NASHVILLE, Tn., Jun 20, 2013 -- Acting Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien recently announced the recipients of the National Multi-Family Housing Site Manager of the Year award. The awards were presented at the annual meeting of the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, held in Arlington, Va.
“As we celebrate National Homeownership Month throughout the country, USDA Rural Development is proud to recognize two outstanding housing managers for their contributions in providing rural residents with safe, sanitary and affordable housing,” O’Brien said. “The performance of these managers has been instrumental in maintaining the quality of local apartment buildings that Rural Development helps fund. I congratulate these outstanding managers.”
Each year Rural Development offices across the country choose the top site managers for Multi-Family Housing in their states. From that pool of finalists, national honorees are selected by a panel of housing professionals from the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (CARH) and representatives from USDA Rural Development. This year there were 31 nominees representing 16 states, three of which were from Tennessee.
"A good manager guarantees the success of any apartment complex," said RD State Director Bobby Goode. "Beyond managing day-to-day operations, the best managers, devote a great deal of their own time to provide tenants with a safe, affordable place to live and help them become a part of the community."
For 2013, two outstanding managers were selected for top honors.
Teresa Robinson, from Dayton, Tn., was recognized in the Family Housing category for management of the 72-unit Hidden Valley Apartments I and II, Royal Properties Realty Incorporated, in Dayton. Robinson also won this award in 2006. She has managed Hidden Valley I & II since May 2001 and is recognized as an exceptional manager who consistently goes above and beyond her official duties to help tenants acquire furnishings for their units, obtain health care, financial assistance, and maintain their ability to live independently. To maintain the family friendly atmosphere at Hidden Valley, Robinson sponsors numerous activities for the residents, including an annual gardening competition, and holiday and tenant birthday parties.
"Teresa freely gives her time and attention to her tenants and those who need her assistance," said Curry Peacock, Managing Agent of Royal Properties Realty, Inc. "She loves serving her tenants and is tireless in her devotion to them. She is not only our residents’ manager, but also their friend."
USDA also recognized Marilyn Harris from Indiana, for successful management of the 40-unit Richland Senior Citizens Housing, Lenzy Hayes Incorporated in Ellettsville. She is receiving the 2013 Site Manager of the Year award for Elderly Housing. A lifelong resident of Ellettsville Harris became the Site Manager in 1990. The Board of Directors and Management Company have noted her high integrity, motivated leadership and compassion when working with and for the elderly residents. She is very involved and well known in her community.
Robinson and Harris best exemplify the standards set for tenant satisfaction, curb appeal of the property, accurate and complete recordkeeping (with no incidents of noncompliance) and managerial actions that consistently go beyond the regular duties of the position.
In partnership with private lenders and borrowers Rural Development provides financing for the purchase of, and improvements to affordable apartment complexes in rural areas of Tennessee. These developments meet the housing needs of families, senior citizens and the disabled. Rural Development’s rural rental housing program provides financing with interest rates as low as one-percent to developers who build or repair affordable multi-family rental housing to meet the demand for housing in rural communities.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in southeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Chattanooga at 423-756-2239 ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149, ext. 1492, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).