Mississippi AssociAtion oF Housing And RedevelopMent
Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
In the INFORMER
From the President
Executive Directors Meeting
Photo by: Onita Howell
he 2013-15 term is off to a great start.
I have chosen “Strength in Unity,
Achieved through Diversification” as
the theme of this term. It is when
we work together and combine our
diverse backgrounds that we become
more inclusive and stronger as a
group. Even as a Housing Industry we
must diversify to become stronger.
I applaud those housing authorities
who are taking HUD’s challenge to use
the new program Rental Assistance
Demonstration (RAD), to diversify their portfolios. While I am
optimistic, I also am mindful and understand that the RAD
program does not work for all housing authorities.
In October 2013 we had a wonderful Executive Director’s
Retreat in beautiful Natchez, Mississippi. Special appreciations go out to Central Mini Group Co-Chairs: Mary Johnson,
Executive Director of Forest Housing Authority and Ben Washington, Executive Director of Vicksburg Housing Authority,
who together, coordinated a remarkable executive director’s
retreat. I also want to thank Alan Ingram, Executive Director of
Natchez Housing Authority and his entire staff for hosting this
event and showing our group a wonderful time in their historic
City of Natchez. The tours were great, the food was excellent
and the fellowship was even better. We also had a great team
building/brainstorming session, which helped us as executive
directors, from across the state, to develop a list of concerns
facing large, medium and small housing authorities. These
items of concern were then used to develop an agenda for the
MAHRO Transitional Meeting held at Ridgeland, Mississippi in
The transitional meeting was well attended by the MAHRO
executive board, committee chairs and committee members
alike. I am very motivated and inspired by the diverse and
creative ideas, which came from the committees working
together to develop strategies to help MAHRO meet its goals
for this 2013-15 term.
MHARM under the leadership of Tommy Robinson,
Executive Director of Mississippi Regional Housing Authority IV (MRHA4) with Philip Rutledge and the wonderful
staff of Arthur J. Gallagher, conducted another informative
Insurance Workshop also this past January in Ridgeland.
Immediately following the insurance workshop, MAHRO
conducted its Legislative Luncheon lead by Rusty Walker
III, MAHRO Legislative Committee Chairman. Rusty presented a very informative and compelling case to the
Continued on page 4
Royal Ann Spencer
Association of Housing
Officials (MAHRO) shall
training, and support
to its membership.
MAHRO shall foster the
highest standards of
service, and accountability by its members.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
continued from page 2.
Congressional and Senatorial Aids in attendance, asking for reduced
federal regulations. Housing Authorties and the housing industry in
general are facing reduced funding and increased regulations. We
all know that federal regulations cost money to implement, money
which we just don’t have. Special thanks go to Kaye Judson, Executive
Director of West Point Housing Authority for her coordination of venues and accommodation for these past events as Vice President of
Brian Power, Maintenance Director at MRHA4 and MAHRO Education
and Training Committee Chair is putting the final touches on the Annual
Maintenance Conference scheduled for February 19-20th, which should
take place at the release of this edition of the Informer.
As you can see your MAHRO Board and Committees are hard at work
for our State of Mississippi and we are just getting started. I want to
thank you again on behalf of all of the MAHRO Board and Committees
for allowing us to serve in our designated titles.
Special thanks to
Alan Ingram and
his staff for putting
together a wonderful tour of Natchez
for the Executive
Executive Directors were invited to take different
strings and tie them on another persons string
necklace. Tell that person something they admired
The MAHRO Executive Directors Retreat attendees in Natchez were given the opportunity to tour two antebellum homes while in
town on Thursday afternoon of the retreat, just after lunch.
