On Tuesday, September 24th, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) welcomes more than 350 public and assisted housing advocates, tax credit sponsors, employees and government officials from across the nation to attend the 2019 National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH) Conference. The SSW's Associate Dean for Field Education, Samuel B. Little, PhD, is President and CEO of NAR-SAAH.
The comprehensive three-day conference, themed ‘Willing, Ready and Able’, has an agenda that includes a six-hour certificate training on the fundamentals of housing advocacy for commissioners, twelve capacity building workshops, and resident caucuses, or town hall meetings, to develop a national taskforce to recommend amendments to U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations.
The conference will kick off with a session on the future of public housing accompanied with a history of the resident empowerment movement presented by HUD Region 9 Public Housing Director, Edward Moses. NAR-SAAH President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Samuel B. Little, along with members of the Board of Directors, will preside over the conference and offer opening remarks to attendees. Additional sessions include discussions on refocusing and expanding resident services, crafting jobs and business opportunities through Section 3, innovative programs to serve elderly and disabled residents, addressing the mental health needs of families, and self-care for resident leaders and program staff.
NAR-SAAH will also partner with the Rockefeller Foundation in hosting the conference luncheon to address necessary solutions for building income security and utilization of the targeted income tax credit by housing residents. “NAR-SAAH is pleased to provide impactful capacity building programs for its members and others dedicated to enhancing the well-being of families in public and subsidized housing. Many attendees at our annual conferences have become industry mavericks and I applaud them for their extraordinary accomplishments,” said Little.
Conference planners also hope to encourage resident engagement with officials from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition on hot topics in public and subsidized housing. HANO will provide conference attendees with a public housing tour to showcase redeveloped communities in New Orleans.
NAR-SAAH will present eight national awards to individuals and/or organizations that have achieved success in developing innovative programming, capacity building mechanisms, and that continue to ensure the health and safety of the community. The conference also promises innovative keynote speakers including Mayor Karen Feeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana and President of the National League of Cities, Georgi Banna of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, Andreanecia Morris of Housing NOLA, Edward Gramlich from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Bertha Davis of the Housing Authority Birmingham District, and Asia Coney from the Philadelphia Housing Authority.