Seattle Housing Authority Wins Award of Excellence for Administrative Innovation
(Washington D.C.-Nov. 17, 2020)-The Seattle Housing Authority is a 2020 recipient of the Award of Excellence for Administrative Innovation by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for creating a digital initiative giving tenants better access to technology for professional development.
“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.”
The Seattle Housing Authority sought to improve customer service for its tenants, so it launched a digital initiative aimed at addressing challenges caused from a lack of digital access for the housing authority’s low-income tenants. The agency addressed these obstacles by forming a cross-departmental digital communications group to develop strategies and provide broad oversight to digital initiatives. Recognizing that not all tenants have the skills, devices, and services they need to improve their lives through access to the internet, SHA included a digital equity component. The aim is to assist people to take advantage of technology to better communicate and conduct business.
A digital newsletter debuted to offer an additional way to communicate to residents and share important, timely information. The first digital issue of The Voice was sent out last year featuring links to a host of resources. It gave tenants the ability to translate the content into dozens of languages, enlarge text, forward content to others and engage with the editor. Also, through the assistance of local partnerships, SHA can offer Wi-Fi hotspots and computers to residents. SHA’s goals with the initiative were to increase internet connectivity and improve residents’ digital skills to better assist people with conducting business, obtaining employment, and taking advantage of employment opportunities.
“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.
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.