaining the High Performer Status it currently has for over a decade. Moroney has had zero audit findings across the 5 annual audits MCHA has (both Public Housing and Tax Credits) during her tenure. She has spearheaded the Development of a mixed finance Elderly Development where many outdated, two-story buildings with only outside staircases were demolished and ground level entry, energy-efficient units were built to replace those units.  This was done using the Capital Fund Financing Program as well as Tax Credits.  This project also earned MCHA the Chamber of Commerce Beautification Award for their hard work and improvement to those particular neighborhoods.  She also has just completed their first phase of demolishing and leasing 37 units of 60+ year old cinder block public housing units, with full occupancy in less than a year after the initial start of the construction, using a combination of Tax Credits and grants, which will improve the living conditions of MCHA residents as well as the look and feel of the three towns that those developments are in.   

She has just received a Tax Credit allocation in 2018, and RAD approval to convert another 50 family units of Low Income Public Housing, in Hillsboro, Illinois to RAD 1 – 4 bedroom single family duplexes in early 2019.

The tireless efforts of CEO Moroney have completely transformed the Montgomery County Housing Authority’s reputation throughout the county and local towns that it services. The results of her work are proven and verified by the drastic turnaround, both operationally and physically. Her performance has made her worthy of the award for Outstanding Achievement for Operational Excellence.

 

Springfield Housing Authority Receives the 2018 IAHA Miscellanous Achievement Award.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: With the help of GenH Kids, Springfield Housing Authority provided a community garden for the 56 families of Johnson Park. Many United Way volunteers from Illinois National Bank donated materials and time to build four raised garden beds. GenH Kids provided and helps maintain a large variety of fruits and vegetables that are available to anyone within Johnson Park. The Johnson Park families are encouraged to help maintain the garden. Children in Johnson Park often help water the garden and learn about growing healthy food. In addition, GenH Kids visits Johnson Park weekly to provide locally grown produce to the community free of charge with their Pop-Up Produce Pantry. Families are educated on how to prepare healthy meals with home-grown fruits and

vegetables.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM: Johnson Park consists of 56 families, all of whom have the opportunity to benefit from this program. GenH Kids is an agency dedicated to creating a generation of healthy kids through education, empowerment, improved nourishment and increased physical activity. GenH Kids partnered with Springfield Housing Authority to create and maintain the community Garden. The agency also visits Johnson Park weekly to provide additional locally-grown produce at no cost to the families. During this time, they are provided recipes and helpful tips on how to prepare healthy meals with the produce available to them. The goal of the community garden and pop-up produce pantry is to provide a source of healthy food and education on how to prepare healthy meals. Springfield Housing Authority encourages the Johnson Park families to contribute to the care of the garden as well as take advantage of the hearty supply of healthy foods available to their family.

THE RESULTS OR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM: Johnson Park families have successfully participated in helping maintain the community garden and have been very grateful and excited about the produce that is easily available to them. Many children within Johnson Park often visit to help water the garden and show an interest in how things grow. They have also showed an interest in trying new healthy foods.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD: Springfield Housing Authority takes pride in being able to do more for the families than providing affordable housing alone. Partnering with GenH Kids has brought the families out into the community, provided more opportunities for communication between SHA staff and the families, and has given SHA the opportunity to show the families that we care about their well-being and having a strong sense of community.

 

Springfield Housing Authority Receives the IAHA 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award In Resident Relations.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: Dinner to go is a program that was designed by the Asset Manager after noticing that the Senior and Disabled residents were hungry at the end of the month and they still had a few days until payday.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM: Management creates a simple. filling meal for the end of each month (right before payday) that the resident can get a four meals out of, soup, chili, spaghetti. etc.) we make a large batch for a small amount of money, under 20 dollars and hold them over for a few days, to keep their pride intact, they can donate a can of food. or $.50 or someone can buy them a meal if they are short and the donation goes back into the inhouse food pantry or next months dinner to go budget. Great success ... !

THE RESULTS OR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM: This program has been a hit, everyone eats, it has created a pantry for each of our High Rises for residents in need to pull from and it keeps the bellies full.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD:  This is absolutely worthy of an award! SHA has stepped out of the box on this idea ... we have housed our folks and fed them too .. we are always thinking and trying something new.

 

Lake County Housing Authority Receives the 2018 IAHA Outstanding Achievement for Creativity Award.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: Studies have shown that children from low income families are at a disadvantage when it comes to early exposure to language and literacy.  By the time children from low-income families reach school age, they have one-fourth the vocabulary of children from wealthier households. In an effort to combat this social issue, our FSS team implemented a Family Literacy Night. The purpose of this event was to increase interest and awareness of literacy resources for adults and children within our Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM: Lake County Housing Authority’s FSS team continually strives to improve the social environment of Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents. The achievement gap is very prevalent within the Lake County community; for this reason the Family Literacy Night was implemented to promote and encourage literacy and academic achievement. Reading and writing are some of the critical skills that individuals will need to be successful in today’s job market. Although literacy skills are so critical for personal and professional growth, we find that many individuals, especially the youth within our community struggle with understanding basic reading and writing skills. Understanding these literacy concepts is necessary for them to be able to break the poverty cycle. We realize that we must play a role in eradicating these barriers to success for youth and adults within the community. In addition to the resources that were provided at this event, we also offered games and activities for youth to engage in that are strongly focused in literacy components such as: reading, writing, and comprehension.

The FSS team at Lake County Housing Authority organized this event and also recruited community sponsors and partners to join in and provide resources for the guests at the event. We promoted this event through the distribution of flyers to local businesses and libraries. Community partners donated books and other resources to be used for children and adults. Local businesses also donated gift certificates for children to receive free haircuts and styles if they read while they are getting their haircut. This was implemented as a part of encouraging ongoing independent reading by children.

THE RESULTS OR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM: The objective of Family Literacy Night was to promote and provide literacy resources to residents of the Lake County community. This goal was met as Family Literacy Night was attended by over 40 Individuals. The families that attended this event now have a different perspective of what literacy and reading means. In addition to the new skills that were gained, community resources for reading and tutoring programs were also distributed.  For the children that attended this event, they now understand that many components of literacy can also be fun and engaging.

Because we found this event to be so successful, LCHA is planning to implement Family Literacy Night event on an Annual Basis. For the coming years we hope to involve more community partners in developing and implementing this program so that we may have a well-rounded informational environment for all participants.

The continuation of this program is not contingent upon federal funds. To provide this program each year we will need the commitment of community partner organizations to continue to provide resources and activities for attendees.  Other organizations could replicate this type of event by coordinating with local agencies that provide specialized services, activities, or gifts that are focused on reading and writing skills.

WORTHINESS FOR AN AWARD: As part of an ongoing effort to seek out new ways to serve our residents and community, LCHA organized and hosted Family Literacy Night for the first time. This service was focused primarily on community youth and how to help bridge the achievement gap that they are facing in the classrooms and beyond. By providing resources to help develop this necessary skill, we empower children to achieve personal success.

 

 

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