Region IX Pacific Odyssey
Making those all-important human contacts are critical to forming valuable and lasting relationships. That is exactly what HUD Regional Administrator Ophelia Basgal did this June. She traveled west across the Pacific Ocean to make personal appearances in Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, all part of HUD Region IX.
On June 14 Ms. Basgal arrived in Honolulu where she was joined by the HUD Field Office Director Ryan Okahara, the local HUD Public Housing Director Mike Flores, the local Community Planning and Development Director Mark Chandler, and Regional Director for Public and Indian Housing Ed Moses.
Ms. Basgal's weeklong visit included meeting first with the office of the Governor of Hawaii, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority and the governor's task force working on mortgage foreclosure. Then on Guam, Ophelia Basgal was the keynote speaker at the Affordable Housing Symposium. There she highlighted multi-use sustainable housing.
She praised the Guam Housing and Urban Renewable Authority, also known as GHURA, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary celebration and employee recognition program. In a private meeting, Basgal and her team problem-solved with GHURA staff and the board of commissioners on maximizing the benefit of housing vouchers and federal funding.
While in Guam, she and her team made a courtesy visit to the Acting Governor and then toured several HUD-assisted projects and programs. On the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Ms. Basgal met with Governor Begnino Fital and the executives and the Board of the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation and then toured four HUD-funded facilities, including an innovative domestic violence shelter.
The Pacific tour was a success because it clearly demonstrated to the communities on each island that HUD is committed to quality housing for all. Each community had its own unique set of circumstances requiring a unique set of solutions.
Ms. Basgal expressed her appreciation for the hard work of local officials striving to provide affordable housing for their communities. Everywhere she and her team traveled they were greeted with warmth and enthusiasm. To be sure, HUD has always been committed to affordable housing on the Pacific islands, but it was Basgal's visit and personal touch that made the difference.
|Content Archived: February 20, 2014|