Washington, DC, Jun 11, 2013 -- Acting Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien today 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.”
Rural Development administers a national loan portfolio of nearly 450,000 rural rental housing units. In partnership with private-sector and non-profit borrowers, the agency provides housing to very-low- and low-income rural families, elderly residents and farm workers. The site managers guarantee the success of USDA’s housing properties. They make sure that day-to-day operations go smoothly, and they often invest a great deal of their own free time to provide tenants with a safe and cohesive community.
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.
For 2013, two outstanding managers were selected for top honors. Teresa Robinson (Tenn.) was recognized in the Family Housing category for her management of the 72-unit Hidden Valley Apartments I and II, Royal Properties Realty Inc., 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 and 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.
USDA also recognized Marilyn Harris (Indiana) for her successful management of the 40-unit Richland Senior Citizens Housing, Lenzy Hayes Inc., 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 the 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. Rural Development is proud to honor their accomplishments.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 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 sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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