HUD No. 07-142
September 20, 2007
HUD DIRECTOR EARNS DISTINGUISHED GOVERNMENT MEDAL FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE DATABASE
Communities across USA using system to rid fraud from federal rental assistance programs
WASHINGTON - Nicole Faison, a U.S. Housing and Urban Development director, was awarded the prestigious Service to America Medal last night at a dinner and gala for winners at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Faison was among nine federal employees who received one of the "Sammies," as they have become known in government circles. She earned the award for her role in developing the Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV), a web-based, state-of-the-art database platform that supports public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country better manage HUD's rental assistance programs.
"This is a great honor, not only for me, but the dynamic team who made this possible," said Faison, who is the director of Public Housing Programs in HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH). "The greatest thing about public service is that our work benefits hundreds of thousands of low income families throughout the U.S."
"Reducing the number of improper payments was a goal not only from a monetary standpoint but because it's important to identify those who should truly be receiving subsidized housing," said HUD Assistant Secretary Orlando Cabrera, who heads PIH. "We are extremely proud of Nicole's work."
The Partnership for Public Service has presented medals to federal employees for the past six years who have made a significant contribution to improve the way America works. The Partnership awards medals in nine categories, including the Call to Service medal, which Faison received. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation. The medal winner also receives a $5,000 award.
Faison, who joined HUD in 2002 after working at the Baltimore (Md.) Housing Authority, began her work on EIV soon after coming to the agency. PHAs across the country better manage HUD's public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs using the system. EIV resulted in HUD's rental assistance programs being removed from the Government Accountability Office's "high-risk" agency list in January.
EIV allows PHAs to validate tenant-reported income by giving them access to employment and income data from other federal databases. Annually, families living in public housing or receiving Section 8 assistance are required to report their household income annually. PHAs use this information to determine the appropriate level of HUD rental subsidy the family is eligible to receive. When families under report their income and receive more assistance than they are entitled to, eligible families are denied assistance.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.