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Public Housing Turns To Resident Advisors On Boards

     Ever since 1998, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has insisted that Public Housing Authorities and officials working for them within the United States needed to implement resident participation when looking for advice. Some housing authorities decided to to follow these rules by creating resident advisory boards and resident advisors. But what does that actually entail?

To explain more simply, a Resident Advisory Board is a organization made up of residents of the housing authority that advises the public housing authority on their actions and annual plan. Such boards give residents with a place for sharing information with the PHA.

Often times, being a part of public housing can feel like you are lost in the midst of a large faceless machine. Resident advisory boards help to deal with that feeling of separation by giving residents a chance to take an active role in what happens in their communities and helping them to create a social support network, as well as making sure that their voices are heard.

It doesn't matter which board you look at, as they are all fairly the same. The one in Boston is filled with representatives who are elected by their peers to serve on the board with technical assistance from Greater Boston Legal Services, the Committee for Boston Public Housing and the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Inc. These members meet at regularly secheduled meetings to review policy, practices and program goals and provide advice to help the authority develop five-year and annual plans.

In the New York City Housing Authority along with a Resident Advisory Board, most of the developments have their own resident advisory and tenant groups and councils. In addition they have a Resident Association executive board and a citywide council of presidents which provides advice to senior NYCHA board members and officials on things affecting those who live in individual NYCHA developments. Their advice includes issues at the local, state, and federal government levels.

But NYCHA even takes this mandate a step further, and has a NYCHA Resident Board Member. This resident serves on the NYCHA Board of Directors alongside the NYCHA Chairman, Vice Chair, and other Board Members and votes on NYCHA contracts, resolutions, policies, motions, rules and regulations, and administrative matters. They receive a small stipend for their time, and are asked to be active and involved in both the NYCHA board and their own community.

Right now, the NYCHA Resident Board Member is Victor A. González. Victor A. González has resided in NYCHA for over 50 years, and is currently a part of the Rabbi Stephen Wise Towers on Manhattan's Upper West Side. González has been an active participant of Rabbi Stephen Wise Towers and NYCHA since 2003, where he became a resident leader and advocate, this is in addition to being a president of the Wise Towers Residents Association since 2003 and an alternative member of NYCHA's Resident Advisory Board.

Excepting his volunteer time on various NYCHA boards and communities, Victor A. González served for five years in the U.S. Air Force after which he was honorably discharged and spent 33 years working for UPS as an international Team Leader in Customer Service in 2005. Since then, González has been a part of various community boards, city advisory boards, and resident alliances.

Having a resident advisor on the NYCHA Board is a excellent way to make sure that officials do not forget the needs of the people who they serve, and that the public housing authority always has what is best for the people living in their developments in mind.

Article Source:

Marie Hadel is intensely interested in New York- and spends way too much time on Twitter. She used the following references for her piece: NYCHA Board and Victor A. Gonzalez HUD Portal

Posted on 2013-04-01, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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