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Overview:
Part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) works to ensure safe and affordable housing for all Americans. PIH manages a large number of programs that provide funding through grants that are designed to help residents of affordable housing become more self-sufficient and economic independent.
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, the US stock market crashed. This event gave rise to the Great Depression, which lasted through the beginning of World War II, in 1941. The depression had devastating effects on industrialized countries like the United States. International trade declined, mirroring personal incomes. Cities were hit especially hard as construction came to a halt and jobs declined.          

 
Many relief programs were set up to help struggling citizens. But the need for safe and affordable housing grew as the years passed. In 1934, the National Housing Act (PDF) was passed. This bill created the Federal Housing Administration which became responsible for looking into issues of housing across the country.
 
The Office of Public and Indian Housing was created in 1937 when the Housing Act of 1937, also known as the Wagner-Steagall Act, was signed into law. It provided subsidies that could be paid out to local public housing agencies (PHAs) so they could help improve living conditions for low-income families.
 
Both the National Housing Act and the Wagner-Steagall Act were influenced by Catherine Bauer Wurster, one of a group of idealists who called themselves “housers” because of their dedication to improve housing conditions for the poor. She co-authored the Housing Act of 1937 and went on to advise five presidents on urban planning. She served as a director of the Housing Authority for two years. 
 

The

Housing Act of 1949

(PDF) added national goals for safe living conditions and sought to eradicate slums by providing funds for urban renewal. This goal was more fully realized with passage of the Housing Act of 1954 which created the urban renewal program. In 1965, the Public Housing Administration, the US Housing Authority and the Home Financial Agency were combined to form the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is responsible for administering and managing a number of programs designed to ensure safe and affordable housing for 1.3 million households nationwide. PIH also works with public housing authorities across the country to help them improve their management and service delivery efforts. The five offices of PIH are:

 
Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) is responsible for improving housing conditions for Native American families. The office also creates economic opportunities for tribes and Indian housing residents and assists tribes with community development initiatives. The office oversees Code Talk, a federal, interagency web site designed to deliver electronic information from government agencies and other organizations to Native American communities.
 
The Office of Community Relations and Involvement deals individually with low-income housing communities on the state and local levels.
 
The Office of Public and Assisted Housing Operations helps to offer and maintain affordable housing options for low-income families by offering vouchers that can be exchanged for rental payments.
 
The Office of Public Housing Investments oversees outreach and investment opportunities in low-income housing developments. This office also looks for sites to demolish.
 
The Office of Policy, Program and Legislative Initiatives is responsible for helping create the agency’s policy and oversees implementation of any new laws or amendments to existing housing laws. 
 
PIH Programs
The Capital Fund provides funds to state and local housing authorities in order to help modernize existing public housing developments.
 
The Demo-Dispo program (short for Demolition/Disposition) helps to demolish and dispose of old, run-down housing developments. 
 
Family Self-Sufficiency is responsible for developing local strategies to assist low-income families find employment that will help them achieve long-term financial self-sufficiency. This program works together with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) plan (see below). Its services also include child care, transportation, education, job training and employment counseling, substance/alcohol abuse treatment or counseling, household skill training and homeownership counseling.
 
The Homeownership Plan is operated by individual public housing authorities which may sell all, or a portion of, a public housing development to eligible residents’ organizations to facilitate homeownership. This must be approved in advance by HUD.
 
HOPE VI is a program initiated in 1993 to provide grants to the nation’s most distressed housing developments. Revitalization takes pace in three areas: physical improvements; management improvements; and social and community services designed to address resident needs.
 
Housing Choice Vouchers, which was formerly called Section 8, gives low-income families a choice of whether to rent or purchase safe and affordable housing by offering vouchers used exchanged for rent or mortgage payments.
 
Moderate Rehabilitation provides rental assistance for low-income families on a project-by-project basis. Since the program was repealed in 1991, though, no new projects have been authorized for development.
 
Moving to Work Demonstration helps housing authorities design and test ways to provide families with housing incentives. Goals include economic self-sufficiency, programmatic efficiencies and wider-ranging housing choice.
 
The Public Housing Operating Fund is responsible for providing subsidies to state and local housing authorities to assist in funding the operating and maintenance expenses of their own housing. This is in accordance with Section 9 of the Housing Act of 1937. 
 
The Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project (RHIIP) is responsible for developing and implementing plans to address HUD’s high-risk rental housing subsidy programs. 
 
The Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) and Neighborhood Networks (NN) link public housing residents to useful services. The agency does this by utilizing grants for support services as well as empowerment and self-sufficiency activities. 

 

Public Housing Reform Overview

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In FY 2007, the Office of Public and Indian Housing awarded these grants:

 
Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) provided $50 million to help seniors and families living in public housing. This allows them to live independently and gives their families access to education and training opportunities. In addition, $60 million was distributed to help low-income individuals find jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
 
Section 202 Demonstration and Planning provided $18 million to help develop housing for low-income people who were also elderly. These grants went to 75 sponsors.
 
HOPE VI:
·        Washington DC was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant for revitalization of Sheridan Terrace Housing Development. It will be replaced with a new mixed-income neighborhood. 
·        Boston was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant for revitalization of Washington Beech public housing project. A new mixed-income neighborhood will replace the 57-year old complex.
·        North Carolina was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant to revitalize public housing developments in Fayetteville. 
·        Phoenix was awarded an $8.9 million HOPE VI grant to revitalize the A.L. Krohn Homes public housing development and replace it with a new mixed income neighborhood.

·       

New Orleans was awarded a

$20 million HOPE VI grant

to revitalize C.J. Peete public housing development and add affordable housing units, as well as support services for relocated residents.

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIH Criticized for Holding Indian Housing Funds

In June 2006, the Office of Public and Indian Housing froze $300 million earmarked for Native American housing assistance in response to a court decision. PIH officials said they had no choice in the matter after a federal judge called into question the formula PIH uses under the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act. Although the court case involved only one tribal housing authority, HUD said there was no way to proceed without holding back money for every single federally recognized tribe.
 
PIH’s decision prompted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) threatened to introduce legislation that would force HUD to release the funds. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) called PIH’s decision “almost unforgivable” and that it “smacks of bureaucratic incompetence.”
 
US District Judge Richard Matsch ordered federal housing officials to lift the freeze on the funding and instead hold only the moneys for the Fort Peck Housing Authority, the plaintiff in the court case.
Senators rap HUD for freezing Indian housing funds (by Mary Clare Jalonick, Billings Gazette)

Judge's decision allows HUD to lift funding freeze

(Indianz)

 

more

Comments

Tony Wicks, CPA 5 years ago
what happen to job announcement number: h11-de-453434-chz, financial analyst?
Lucinda Nelson 6 years ago
have a question on navajo hopi relocation benefits, who do i contact, i already tried the office in flagstaff, but they are not helpful. your response is appreciated.
Rajat Ashish Gulati 7 years ago
I am an Architect & Town Planner from India. Can i work with this organization?

Leave a comment

Founded: 1937
Annual Budget: $23 billion (2009)
Employees: 1,545
Office of Public and Indian Housing
Castro Ramirez, Lourdes
Previous Assistant Secretary

 

On July 31, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez to be the director of the Office of Public and Indian Housing in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

Castro Ramírez was born in Juchitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, came to the United States at age 4 with her family and settled in Lynwood, California, near Los Angeles. She graduated from Lynwood High School in 1989 and went across town to UCLA. There, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and Chicano studies and subsequently a Master’s degree in urban planning.

 

Castro Ramírez’s first professional job began in 1996 as a community development planner for the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, which provides housing services in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. 

 

In 1999, Castro Ramírez moved to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, where her first assignment was as project director for the Jobs-Plus National Demonstration Program. The year after joining the authority, in 2000, she became a citizen of the United States.

 

Castro Ramírez was named assistant, then interim, director of the authority’s resident relations department in 2004 and was named director of the authority’s Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program in 2006, serving for three years.

 

Castro Ramírez was recruited in 2009 to become the chief executive officer of the San Antonio Housing Authority, which gives housing assistance to 25,000 households. There has been some controversy during her tenure. In 2011, local news reports detailed high travel expenses for Castro Ramírez and other employees of the authority. She was found to have spent five nights in a Washington, D.C., Ritz-Carlton hotel at taxpayer expense. The total bill for that trip was $7,400.

