HCHA is requesting proposals from qualified construction material testing firms to provide all necessary and associated materials testing for the completion of the development of Fenix Estates, a multi-family affordable housing community, located at 3815 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77003. Full information about RFP 17-02 can be downloaded here. Amendment 1 can be found here. Prospective Offerors desiring any explanation or interpretation of this solicitation must make the request in writing no later than Friday, April 7, 2017. Requests must be emailed to Samson Babalola at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amendments to this solicitation, if issued, will be posted on HCHA’s website. Responses to this RFP must be received no later than Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 2:00 pm CST.
Harris County, City of Missouri City, City of Galveston, Harris County Housing Authority, and Galveston Housing Authority are requesting proposals from qualified professional services consultants to provide professional services in connection with the development and completion of a Regional Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) for the jurisdictions of Harris County, City of Pasedena, City of Missouri City, City of Galveston, Harris County Housing Authority, Galveston Housing Authority, and the Region. Full information about this RFP can be downloaded here. (Spanish). Please visit the Harris County Community Services Department (HCCSD) website for more information at www.csd.hctx.net. Responses to this RFP should be submitted to HCCSD at 8410 Lantern Point Drive, Houston, TX 77054. must be received no later than April 14, 2017, at 2:00 pm.
It is a very special occasion when someone is recognized by both their organization and their peers for excelling at fulfilling the company’s mission. Terrence James, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) Admissions Manager, was acknowledged for his genuine compassion and dedication toward the HCHA mission, its staff, and clients, by being voted as the HCHA 2016 Employee of the Year.
“He’s the type of employee that makes HCHA look good.” One employee noted on their nomination form. Mr. James began his career with HCHA in 2007 working as an Intake Specialist and in Portability and then in 2015, James became the new HCV Admission Manager. “I saw something great in Terrance based on his work ethic and performance in other departments. I knew with proper guidance, he would be great at this new role. Looking back, I couldn’t be more proud that we gave him this opportunity,” said Debra McCray, Director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
“I’ve seen him stay at the intake desk assisting large volumes of clients and managing even larger volumes of phone calls while never running out of care and patience for each person. In many ways, Terrance exceeds the requirements and expectations for this award, and I am more than pleased to nominate him,” one of co-worker noted on their nomination form.
James’ job responsibilities are to manage the admissions process for one of the largest HUD programs that assist the disabled, homeless, elderly, veterans and those facing homelessness through HCHA for Harris County residents. Mr. James is a conduit between the Authority, the clients and federal and state laws that regulate the HCV program, its waiting list, and the admission process.
“Terrance has the most positive attitude that I have seen from a person with his type of workload. If he is not conducting a briefing; he is fielding questions at the front desk; or giving motivational speeches to prospective clients… He is truly dedicated to the clients of this program.” a member of the HCHA leadership team noted on their comment card.
James’ performance demonstrates a strong commitment to providing the best customer service possible. As the 2016 Employee of the Year, James is known for a unique passion for his work that shines through his dedication to excellence for his clients and the Authority.
“My clients are fairly new to the program, so they rely heavily on me to provide them with complete and accurate information regarding their application, required documents, and forms, and to simply guide them through the process,” James said.
On the surface, this seems simple but the volume behind it makes it complicated requiring excellent technical and interpersonal skills. For example, in 2016, HCHA opened its HCV waiting list for the first time in 8 years for 3 days and received over 24,000 applicants. Of those applications, only 5,000 were selected through an electronic lottery process to be placed on a new waiting list. James will be the person on the front line helping these 5,000 applicants over the next couple of years try and obtain a Housing Choice Voucher.
“My past circumstances motivate me to do something for those who do their best to be self-sufficient but are still unable to afford a decent place to live on their own,” James said. “I have been through some of the same situations that I hear every day from clients and I’m honored to play a part in helping them to gain the support they need to be successful… support that my mother did not have available to her when I was young. I feel a sense of responsibility to be good at what I do and to provide good support and information. I want to make sure that everyone I encounter has an opportunity to improve their current situation and for those who are able, reach self-sufficiency in the future.”
