May 24, 2002

San Diego Housing Commission Honored by National Housing Group

The San Diego Housing Commission was recognized for its innovative practices by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Organization (NAHRO) when the commission won three Southwestern region Awards of Merit from NAHRO this month. Additionally, a Housing Commission program resident was honored for her entrepreneurial achievements.

Shown here: Donna and Caesar Estrada and daughters. Family started a gardening business with the help of the Commissions Family-Self Sufficiency Program.

NAHRO lauded the Commission for its various programs and achievements including the successful reengineering of its rental assistance program -an effort noted by HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, who was in San Diego last month to assess the area’s housing crisis and local housing programs.

NAHRO awards won by the Housing Commission are as follows:

Improved rental assistance program - Using a business-approach solution to reengineer and market the Section 8 program, the Housing Commission exceeded its own goals to match 2,400 Section 8 voucher-holding families with San Diego rental property owners within one year.

Resident career planning programs - Provides housing assistance program residents with intensive, state-of-the-art career guidance. The program helps low-wage workers strive for higher earning jobs in order to become self-sufficient.

Medical mobile clinic - A mobile clinic makes house calls to public housing residents in need of medical care. The effort —a partnership between the SDHC and Family Health Centers of San Diego— is designed to help people who would otherwise not receive adequate medical attention.

Resident achievement - San Diego business owner and Housing Commission client Debra Bullard was one of only five people in the country selected to receive a Financial Assistance to Resident Entrepreneurs (FARE) award and the $5,000 grant that comes with it. The award is given to home-based business owners who are striving to become self-sufficient. Bullard will use the funds to buy much needed equipment and toys for her daycare center.

The San Diego Housing Commission helps to bridge the gap between the high cost of housing and the large number of low wage earners in the city of San Diego. The 22-year old agency helps more than 75,000 people with affordable housing each year through award winning programs that benefit the city’s economy and help revitalize neighborhoods.

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