The first home toured was Rosalie, which is a part of the Natchez National Historical Park that is still being developed. This
beautiful old home was just three blocks from the Natchez Grand Hotel, where the retreat was being held, and was the first stop on
the tour. Once off the tour bus, the attendees were separated into two groups, in order to make the guided tour more personable and
accommodating, where there would not be too many people crowded into the rooms as the tour progressed. The tour guides were
extremely cordial and completely knowledgeable about each and every room and each piece of the furnishings, going into explicit
detail about each thing, including ownership from the date Rosalie was built. The grounds were beautiful and perfectly maintained,
with the back side yard overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.
The second and final home toured was the most magnificent home that Natchez boasts out of all its mansions, Longwood. This
mansion was never completed as the Civil War began while it was under construction, and the upper floors were left just as they were
while under construction. The downstairs floor was the only one completed, and the entire group was led on a tour by a tour guide
who knew all there was to know about Longwood itself and the history surrounding it. Even though unfinished, parts of an upper
floor were open to also be toured on our own, as well as the beautifully maintained grounds.
Both homes led to many, many different photo opportunities for all the attendees. The entire group enjoyed the tour and the
weather could not have cooperated any better for the occasion.
Thanks to Past President Alan Ingram for hosting the tour and submitting this article and Onita Howell for photography.
The Annual Mississippi Housing Luncheon was held May 15, 2013
at the Hilton in Jackson, Mississippi. Past President Alan Ingram
hosted the event along with Legislative Chairman Ron Turner.
U.S. Senators and Representative from Mississippi included
Kim Coalter from Senator Thad Cochran's office and Theresa
Love from the office of Senator Roger Wicker. Congressmen Greg
Harper's office was represented by Sarah West and Brande Burnette
represented Congressman Alan Nunelee.
MAHRO Legislative priorities for the luncheon included topics
related to Public Housing Subsidies, Section 8 Rental Assistance,
Capital Fund discussions, Asset Management to name a few.
This meeting in Mississippi allows a much more effective way of
presenting concerns in this ever-changing industry. With budget
deficit and debt crisis, significant steps must be taken to reform
assisted housing programs and to preserve as much of the existing
housing inventory as possible.
The luncheon provides MAHRO the opportunity to discuss these
issues that affect PHA's around the state and assure that adequate
assistance remains available to low income households.
MAHRO Past President Alan Ingram and 2013
Legislative Chairman Ron Turner present the
Legislative priorities to the group.
Officers and members gathered in the lobby prior to the
In conjunction with the 2013
Legislative Luncheon, MAHRO/HUD
held the Occupancy Workshop at
the Hilton in Jackson, May 17, 2013.
Breakout sessions began at 8
a.m. with a public housing session
with Holly Knight discussing how
occupancy impacts financials. Bailey
Smulh, Portfolio Mgmt. Specialist of
the Jackson HUB office, spoke about MASS Star Tool and UML/UMA
tool. Bonnie Lovorn, PHA revitalization specialist presented issues
involving community service, tenant selections, ceiling/flat rents,
and income targeting.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Funding session agenda included
2013 sequestration funding, increase HAP utilization, as well as
HUD's new guidance on streaming administrative practices for
Panel discussions on PHA related policies included topics such as
rent collections/occupancy issues, Joyce Magarity of Attala County;
tenant accounts receivables, Roberts Knox of McComb; occupancy/
MASS Score, Kaye Judson of West Point.
The 2014 Occupancy Workshop is scheduled in May 14-16.
EMERGING | Leaders
"Rising to the Challenge"
An Emerging Leaders breakfast meeting was also held
during the Occupancy Workshop/Legislative Luncheon
in May, 2013.
The group discussed their ideas and hopes for this new
group of potential leaders. MAHRO's believes these new
leaders will take their talents along with the seasoned
leaders and play active roles in carrying forward the
professional leadership within the organization.
The new 2013-2015 committee is under the
Professional Development leadership of Kaye Judson,
Executive Director of the West Point Housing Authority:
Chair: Helen Werby, Biloxi Housing Authority
Members: Melissa Jordan, MRHA VII
Keith Quin, MRHA VII
Sheila Jackson, Jackson Housing Authority
Janine Lee, Bay Waveland Housing Authority
MAHRO Past President Alan Ingram and
Emerging Leaders meet for an early breakfast
Sevetrius James MRHA VII
before the Occupancy Workshop.