When asked about his reaction after learning that he was voted as the 2016 Employee of the Year by his peers and leadership, he stated, “It was a surprise!”
“Everyone here at HCHA works hard and there are many of my co-workers who I felt deserved this honor. It was a big surprise for me when my name was called,” James said. “I’m thankful.”
Others receiving annual awards were (from left to right): Timika Simmons, Director of Public Affairs – Innovation Award; Cindy Vance, Intake Specialist – Commitment to Excellence Award; Charity Debose, VASH Manager – Dream Team Award, Horace Allison, CEO; Terrance James, Admissions Manager – Employee of the Year; Kathrine Escamilla, VASH Program Coordinator – Dream Team Award; Corey MacAllister, Temporary VASH Clerk – Dream Team Award; Christina Wright, Temporary VASH Clerk – Dream Team Award featured with CEO, Horace Allison.
HCHA would like like to thank its entire staff for all of their hard work in 2016 and is looking forward to a, “Better…bolder… 2017!”
Story by: Lubna Qadri, Intern, University of Houston
Photo by: Eriel Chambers, Intern, University of Houston
Dorian Zittle, a 65-year-old Veteran, had been through his share of challenges in life before receiving help from the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA).
“I wouldn’t want to do anything to mess this up,” Dorian said as he explained how forever grateful he is to have the opportunity to have a place to call home.
The HUD-VASH program combines the Department of Housing and Urban
Development’s Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs at its’ medical centers and in the community.
Zittle was drafted into the Army shortly after graduating high school. He spent time training at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas where he also attended the missile training school. Zittle described using the radar stations as if they were like playing a video game. He mentioned how the Army was a great experience for him overall. Not only did he meet a lot of people, it “made him grow up” and helped his overall well-being.
After the Army, Zittle thrived in his career as a leading commercial electrician for several large companies which he enjoyed because he was always handy with tools and problem-solving. Being an electrician provided a stable life for him, however; the stress and demands of the job triggered depression and other issues which eventually led to the worst time in Zittle’s life.
“I was homeless and hopeless,” Zittle expressed.
During his time of homelessness, Zittle was introduced to the HUD-VASH program. With assistance from the program, he started to get the guidance that he needed both mentally and financially in order to get back to self-sufficiency. The HUD-VASH program provided him with concentrated care, classes, job searching, and a case manager that would help navigate him back to a healthy lifestyle.
Zittle said he wouldn’t be in his home without the help of Paula Burns, the Asset Manager at HCHA. When Burns learned about Zittle, she knew that he would be a good candidate for the HUD-VASH program.
“Dorian has changed tremendously,” Burns stated, “He started off more reserved and kept to himself. Now, he has a more open personality. He’s much more vibrant,” she said.
Zittle now lives at HCHA’s Sierra Meadows property, which he describes as a small, warm and peaceful community where the residents, come together to look after each other.
Zittle lives with his service dog, Roxy, who gets a lot of attention around the community. He speaks of her as if she’s his own child. Zittle recently suffered from a heart attack and stroke, but Roxy was there to save his life. “If it wasn’t for her, I probably would’ve died in my sleep,” Zittle said.
Besides taking Roxy on walks and to the park to play, Zittle also likes to keep up with hobbies from his youth. One of his hobbies is playing Blues music on the acoustic guitar. He is self-taught and said he learned by playing along with instructional videos. He says music, in general, keeps his mind “organized”.
“I went from nothing to having a beautiful apartment in a wonderful community and a new best friend,” Zittle said. “I can’t express how thankful I am for this program and HCHA for helping me get my life back on track.”
Photos and Story by Eriel Chambers, Intern, University of Houston
Sierra Meadows is a 90-unit community in northeast Harris County with one and two-bedroom apartments and villas. Amenities include a resort style pools, fountains, a fitness club, community center and outdoor walkways.
Community manager, Joi Potter, goes beyond her responsibilities to create a desirable community. Residents speak highly of her compassion and sensitivity toward their needs. Residents also openly express their appreciation for her and her staff’s passion and dedication towards helping them in every way they can.
“We once had a problem with cats on the property. They would run into my apartment every time I opened the door. When I reported it to Joi, the cats were gone right away,” one resident said while expressing gratitude at a community meeting.