 

Castro Ramírez and her husband, Jorge Ramírez, a teacher, had three children; a daughter Natalia and two sons, Jorgito and Nicolas. Nicolas died in 2012 of a rare form of liver cancer at the age of eleven.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

SAHA Officials Rack Up High-Dollar Travel Expenses (by Jaie Avila, WOAI)

Cancer Didn’t Keep Boy From Dreaming (by Karisa King, San Antonio Express-News)

more
Henriquez, Sandra
Former Assistant Secretary

On April 10, 2009, President Obama named Sandra Henriquez as the new Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing (PIH), a position within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and she was confirmed on May 21. PIH manages programs that provide funding to help residents obtain affordable housing and become more self-sufficient and financially independent. Henriquez served as Administrator and CEO of the Boston Housing Authority for thirteen years before being tapped by Obama.

 
Born in 1950, Sandra Brooks Henriquez was raised in the village of Spencerport, New York, near Rochester. Her parents both worked for Eastman Kodak. Her father began as a machinist and retired 42 years later as an employee recruiter. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Boston University in 1972. During the Vietnam War, Henriquez was active in the anti-war movement and she has described herself as, “a child of the ‘60s,” adding, “I really believe in public service.”
 
Henriquez has spent her entire career in the public housing field, starting at the Boston Housing Authority, where she worked in various capacities from 1977 to 1983. She served as the Director of Housing Management and Tenant Services for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development from 1983 to 1986.  She then left government for the private sector, working as a principal of Maloney Properties, Inc., a real estate property management firm specializing in delivering services to resident-controlled and non-profit sponsored housing.  Henriquez returned to the Boston Housing Authority in April 1996, when she was named Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, a position she held until her recent appointment to HUD.  Her position in Boston was a cabinet position within the administration of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. 
 
Henriquez has been president of the Council of Large Public Housing Agencies (CLPHA) since 2004.
She was also Chair of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Boston, and a director of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. As a trustee for nine years, and now an honorary trustee of the New England Baptist Hospital, she sits on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and participates on the Compensation Committee.  In addition, she is a director of the Massachusetts-based Citizens Housing and Planning Association
 
Henriquez”s husband, Julio, is a community activist who was born in Panama. The couple has three children, two sons and a daughter. 
 
Obama Taps Boston Housing Chief (by Donovan Slack, Boston Globe)
How the Squeeze on Public Housing Hurts Us All (by Sandra B. Henriquez, Boston Globe)
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:
Part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) works to ensure safe and affordable housing for all Americans. PIH manages a large number of programs that provide funding through grants that are designed to help residents of affordable housing become more self-sufficient and economic independent.
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, the US stock market crashed. This event gave rise to the Great Depression, which lasted through the beginning of World War II, in 1941. The depression had devastating effects on industrialized countries like the United States. International trade declined, mirroring personal incomes. Cities were hit especially hard as construction came to a halt and jobs declined.          

 
Many relief programs were set up to help struggling citizens. But the need for safe and affordable housing grew as the years passed. In 1934, the National Housing Act (PDF) was passed. This bill created the Federal Housing Administration which became responsible for looking into issues of housing across the country.
 
The Office of Public and Indian Housing was created in 1937 when the Housing Act of 1937, also known as the Wagner-Steagall Act, was signed into law. It provided subsidies that could be paid out to local public housing agencies (PHAs) so they could help improve living conditions for low-income families.
 
Both the National Housing Act and the Wagner-Steagall Act were influenced by Catherine Bauer Wurster, one of a group of idealists who called themselves “housers” because of their dedication to improve housing conditions for the poor. She co-authored the Housing Act of 1937 and went on to advise five presidents on urban planning. She served as a director of the Housing Authority for two years. 
 

The

Housing Act of 1949

(PDF) added national goals for safe living conditions and sought to eradicate slums by providing funds for urban renewal. This goal was more fully realized with passage of the Housing Act of 1954 which created the urban renewal program. In 1965, the Public Housing Administration, the US Housing Authority and the Home Financial Agency were combined to form the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is responsible for administering and managing a number of programs designed to ensure safe and affordable housing for 1.3 million households nationwide. PIH also works with public housing authorities across the country to help them improve their management and service delivery efforts. The five offices of PIH are:

 
Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) is responsible for improving housing conditions for Native American families. The office also creates economic opportunities for tribes and Indian housing residents and assists tribes with community development initiatives. The office oversees Code Talk, a federal, interagency web site designed to deliver electronic information from government agencies and other organizations to Native American communities.
 
The Office of Community Relations and Involvement deals individually with low-income housing communities on the state and local levels.
 
