HABC annual report - Page 8



A MESSAGE FROM JANET ABRAHAMS,
HABC’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I began my role as Executive Director
of the Housing Authority of Baltimore
City (HABC) in July 2017. Since then,
HABC staff and I have been hard at
work implementing new goals and
initiatives to enhance the programs
and services that we provide through
our Public Housing and Housing
Choice Voucher programs. The following report highlights HABC’s Fiscal Year 2018 accomplishments and
shows how each department within
the agency has contributed to moving HABC forward and advancing our
mission. Some of our key achievements over the past year include the
following:
“... HABC staff and I have been hard
at work implementing new goals and
initiatives to enhance the programs
and services that we provide...”
Deconsolidation of
Baltimore Housing
For over 15 years, HABC and Baltimore City’s Department of Housing
and Community Development operated as two agencies with one leader
under the name of Baltimore Housing. When Mayor Catherine Pugh
took office, she determined that it
would be best to separate the agencies from under Baltimore Housing
so that each could be structured independently and carry out their own
community building efforts. One of
my first directives was to implement
this deconsolidation, which entailed
addressing the agency’s organizational structure, dividing certain shared
staff and services and reconfiguring
office space, among other considerations.
Establishing New Mission,
Vision and Goals
The past year has been one of many
changes for HABC, and also one with
many opportunities to focus on our
priorities and goals. With new leadership in place and HABC’s transition
away from the entity known as Baltimore Housing, there was a need to
establish our own identity and brand
as well as a new mission and vision
for the agency. HABC’s new mission
is to create and provide quality affordable housing opportunities in
sustainable neighborhoods for the
people we serve.
The 4 Cs of HABC – Community, Customer Service, Collaboration and
Communication – were established
to represent our priorities and set
the standards for how we conduct
business and provide services.
Janet Abrahams, Executive Director
Above: Executive Director, Janet Abrahams speaks at HABC’s Second Strategic Plan Meeting/West Side Community Workshop at the University of Baltimore
7
Strategic Planning Process
In early 2018, we began the process of developing a Strategic Plan
for HABC. The plan will serve as the
agency’s blueprint to advance our
mission and will include short and
long-term strategies for addressing
HABC’s housing portfolio and moving
forward with key programs and initiatives. The process has included input from many stakeholders through
a series of focus groups and other
meetings, and a final plan is expected to be completed in the coming
months.
Recognizing and
Investing in Our Staff
Staff engagement is a top priority in
the day to day operations of HABC.
In March 2018, we hosted an all-staff
meeting, during which the agency’s
700+ employees learned about our
priorities moving forward and had an
opportunity to bring forth any questions or concerns in an open Q&A
session. I began hosting Coffee with
the ED on a regular basis to recognize
staff members for their years of service and to get to know employees
on a more personal level. The agency has held numerous training sessions to help our staff achieve their
professional goals, and management
retreats have taken place throughout
the year to focus on teamwork, communication and accountability.
Creation and Preservation
of Affordable Housing
Throughout the year, HABC has celebrated the completion of RAD renovations at the Brentwood, the Bernard E. Mason Apartments and the
Ellerslie Apartments, and more RAD
projects are in the pipeline. In November 2017, HABC and the City of
Baltimore submitted a proposal for
a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods
Implementation grant to transform
the Perkins Somerset Oldtown communities. I was thrilled to announce
this July that we were awarded the
grant and implementation of the sixyear transformation plan is underway! I am very excited to take the
next step with our federal, state and
local partners in this major redevelopment project. The Perkins Somerset Oldtown transformation will replace distressed public housing with
high quality housing for people from
all income levels and create new
education, recreation and economic opportunities that will connect
residents to the tools they need to
achieve their personal goals.
I would like to take a moment to acknowledge HABC’s Board of Commissioners: Chairman Joseph Smith,
Vice Chair Robin Carter, Commission-
Background image: HABC staff Housing Sites Visit, Tour & Evaluation of Cherry Hill Homes (August 2017)
er Boyer Freeman and Resident Commissioner Sharon Jones. Their support and dedication, along with the
tireless efforts of our Resident Advisory Board, have been instrumental
in guiding us on our path towards
carrying out HABC’s mission. I am so
proud of the tremendous progress
we have made in such a short time
with HABC stakeholders, including
our staff, residents and program participants, at the heart of all of our efforts. As HABC’s Executive Director, I
look forward to our continued collaboration in revitalizing our communities and enhancing the lives of those
we serve.
Yours truly,
Janet Abrahams
Executive Director
www.HABC.org

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