HUD and Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (GAHRA) Address Opportunities

Russell Nast relinquishes his responsibilities as GAHRA President to incoming President Pat Bennett

HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett participated in the opening session of the Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (GAHRA) 2017 Annual Conference entitled: "Opening Doors to Create Opportunities" held in Savannah, Georgia recently. Before some 300 Georgia affordable housing professionals, Leggett introduced herself and addressed the audience on HUD's focus of working together to identify and develop innovative ways to address the affordable housing crisis while also strengthening the self-sufficiency and opportunities of those they serve on order to help them reach their American Dream.

Leggett commended GAHRA for their members' commitment for their ongoing efforts to take more advantage of HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD) as a viable option for addressing the diminishing availability of affordable housing. In addition, she emphasized the importance of programs and strategies designed to strengthen families such as Family Self Sufficient program.

Outgoing GAHRA President Russell Nast was recognized for his years of exemplary service and Pat Bennett, COO of the Marietta Housing Authority was recognized as the incoming president. Bennett related that GAHRA is a well-established long-time organization that is run totally by volunteers statewide and they are active in areas of advocacy with legislators in matters affecting affordable housing and training of members to keep current on changes to HUD regulations and providing supportive services and training for the families they serve in their perspective communities.

Conference sessions focused on the latest information and course of actions that affordable housing may take in addressing the challenges facing public housing. The sessions included Family Self Sufficiency, human service and resident support, maintenance and financial management, RAD, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts.

Denise Cleveland-Leggett was appointed as the HUD Region IV Regional Administrator in July 2017.

Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett addressed the Georgia Association of Housing Redevelopment Association