Housing Authority of the City of Pharr Wins Award of Excellence for Administrative Innovation

(Washington D.C. -Nov. 17, 2020) –The Housing Authority of the City of Pharr is a 2020 recipient of the Award of Excellence for Administrative Innovation by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for their effort to fund scholarships for graduating seniors who rely on housing assistance.  

“This year’s award-winning agencies have given us innovative local solutions for increasing affordable housing stock and improving the lives of their residents,” NAHRO President Sunny Shaw said. “I am excited to honor them for their excellence.” 

HACP staff’s goal is to give graduating high school seniors an opportunity to be self-sufficient and afford the costs associated with attending higher education. By hosting bake sales throughout the school year, housing authority staff and tenants were able to raise enough money to fund about $7,000 worth of scholarships annually. Looking to fund more scholarships, HACP staff created the nonprofit Residents Earning Advanced Degrees (READ) Project, to allow additional contributions for the program. HACP, with the extension of the nonprofit, later approached the school district and city leaders to form a partnership to donate a payment in lieu of taxes to the housing authority to continue to pay for the scholarships. Now seniors who rely on public housing and housing choice voucher programs can be eligible to earn one of the scholarships to pay towards their college careers. Annually, more than $50,000 is available to graduating seniors for 10 years.  

“NAHRO members have always been in the business of providing homes and improving lives – these awards commemorate shining examples of the vital work they do nationwide,” NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman said. “My sincere congratulations to this year’s winners.” 

About Awards of Excellence 

Nominated from among the Award of Merit winners each year, these Awards are chosen by national juries and presented at the annual National Conference and Exhibition.  They represent the very best in innovative programs in assisted housing and community development. 

About NAHRO   

NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of nearly 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO’s membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people. 

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Sylvia Gimenez

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