Janine Lee Bay Waveland
Felicia Jackson Laurel
MAHRO Transitional Meeting–2013-15
The MAHRO Transitional Meeting was held November 18, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Ridgeland, MS. President Lucious
Cameron greeted the group and thanked all who agreed to serve as a MAHRO committee member.
The full-day agenda began with the Executive Board meeting with Committee Chairs to present MAHRO goals and
objectives for the 2013-15 term.
After lunch, a general meeting with all in attendance, started with each chair presenting their portfolios and introducing
their committees and agendas for the 2013-2015 term.
• Working with Legislators to increase funding and decrease regulations.
• Provide quality affordable training
• Provide more training covering RAD conversion & tax credit housing
• Continue work to train “Next Generation” of MAHRO & Housing Leader (via Emerging Leaders)
• Mobilize our voice in numbers at state annual plan meetings (QAP, Consolidated Plan, etc)
• Work to include housing authorities & Tax setoff agencies
• Provide vehicle for sharing of information & best practices (i.e. web site)
The meeting continued with members of each committee choosing one committee project to focus and implement their
goals and objectives.
Committee members were energized and ready to serve MAHRO for the upcoming term.
Encouraging A New Sound!
SERC-NAHRO 2013 Annual Conference was held in
the Mega City of Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for this
year's conference was "Encouraging a New Sound!"
With housing changes everyday the conference
provided sessions that included health care reform,
green physical needs assessment, resident services,
issues affecting older residents and other topics within
our public housing agencies.
The annual "Battle of the States and Vendors" golf
tournament was once again won by the state of West
Virginia. Mississippi took the 2nd place.
Past President Thomas Rowe thanked all the
members for the support and dedication for his past
two years of SERC leadership.
Rising to the Challenge
"Rising to the Challenge"! Mississippi's Ailrick
Young, is ready to "rise to the challenge" as the
new SERC-NAHRO president for the next two years.
Under Young's leadership, the SERC-NAHRO
Fall Workshop was held November 2013 in South
Carolina. The Professional Development Committee
worked hard to ensure that educational sessions
concentrated on changes that Public Housing
Agencies are facing at HUD.
Mississippi members support and will work hard
with President Young to bring the very best of
their talents and service to make sure everyone is
prepared for the upcoming two years.
Judy Mellard and Jeff Adams are the Mississippi
representatives for the SERC-NAHRO Professional
Excerpts from "The Leader" 7/26/13—By JULIA V. PENDLEY, DAILY
The Brookhaven Housing Authority held a
groundbreaking ceremony July 2013 for Phase I of the
new Southview Housing Development on Turner Street
across from Alexander Junior High School.
The site, which previously held Carver Heights
Apartments until 2010, will eventually have 38 units
available. The first phase will involve 15 units along a new
road with a cul-de-sac.
Mike Proffitt, executive director of the Housing Authority, said the housing will be
specifically for the elderly in need. He stressed the importance because of the extremely
long waiting list.
Currently, it takes about 18 months before units are available, and placement is
determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. He explained the reason is that it is hard to
tell who has the greatest need.
The demand stems from a continuously growing elderly population coupled with the
need to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for these families, he said.
"This is something we've been dealing with for some time," said Robert Tyler, chairman
of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
Jones-Zander, Ltd. is the architectural firm that designed the complex, and Smith
Painting and Contracting Inc. will handle the construction.
The construction will include three phases, each with its own cul-de-sac. All units will
be either one or two bedrooms, and some for wheelchair access.