The Office of Public and Assisted Housing Operations helps to offer and maintain affordable housing options for low-income families by offering vouchers that can be exchanged for rental payments.
 
The Office of Public Housing Investments oversees outreach and investment opportunities in low-income housing developments. This office also looks for sites to demolish.
 
The Office of Policy, Program and Legislative Initiatives is responsible for helping create the agency’s policy and oversees implementation of any new laws or amendments to existing housing laws. 
 
PIH Programs
The Capital Fund provides funds to state and local housing authorities in order to help modernize existing public housing developments.
 
The Demo-Dispo program (short for Demolition/Disposition) helps to demolish and dispose of old, run-down housing developments. 
 
Family Self-Sufficiency is responsible for developing local strategies to assist low-income families find employment that will help them achieve long-term financial self-sufficiency. This program works together with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) plan (see below). Its services also include child care, transportation, education, job training and employment counseling, substance/alcohol abuse treatment or counseling, household skill training and homeownership counseling.
 
The Homeownership Plan is operated by individual public housing authorities which may sell all, or a portion of, a public housing development to eligible residents’ organizations to facilitate homeownership. This must be approved in advance by HUD.
 
HOPE VI is a program initiated in 1993 to provide grants to the nation’s most distressed housing developments. Revitalization takes pace in three areas: physical improvements; management improvements; and social and community services designed to address resident needs.
 
Housing Choice Vouchers, which was formerly called Section 8, gives low-income families a choice of whether to rent or purchase safe and affordable housing by offering vouchers used exchanged for rent or mortgage payments.
 
Moderate Rehabilitation provides rental assistance for low-income families on a project-by-project basis. Since the program was repealed in 1991, though, no new projects have been authorized for development.
 
Moving to Work Demonstration helps housing authorities design and test ways to provide families with housing incentives. Goals include economic self-sufficiency, programmatic efficiencies and wider-ranging housing choice.
 
The Public Housing Operating Fund is responsible for providing subsidies to state and local housing authorities to assist in funding the operating and maintenance expenses of their own housing. This is in accordance with Section 9 of the Housing Act of 1937. 
 
The Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project (RHIIP) is responsible for developing and implementing plans to address HUD’s high-risk rental housing subsidy programs. 
 
The Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) and Neighborhood Networks (NN) link public housing residents to useful services. The agency does this by utilizing grants for support services as well as empowerment and self-sufficiency activities. 

 

Public Housing Reform Overview

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In FY 2007, the Office of Public and Indian Housing awarded these grants:

 
Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) provided $50 million to help seniors and families living in public housing. This allows them to live independently and gives their families access to education and training opportunities. In addition, $60 million was distributed to help low-income individuals find jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
 
Section 202 Demonstration and Planning provided $18 million to help develop housing for low-income people who were also elderly. These grants went to 75 sponsors.
 
HOPE VI:
·        Washington DC was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant for revitalization of Sheridan Terrace Housing Development. It will be replaced with a new mixed-income neighborhood. 
·        Boston was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant for revitalization of Washington Beech public housing project. A new mixed-income neighborhood will replace the 57-year old complex.
·        North Carolina was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant to revitalize public housing developments in Fayetteville. 
·        Phoenix was awarded an $8.9 million HOPE VI grant to revitalize the A.L. Krohn Homes public housing development and replace it with a new mixed income neighborhood.

·       

New Orleans was awarded a

$20 million HOPE VI grant

to revitalize C.J. Peete public housing development and add affordable housing units, as well as support services for relocated residents.

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIH Criticized for Holding Indian Housing Funds

In June 2006, the Office of Public and Indian Housing froze $300 million earmarked for Native American housing assistance in response to a court decision. PIH officials said they had no choice in the matter after a federal judge called into question the formula PIH uses under the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act. Although the court case involved only one tribal housing authority, HUD said there was no way to proceed without holding back money for every single federally recognized tribe.
 
PIH’s decision prompted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) threatened to introduce legislation that would force HUD to release the funds. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) called PIH’s decision “almost unforgivable” and that it “smacks of bureaucratic incompetence.”
 
