Bookmark and Share   or visit: Twitter Facebook YouTube MY FIRST YEAR:  HABC Executive Director Janet Abrahams

MY FIRST YEAR: HABC Executive Director Janet Abrahams

Dear HABC Community – Last week marked one year since I started as the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), and it has been an honor to serve as the head of this great agency! Over the past year, 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. I am proud to say that we have made tremendous progress in such a short time, with you, our residents and program participants at the heart of all of our efforts. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of HABC’s key accomplishments from the past year.

New mission, vision and goals…

The past year has been one of many changes for HABC, along with many opportunities. During this time, we have worked to establish a new identity and brand and developed a new mission, vision and goals 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 encompass our priorities and set the standards for how we conduct business and provide services.

Strategic Plan…

In March of this year, 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 plans for addressing HABC’s housing portfolio and moving forward with key programs and initiatives. The process includes input from many stakeholders through a series of focus groups and other meetings, and a final plan is expected to be completed by this fall. Click here to learn more about HABC’s strategic planning process.

Partnerships and resident-focused initiatives…

HABC is committed to strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones to deliver quality services to our residents and communities. Last fall, HABC kicked off the HEAL (Healthy Elimination of All-pests Long-term) campaign with Baltimore’s Department of Public Works and other City agencies. HEAL is a comprehensive extermination program aimed at making public housing healthier and improving quality of life at our sites. Through our partnership with KaBoom, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, we built new playgrounds at McCulloh Homes and Douglass Homes. HABC even collaborated with the City’s Department of Transportation and the Perkins Community to host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the newly installed bike share stations at Perkins Homes. Click here to learn more about the programs offered by our Office of Resident Services.

Streamlined processes and new technology…

In the last year, HABC has implemented new tools and technology to create efficiencies and increase productivity. Our Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) developed a new Landlord Partner Portal that allows property owners, management companies and/or agents to receive electronic payments and access vital information pertaining to their HCV rental properties. In addition, we recently launched a new rent payment system that allows public housing residents to pay their rent online using a smartphone, tablet or personal computer or in person at participating Fidelity Express retailers. HABC also partially implemented the use of handheld devices for all maintenance staff in an effort to be more efficient with handling and processing resident work orders, this concept is being tested and will be fully implemented within the next two months. These are just a few examples of how we are using technology to streamline our processes.

Employee engagement and recognition…

Staff engagement is a top priority in the day to day operations of HABC. This year, we held numerous training sessions that covered topics ranging from specialized skills for our maintenance staff to customer service for all employees. We initiated several efforts this year to ensure that there is consistent communication within the agency, including the quarterly circulation of an Employee Engagement survey, an HABC newsletter that is also distributed on a quarterly basis and an All-Staff meeting that will be held twice a year. To recognize our staff for their hard work and dedication to HABC, we also hosted an Administrative Professionals Day event in April and celebrated the entire staff with an Employee Appreciation Week this June.

Preservation and creation of affordable housing…

Throughout the year we have celebrated the completion of RAD renovations at the Brentwood in the Barclay neighborhood, the Bernard E. Mason Apartments in the historic Dickeyville/ Franklintown neighborhood, and the Ellerslie Apartments in the Pen Lucy neighborhood. Finally, last week I was thrilled to be able to announce that HABC, along with the City of Baltimore, was awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant from HUD to transform the Perkins Somerset Oldtown community! I am very excited to take the next step with our federal, state, city and community partners in this major redevelopment project, which 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. Click here for more information and updates about the Perkins Oldtown Somerset Transformation plan.

These are just several of our many accomplishments. What we hope to achieve in the coming years is simple: to improve what we do and how we do it to accomplish our mission, vision and goals - the 4Cs of HABC!

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 – HABC Executive Director

Please follow us on Twitter and on Facebook or follow the conversation with #/@BmoreHABC to learn about updates and additional information on this and other HABC efforts.

Share   or visit: Twitter Facebook YouTube