HUD No. 08-076
May 28, 2008
HUD ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP AT MIAMI-DADE HOUSING AGENCY
Experienced HUD employee to continue recovery efforts that began last year
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that Lindsey Reames, a long-time HUD employee with public housing and community development experience, will replace Donald "DJ" LaVoy as the Oversight Administrator at the Miami-Dade Housing Agency effective June 2nd.
"HUD applauds DJ's work to identify the systemic problems at MDHA and make key recommendations to HUD for the next steps," said Paula Blunt, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public and Indian Housing. "Lindsey will continue the recovery of this agency to ensure that Miami's low-income families will get the assistance and services they deserve."
"Since his appointment to MDHA, LaVoy and the HUD recovery team have laid the groundwork that begins full recovery of a housing agency," said Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi. "HUD looks forward to continued progress at the agency and collaboration with local officials to ensure a smooth transition to local control."
LaVoy will stay on at MDHA until June 11th to help Reames get up-to-speed with the many issues that continue to challenge the agency, including the on-going problems with the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) and the long-delayed redevelopment of the old Scott-Carver public housing community. Reames will oversee daily operations at the agency as set forth in the settlement agreement between HUD and Miami-Dade County.
For the past three years, Reames has turned around operations and management at the Detroit Housing Commission (DHC), where she has been the Recovery Administrator and the Board Chairperson. HUD assumed control of DHC July 2005 citing serious administrative, financial and management concerns. Like MDHA, DHC also had HOPE VI grants that were long overdue for completion. Today DHC is getting back on track with improved management operations and financial solvency. A new executive director was hired earlier this year to handle the day-to-day operations, which lessens Reames' leadership role at the agency. Also, the new HOPE VI communities are fully underway. In her nearly 20 years with HUD, Reames has held numerous leadership positions, including field oversight manager in Grand Rapids, Mich., which required her to facilitate activities between HUD and public housing agencies in 15 cities.
LaVoy, who worked closely with Reames to jump-start two of Detroit's HOPE VI communities after many delays, will resume his responsibilities as a senior advisor in the Office of Public and Indian Housing. His myriad of responsibilities will continue to include going into troubled housing authorities throughout the U.S. to stabilize operations.
"I have come to know and respect the hard work the dedicated professionals of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency perform daily to provide quality affordable housing to the citizens of this city," said LaVoy. "While there is still progress that needs to be made, we have done our best to create basic operational procedures to improve conditions that will have a lasting effect on MDHA's overall recovery."
Heading the HUD recovery team, LaVoy had begun putting a new management team in place; created a homeownership cooperative initiative with the County; and created a public housing crime prevention task force in collaboration with all of the major police forces in the County to make Miami's pubic housing communities safer.
LaVoy reorganized the County's HCV program, establishing a new customer service center and increasing the number of families utilizing the program. In addition, the recovery team issued a Request for Qualification, which will result in the selection of a master developer that will work with the community to redevelop the old Scott-Carver public housing development to bring more affordable housing to Liberty City.
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.