Potter arranges monthly meetings to provide updates, address concerns and discuss upcoming events and activities with the residents. Potter also hosts bi-annual meetings where corporate leaders attend and interact to make sure residents feel connected to management at all levels.
“I think these meetings are important because they reduce the chances of little things slipping through the cracks and they also bring us together as a team committed to keeping our community vibrant, safe and beautiful which is great for the property overall,” Potter said. “Having an open door policy helps us make sure we’re giving attention to every need, concern, and compliment,” Potter went on to say.
Sierra Meadows promotes healthy and active lifestyles amongst its residents by keeping them involved in daily activities, socializing them through fitness, health, personal development, games, outings, and more.
“I’m one of the first residents to move here. I love my community and like working with management to keep it as beautiful as it was the first day I moved in. We have a lot of fun activities and things to do here. I’m still proud to call this place home,” another resident shared after a community meeting.
Sierra Meadows is just one example of how the Harris County Housing Authority, its residents, and management partners value community and work together to maintain vibrant properties. HCHA’s mission is not only to build safe, quality, and sustainable living spaces for residents but also to make sure those spaces are part of communities that helps everyone to thrive.
Story by: Lubna Qadri, Intern, University of Houston
Photo credits: Eriel Chambers, Intern, University of Houston
All of us at the Harris County Housing Authority want to thank you for your business, loyalty, and support in 2016. Here is a snapshot of HCHA’s Year-In-Review which includes having a balanced budget across all programs for the first time in over 9 years!
We are looking forward to taking our experiences and the feedback received from supporters like you to have an even “Better… Bolder 2017.”
Happy New Year to you all!
Notice of 2017 PHA Annual Plan Public Hearing
Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., regarding the 2017 Public Housing Agency (PHA) Annual Plan. The public hearing will be held at Harris County Housing Authority’s main office located at 8933 Interchange Dr., Houston, Texas 77054. The hearing will act as a forum for public comments relevant to HCHA’s 2017 PHA Annual Plan as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The 2017 PHA Annual Plan will be available for public review at the above address and on HCHA’s website (www.hchatexas.org). Public comments will receive due consideration in the preparation of the 2017 PHA Annual Plan. Only written comments will be considered; comments are due no later than January 13, 2017 and can be sent via email to email@example.com. If any further information is needed, contact the Harris County Housing Authority at (713) 578-2100.
Click here for printable version of notice.
The Retreat at Westlock apartments, located at 24001 SH 249 at Westlock Road in northwest Harris County, will begin accepting applications to its waiting list on December 6, 2016.
While the development remains under construction, applications will be accepted by appointment only. All interested applicants must schedule an appointment to apply by calling ITEX Property Management Group Waiting List Application line: (832) 639-3155. For more information about The Retreat at Westlock including amenities and floorplans, visit www.retreatatwestlock.com.
The Retreat at Westlock is a Class A, 140-unit, mixed-income community for seniors 62 years and older and is slated to open in the first quarter of 2017. The property will offer one and two-bedroom units to persons with income levels at 60% or lower of the area median income. Rents for the development will range from $390 to $936 per month.
ITEX Property Management Group, the development’s management company, will oversee the property and its waiting list, which will open to applicants starting December 6, 2016.
Any persons with disabilities who, as a result of their disability, cannot utilize the preferred application process will be provided sufficient reasonable accommodations. Applicants can request reasonable accommodation by contacting the number provided above.
The Retreat at Westlock is owned by Harris County Housing Authority, a recognized leader in affordable housing and housing assistance programs. Harris County Housing Authority and ITEX Property Management Group are committed to creating desirable, livable and sustainable communities and will not discriminate against any applicants due to race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, family status or sexual orientation.
HCHA is requesting proposals from qualified vendors to provide Janitorial Services for HCHA’s main office located at 8933 Interchange Dr., Houston, TX 77054. Full information about RFP # 16-11 can be downloaded here. Amendments to this solicitation, if issued, will be posted on HCHA’s website. Responses to this RFP must be received no later than December 6, 2016, at 4:00 pm. Responses must be emailed to HCHA’s Finance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.