Brookhaven Housing Authority
Executive Director Mike Proffitt
speaks during the Southview
FOREST | Housing Authority
“The Buzz” By: Audrey Boyd
Forest Housing Authority/ROSS Services Coordinator
Program is gaining prominence to helping the community
become successful, engaged, and responsible. The
program provides opportunities and support to help the
residents’ gain the success and knowledge they need to
meet the challenges we face daily. We are closing the gap with
these programs to help our community gain good health, wealth,
safety, and knowledge. We are promoting different programs from
the elderly & disabled, working to non-working, and youth residents.
This is having a positive immeasurable and enduring role that’s
impacting the community.
Seminars with professionals such as doctors, lawyers, business
owners, judges, law enforcers, nurses, nutritionist, engineers,
professional footballers, mental health therapists, physical therapists,
pharmacists, clergies, credit & financial advisors, and more to share
and motivate the residents. Their approach inspired many to get back
into the workforce, to farther their education, convince the youth to
do the possible and impossible, assist the elderly & disabled with good
healthy living. They encouraged the residents to recognize their strengths and capitalize on them.
Furthermore, The Forest Housing Authority/ROSS Program would like to identify some events and
ongoing classes of particular GED with East Central Community College, computer class and elderly &
disabled exercise class onsite, Fun Days with the youth, elderly, and disabled, Youth Explosion, Mother’s Day
“A Reason to Smile Day”, Father’s Day “Daddy and Me Day” events.
In addition, we would like to recognize businesses and organizations that donated their time, motivational
and informational speeches, and monetary donations. We appreciate your active commitment and support.
“Our Future depends upon ourselves so keep focus and never give in”.
Fresh peas loading into a bushel, okra being
weighed and watermelons cut to taste are just the
beginning opening activities of the Fresh Food on
the Block Farmer’s Market located at the Townley
Center of the Laurel Housing Authority.
Now in its 4th year, the Market supplies the
community with fresh fruit and vegetables all
grown by local farmers. Meeting every Wednesday
from 8:30-11:00A, June through November,
customers can walk or drive up to purchase the
The Market was started by the Pinebelt
Association for Families (PAFF), a 501c3
nonprofit that works with grandparents raising
grandchildren. Seeing a need to provide fresh foods
for these kinship families living on a fixed income,
Dr. Forster, the Executive Director began working
with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and
Commerce (MDAC) to bring the Senior Farmers’
Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) to Laurel. The
SFMNP provides a once-a-growing season $25
worth of free fruits and vegetables to low wealth
senior citizens 60 years and older living on less
than $1,723 a month, though most live on Social
Security of $800 or less. The voucher program
has now expanded to include other seniors in
the community and now serves over 100 families
bringing $2,500 into the local economy.
Special thanks to Purvie Green, Mississippi
Department of Agriculture and Kay Guy, Director
of Laurel Housing for making this program a
For more information Sylvia Forster, PhD,
Executive Director, PAFF: (601) 606-8785.
Out with the Old...In with the New!
Excerpts from "The Chronicle" 7/30/13–LAUREL, MS
–By Eloria Newell James/Staff Writer
They tumbled down.
The Laurel Housing Authority received the green light to
proceed with a $12.5 million development.
As a result of this approval, physical work began midsummer to demolish some of the units of the Laurel Housing
Authority on Ferrill Street.
Members of the
and city officials
look on as workers began demolishing housing
units of the
(Photo/Eloria Newell James) Workers begin demolishing
housing units of the Laurel Housing Authority. The demolition is needed to prepare for the construction of 130 new
units as a part of a $12.5 million project.
HUD | Happenings
fter 11 years of service, Holly Knight retired and
joined the world of private development as an associate with the Bennett Group. She is sorely missed by
all. As the Interim Hub Director, I have learned that not
only did she leave big shoes to fill; she also has one of the
most amazing teams in the Department. We want you all
to know that as we adjust to the one constant we know
which is “change” we in no way want that to negatively
affect our customer service or technical support for your
efforts. If you have any suggestions about what we can do
differently or better or would like to share a few thoughts
with me, please do not hesitate to contact me. I want to
share a summary of HUD updates that may be useful as
well get used to FY14.
