Several years ago, at the end of the 1990s, Broward County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners braced for potential funding reductions from traditional federal housing dollars.
Faced with the recognition of a never-ending spiraling need for services, they pledged to find new ways to meet funding challenges that would be less dependent on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
That decision and the commitments that followed energized our team to draw on their talents to find new ways to meet the housing needs of Broward County residents. From this effort evolved our Affordable Housing and Development Plan in 2002 and our use of tax credit financing to tap private equity funding to create new opportunities to develop affordable housing.
We’ve maintained that course to grow the authority to a size where it is better able to weather financial storms and support the resources and experienced team needed to continue to implement new ideas. The ability to maintain and steadily improve our housing, even when times are tough, follows true to our goal of providing the very best that we can for our families.
Our real estate and management portfolio has grown to include 13 housing communities. Staff has grown to more than 95 professionals. Today, together with our housing vouchers program, the authority provides housing opportunities for nearly 12,000 Broward County elderly, disabled and family residents.
I am struck by the thought that the growth of our real estate portfolio and organization has come as an outgrowth of our Board of Commissioners’ continuing commitment to our core value: “The needs of our clients come first.”
We will never be immune to the vagaries of federal funding but we’re now, more than 10 years after the original commitment, of the size and capability to be able to plan ahead to meet funding challenges. Simply, we are better prepared to continue to fulfill our mission to serve the residents of Broward County.
Broward County Housing Authority programs provide the ability for a family of four to build a brighter future, for an elderly couple living on a fixed income to rest easy at night and for young professionals to focus on working hard, increasing education and advancing their career.
It means the opportunity for a better life.
Ann Deibert is the chief executive officer of the Broward County Housing Authority. She may be reached at 954-739-1114, ext. 2329 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Ann Deibert