The Housing Workplace appoints a brand new director

The Tacoma Housing Authority has appointed a brand new govt director. In a particular session final week, the THA Board of Commissioners voted to elect April Black as the pinnacle of the group, the primary girl to take action within the THA’s 81-year historical past. Black was beforehand Deputy Government Director and Interim Government Director since Michael Mirra retired on July 5.

“We imagine that the THA is greatest served by providing the place of Government Director to April Black, ”mentioned Stanley Rumbaugh, chairman of the board of administrators of the THA. “After working 12 years for the THA, the final six of which as Deputy Managing Director, AprilHer constant management, well-established group relationships, dedication to THA’s mission, and laudable imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the group make her essentially the most certified candidate. The Council has full confidence April, and we stay up for working alongside him for years to return.

Mirra served THA as an Government Director for 17 years and her work has raised the bar for group housing and helped to nationally acknowledge the Tacoma Housing Authority as among the best within the nation. Black instructed Tacoma Weekly that she felt “very fortunate” to have labored alongside Mirra and to now be capable to proceed her work.

“He was an amazing visionary,” Black mentioned. “It is time for me to construct on the partnerships we have already got, construct extra of them and in addition acknowledge that issues have modified simply over the past yr – ensuring to not simply take a plan that I’ve. posed in entrance of me, however to verify if it’s the similar panorama or if we have to alter a bit.

Born and raised in countryside Montana, Black has firsthand expertise with housing insecurity, which has impressed and propelled her to make housing her life’s work. When she was in elementary faculty, she and her mom lived in a home with out electrical energy or water. Black went to stay together with her grandparents for 4 years and when she and her mother bought collectively her mother could not afford a typical kind of home, so she purchased a cell house. With rental costs for the cell house heaps too excessive for her mom’s funds, Black’s great-grandmother transformed her yard into land the place Black and her mom lived in that cell house till that point. that Black graduated from highschool. Her mom then moved their cell house to Missoula the place they each started their research on the College of Montana in 2000.

“Going to Missoula was the primary time I used to be in a metropolis, the primary time I used to be driving round a purple gentle,” Black mentioned. “I began to know that housing insecurity is an actual factor and that it seems totally different for individuals who stay in cities and for individuals who haven’t got social networks that may step in and fill that void for them. them.

A piece examine alternative introduced itself for Black at a small feminist group that did eviction prevention and mortgage foreclosures counseling. It was there that Black met and chatted with individuals who have been looking for a solution to save their properties after receiving an eviction or foreclosures discover.

“I heard folks discuss firsthand about their struggles and I instantly modified my focus from journalism to sociology and began learning housing coverage.”

She labored on the Missoula Housing Authority whereas nonetheless in school, then got here to Washington State in 2005 for a place with the Bremerton Housing Authority the place her job additionally encompassed the county housing authorities of Jefferson, Mason and Lewis. From there, in 2009, she joined the Tacoma Housing Authority as Director of Property Administration and Housing Companies, overseeing the roughly 1,400 housing items owned and managed by THA and the Housing Alternative Housing Voucher program. by THA. She then turned Deputy Government Director of the THA and Director of its Coverage Innovation and Analysis Division.

Now that she is the Government Director, Black and the workers at THA will proceed to concentrate on mainstreaming variety, fairness and inclusion into all of the work they do – how THA delivers providers. to prospects, the kind of providers offered to them and the way THA treats its staff.

“It is one thing that has been on our radar however not as deep into our operations as we wish, so we’re making it a precedence,” Black mentioned.

Strengthening partnerships is one other precedence. For instance, working intently with Workforce Central to match job seekers with employers and with Tacoma Scholar Basis to assist highschool graduates of Tacoma public faculties transfer on to post-secondary training or apprenticeship applications and in the end acquire a well-paying job inside 5 years of commencement. commencement.

“And work with the flagship establishments that the Metropolis of Tacoma has put in place with the College of Washington-Tacoma, Tacoma Neighborhood Faculty, the parks system and the transportation system, to see how you can have a larger influence throughout the board. the group, ”Black added.

“The THA Board of Administrators is a gaggle of devoted group volunteers who work to satisfy the wants of THA’s many stakeholders, and I’m honored that they’ve elected me as Government Director. I’ve had an excellent expertise. at THA, not solely professionally however personally. He appears like household and the individuals are superb. I’m so grateful to stay in Tacoma and work with the folks at THA. ”

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