US District Judge Richard Matsch ordered federal housing officials to lift the freeze on the funding and instead hold only the moneys for the Fort Peck Housing Authority, the plaintiff in the court case.
Senators rap HUD for freezing Indian housing funds (by Mary Clare Jalonick, Billings Gazette)

Judge's decision allows HUD to lift funding freeze

(Indianz)

 

more

Comments

Tony Wicks, CPA 5 years ago
what happen to job announcement number: h11-de-453434-chz, financial analyst?
Lucinda Nelson 6 years ago
have a question on navajo hopi relocation benefits, who do i contact, i already tried the office in flagstaff, but they are not helpful. your response is appreciated.
Rajat Ashish Gulati 7 years ago
I am an Architect & Town Planner from India. Can i work with this organization?

Leave a comment

Founded: 1937
Annual Budget: $23 billion (2009)
Employees: 1,545
Office of Public and Indian Housing
Castro Ramirez, Lourdes
Previous Assistant Secretary

 

On July 31, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez to be the director of the Office of Public and Indian Housing in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

Castro Ramírez was born in Juchitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, came to the United States at age 4 with her family and settled in Lynwood, California, near Los Angeles. She graduated from Lynwood High School in 1989 and went across town to UCLA. There, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and Chicano studies and subsequently a Master’s degree in urban planning.

 

Castro Ramírez’s first professional job began in 1996 as a community development planner for the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, which provides housing services in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. 

 

In 1999, Castro Ramírez moved to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, where her first assignment was as project director for the Jobs-Plus National Demonstration Program. The year after joining the authority, in 2000, she became a citizen of the United States.

 

Castro Ramírez was named assistant, then interim, director of the authority’s resident relations department in 2004 and was named director of the authority’s Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program in 2006, serving for three years.

 

Castro Ramírez was recruited in 2009 to become the chief executive officer of the San Antonio Housing Authority, which gives housing assistance to 25,000 households. There has been some controversy during her tenure. In 2011, local news reports detailed high travel expenses for Castro Ramírez and other employees of the authority. She was found to have spent five nights in a Washington, D.C., Ritz-Carlton hotel at taxpayer expense. The total bill for that trip was $7,400.

 

Castro Ramírez and her husband, Jorge Ramírez, a teacher, had three children; a daughter Natalia and two sons, Jorgito and Nicolas. Nicolas died in 2012 of a rare form of liver cancer at the age of eleven.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

SAHA Officials Rack Up High-Dollar Travel Expenses (by Jaie Avila, WOAI)

Cancer Didn’t Keep Boy From Dreaming (by Karisa King, San Antonio Express-News)

more
Henriquez, Sandra
Former Assistant Secretary

On April 10, 2009, President Obama named Sandra Henriquez as the new Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing (PIH), a position within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and she was confirmed on May 21. PIH manages programs that provide funding to help residents obtain affordable housing and become more self-sufficient and financially independent. Henriquez served as Administrator and CEO of the Boston Housing Authority for thirteen years before being tapped by Obama.

 
Born in 1950, Sandra Brooks Henriquez was raised in the village of Spencerport, New York, near Rochester. Her parents both worked for Eastman Kodak. Her father began as a machinist and retired 42 years later as an employee recruiter. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Boston University in 1972. During the Vietnam War, Henriquez was active in the anti-war movement and she has described herself as, “a child of the ‘60s,” adding, “I really believe in public service.”
 
Henriquez has spent her entire career in the public housing field, starting at the Boston Housing Authority, where she worked in various capacities from 1977 to 1983. She served as the Director of Housing Management and Tenant Services for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development from 1983 to 1986.  She then left government for the private sector, working as a principal of Maloney Properties, Inc., a real estate property management firm specializing in delivering services to resident-controlled and non-profit sponsored housing.  Henriquez returned to the Boston Housing Authority in April 1996, when she was named Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, a position she held until her recent appointment to HUD.  Her position in Boston was a cabinet position within the administration of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. 
 
Henriquez has been president of the Council of Large Public Housing Agencies (CLPHA) since 2004.
She was also Chair of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Boston, and a director of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. As a trustee for nine years, and now an honorary trustee of the New England Baptist Hospital, she sits on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and participates on the Compensation Committee.  In addition, she is a director of the Massachusetts-based Citizens Housing and Planning Association
 
Henriquez”s husband, Julio, is a community activist who was born in Panama. The couple has three children, two sons and a daughter. 
 
Obama Taps Boston Housing Chief (by Donovan Slack, Boston Globe)
How the Squeeze on Public Housing Hurts Us All (by Sandra B. Henriquez, Boston Globe)
more