Carol Spencer, HUD Kentucky Public Housing Director and member of the HUD assistance team for the Alexander County Housing Authority (ACHA) recently received the prestigious HUD Secretary’s Special Recognition Award in Washington, DC. The team Carol was part of demonstrated exactly what it means to lead through adversity with compassion, strength, and commitment. Changing lives in a positive manner is what drives each of them.
When the team was deployed to the nearly bankrupt ACHA in Cairo, Illinois, HUD had placed the property in receivership after years of scandal, mismanagement, and racial inequities. The team spent months away from their own families to help the neglected families who they had never met and who had little faith or trust in them. Throughout the process, the team faced a myriad of challenges as they strived to save the ACHA. Working 12-14 hours each day was the norm, not the exception.
But their tireless commitment set a new standard for managing receiverships, particularly one in the national spotlight. During the initial phases of mobility counseling, the team reached into their own pockets to provide snacks for the children accompanying the nervous families. Those snacks did more than bring smiles to the faces of the youngsters, they helped to build a bridge of trust for many families who were beginning the intimidating process of moving away from their home town.
The empathy, caring, and dedication showcased by the team reflects the best of HUD and we congratulate them.
“I am so happy to celebrate this honor with Carol. She was an obvious choice to be part of this high-profile team,” said HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Michael Browder. “Her stellar experience with troubled housing authorities coupled with her caring, compassionate way of serving residents and the staff of housing authorities makes her a true servant leader.”
Carol is the Director of the Public and Indian Housing Division in the HUD Kentucky Office. The other HUD team members include Jim Cunningham, Towanda Macon, Kimberly Wize, Grennetta Taylor, Lindsey Reames, Amanda Motyka, and Merilyn Brown.