First of course is the budget:
The largest upset of course was the lack of funding for RAD.
• Rental Assistance Demonstration received no additional funding but received
an extension in a General Provision. The question has been raised to HQ on
what will become of any applications approved over the original 60,000 unit
cap. We will let you know when we get an answer.
The HCV Program is being prorated tentatively at 99%
for HAP and administrative fees at 75%. There is funding
for VASH, Tenant Protection Vouchers and Mainstream
Vouchers included. In regards to Operating Subsidy, the bill
provides an approximately 85.5 percent proration to cover
day-to-day operations. Also on the Public Housing Low
Rent side, the General Provision language allows PHAs to
inspect units not less than biennially (instead of annually)
was included. The General Provisions (GP) authorizing
the changes in definition of “extremely low-income” and
changes to utility allowance calculations were also included.
Holly Knight retires
The bill includes and general provision
(Sect. 212) that will allow for the proposed
consortium of PHAs, but not fungibility
between the Public Housing Operating
Fund and the Public Housing Capital Fund.
The bill includes the GP authorizing the
Interim HUB Director flat rent policy, savings associated with
which were budgeted at $40 million.
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION NOTICE PIH Notice 2014-01
was issued on January 9, 2014. This notice supersedes those
parts of PIH-2011-48 (HA) “Guidance on Reporting Public
Housing Agency Executive Compensation Information and
Conducting Comparability Analysis” that refers to the HUD52725 form. There are key changes and the information
must be submitted to the Field Office for uploading to HUD’s
PHARS HUD is still utilizing the PHARS process to work
through issues with agencies achieving substandard or
troubled status through PHAS scoring. This includes but
is not limited to developing actions plans; communicating
with the entire Board and local official at the same time as
communication occurs to the ED and/or developing other
strategies to change behavior. The local HUD Offices will
also now complete a quarterly risk assessment that will
then be augmented with data from LOCCS, PIC and VMS
and other REAC systems and every PHA will be issued a risk
score. Based on the score, the HUD office has determine a
treatment plan that may include tolerate the risk, do remote
reviews, do an onsite review or complete some other type
Corinth Housing Authority
The Board of Commissioners of
the Housing Authority of the City of
Corinth recently appointed Dianne
Timbes as their new Executive Director.
This position was vacant due to the
retirement of Donald E. Morgan.
With over 27 years experience in
Public Housing, Dianne is no stranger
to the Housing Industry. Dianne held
the position of Chief Financial Officer
at the Authority until being appointed Executive
Dianne is married to Chip Timbes. Together they
have four children and two grandchildren.
Mississippi Regional Housing V
Over 23 years experience with the
housing authority, Sonda is no stranger
to the Housing Industry. Worked in all
phases of the housing authority, Held
position of Administrative Director
until appointed ED.
Married to Larry Davis for 36 years,
one daughter, Stacey Davis. Sonda
attends Northcrest Baptist Church,
enjoys traveling, and supports her
husband Larry who is a Recording Artist/Songwriter.
Johnny Johnson receives national honor
Johnny Johnson, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the
Mississippi Regional Housing Authority IV, was recently awarded the
Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award at the National Conference of the
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) in
Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Johnson was chosen from housing and community
development agencies and officials throughout the United States who
administer a variety of affordable housing and community development
programs at the local level. The award, established in 1987, honors
a Commissioner who has demonstrated excellence as an advocate
in developing the support necessary to ensure the continuation and
expansion of housing or community development programs.
Mr. Johnson is the Lowndes County Commissioner of the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority IV. He has served on the
Board of Commissioners since 1989 and has served as Chairman since 2010. In 2012 Mr. Johnson was awarded the Mississippi
Commissioner of the Year award by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was also awarded the 2012
Commissioner of the Year Award by the Southeast Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
Officials which represents ten states. Johnny and his wife Fairie live in Columbus.
