Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Hails Property Owned by Hawaii NeighborWorks Affiliate as Model for the Nation

(l-r): HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; Hawaii Governor
Neil Abercrombie; Hawaii Mutual Housing Association
Executive Director Dave Nakamura; Mutual Housing
Board President Dee Dee Letts; Palolo Homes Resident
Services Manager Dahlia Asuega 
During a recent visit to the state of Hawaii, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan hailed Palolo Valley Homes, owned by NeighborWorks Affiliate Mutual Housing Association of Hawaii, as a national model for the successful privatization of public housing. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie accompanied the secretary on a tour of the 300-unit property that houses low-income families. [View photos]

With a $1.7 million grant from HUD and additional funding from public and private sector partners, Palolo Valley Homes was renovated with new services and amenities such as a state-of-the-art learning center, children’s play area and a health examination room. With federal funds in short supply, partnerships like the one put to use in Palolo are being looked at for housing across the nation.

“We have a comprehensive housing policy in Hawaii that includes repairing and building public housing units where people feel safe in their community and proud of their home,” Governor Abercrombie said.

“I will go back to Washington D.C. inspired by your example,” Secretary Donovan said during his visit to Palolo Valley Homes. “We want innovative techniques in bringing nonprofit and private partners to the table to make a community truly a home to its residents.”

The governor and housing secretary also visited Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s Mayor Wright housing, where partnerships are being looked at to make much-needed renovations.
Learn more about the Secretary’s visit.