YUMA COUNTY HOUSING DEPARTMENT
ACCEPTS MVP AWARD FROM HUD
Left to Right: Stephanie Smelnick, HUD Field Office Director, Gloria Mallek Yuma County Housing Dept. Director; Martha Garcia, Housing Deputy Director; Maria delos Reyes, Program Coordinator; Barbara Gallegos, HUD Filed Office Program Coordinator, Marta Duron, PHRS/VASH Coordinator.
On 12/18/2014, Yuma County Housing Department (YCHD) was among the eleven (11) HUD AZ partners awarded with the MVP (Most Valuable Partner) Award in recognition of their exemplary practices under the five (5) HUD strategic goals. This is the second MVP award received by YCHD. The first MVP Award was received in October 2012.
YCHD received the MVP Awards in the category of “Strengthening the Nation’s Housing Market to Bolster the Economy and Protect Consumers”. According to Ms. Stephanie Smelnick, Phoenix Field Office Director, HUD’s mission and strategic goals under this category are: (1) Stemming the foreclosure crisis; (2) Protecting and educating consumers when they buy, refinance, or rent a home; (3) Creating financially sustainable home ownership opportunities; and (4) Establishing an accountable housing finance system. YCHD has met these goals through its Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) for both its Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program was created and funded by HUD to assist low income families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Eligible families would be of those who are already in the Low Rent Public Housing (PH), Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs, or the existing waiting list. The FSS program is designed to assure that participants can improve their knowledge, skills and employability, through the combined efforts of local government, public and private agencies, committed to support very low income families to become self-sufficient.
Since 2005, YCHD can account about 40+ participants who graduated from the program. Many of whom went on to become homeowners and acquired employment. The FSS funding of about $113,000 received by Yuma County Housing Department (YCHD) from HUD in FFY2012-2013 created a life-changing experience to more than 128 persons served by these two programs (PH and HCV). About 86 people are going to college, employed or both. YCHD and its collaborative partnership with local entities are continuously committed to reinforce and to renovate a person’s life to economic independency and self-sufficiency.
Mrs. Gloria Mallek, Yuma County Housing Department Director states that “The program gives the participants a pathway to responsibility while slowly taking their benefits away and permanently take them to a place where they no longer need public assistance. It is economically beneficial to both the participants and the community. We believe the fulfillment of this goal would also uphold the participant’s spirit, initiative and resilience.”