Kay Guy retires
Excerpts from "The Chronicle" LAUREL, MS
Executive Director Kay Guy and
Assistant Director/SERC President
Ailrick Young at the retirement
Kay Guy with her
Lucious Cameron, Kay Guy,
Alan Ingram and Ron Turner.
David Miller retires
After five and half years
as Executive Director, David
Miller has retired from the
Mississippi Regional Housing
Authority Region V.
David has served the
housing authority for over
32 years and worked as the
Section 8 director for most of
David is active in the theatre
and even stared in a 1978
movie "Attack of the Killer's
Tomatoes". At the time he had
no idea the movie would have
such a following and to this
David with his wife Deborah.
Sonda Davis presents David Miller
award for service.
Laurel Housing Authority Executive
Director Kay Guy retired after 40 years
Local residents, officials and colleagues
within the housing industry filled the
room at South Central Place to honor
her service to the community. Many
attending the event talked about Guy's
accomplishments over the past four
decades and the achievements made at
the Laurel Housing Authority.
"It has been a great mission for me."
Guy said about her tenure with the
housing authority. "I've enjoyed helping
MAHRO wishes Kay all the best in her
retirement and celebrates her service to
the Public housing community.
Former directors George Smith, Judy
Pinson and David Miller.
day it is still a very popular film.
The housing authority has a
large community support. Friends,
co-workers and businesses
gathered to wish him well and
many thanks and accolades were
The Laurel Housing Authority celebrated 75
years of service to the citizens of Laurel.
Kay Guy, executive director of the housing
authority, said "the Laurel Housing Authority
has been working to make a difference in
people’s lives for seven and a half decades
and are continuing on that quest."
by Floyd Johnson–circa July '97
This is an article Floyd wrote in 1997. Floyd must have a crystal ball
because this article is a timeless piece.
Several weeks ago I attended a seminar of
Community Officials discussing ways to attract
industry. A statement was made that successful
communities in this endeavor have to become
incubators for industry. As I sat there I quite naturally thought about how the incubator concept
could apply to Public Housing and theme "Make a
The more I thought about it the more I was
convinced that we in public housing are already
successful incubators for making a difference. This
has especially been true since the inception of
Self Sufficiency Programs and the myriad of subprograms under it such as JOBS, drug elimination
and prevention, home ownership, literacy and child
The word incubate means a: to cause to develop,
b: to give form and substance to something. By
linking new ideas with talent, vigilance and motivation we in Mississippi have caused to develop
and given form to many programs that help residents achieve self sufficiency thereby. "Making a
Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
The MAHRO Informer is an official
publication of the Mississippi Association
of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
Please submit articles to:
Difference". Motivation is the key
word here. Ideas, vigilance and
talent are meaningless without
the will, desire and determination to put them into action. To
paraphrase John Viscount Morley, "Great economic
and social forces flow with the tidal sweep over
Communities (housing authorities) that are only
half conscious of that which is befalling them. Wise
men (PHA Officials) are those who foresee what
time is thus bringing and endeavor to shape institutions (PHA's)...in accordance with the change that is
silently around them."
We in public housing in Mississippi along with
our HUD professionals in the Jackson area office
have led the way in "Make a Difference". However,
we have to be on guard that the temperature in
the "Making a Difference" incubator does not cool.
Motivation and vigilance are paramount or we will
find ourselves as John Vincent Morley stated, "with
the tide sweeping over and half conscious of that
Floyd Johnson, Editor
Calendar of Events
April 13-15, 2014
May 12, 2014
Legislative Luncheon/Board Meeting
May 13-14, 2014
MAHRO Occupancy Workshop
June 1-4, 2014
PHADA Annual Conference
New Orleans, LA
June 13-14, 2014
SERC Committee Meeting
June 15-18, 2014
SERC Annual Conference
July 17-19, 2014
NAHRO Summer Conference
August 12, 2014
MAHRO Executive Board Meeting
August 13-15, 2014
MAHRO Annual Conference