2020 is Full of Promise
By David Nisivoccia
It is a new year and a new beginning in many ways for us at SAHA.
We are kicking off 2020 with a new, user-friendly SAHA website with a condensed menu, revamped for better navigation to important resources for current and future residents.
We also start the new year with a renewed focus on affordable housing and how to better serve our residents. We are proud to offer more than 55,000 San Antonians reliable, safe and affordable housing.
In addition to our work providing stable affordable housing, we are also proud of our air conditioning initiative we completed last year to ensure all public housing units were equipped with air conditioning. SAHA is one of a few public housing authorities in the country to have achieved this momentous goal recognized by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). We are also grateful to NAHRO and Texas NAHRO for awarding SAHA numerous awards last year for our innovative programs.
While we have been the city’s source of affordable housing for more than 80 years, we always look for opportunities to increase our efficiency, build new partners, increase the affordable housing stock and provide good quality services for our residents.
We can always do more, therefore, to better serve our residents in 2020, SAHA pledges to:
- Open our Housing Choice Voucher waitlist to provide new housing opportunities to residents who want to rent from a local landlord participating in the Section 8 Program
- Enhance the customer service experience for residents by providing additional training for staff
- Unveil our agency values which defines who we are
- Host town hall-style meetings across SAHA’s communities throughout the city to hear first-hand resident thoughts, concerns and ideas.
- Launch our SAHA 2025 strategy which lays out a blueprint on what we hope to achieve in the next five years
- Review the agency’s fees and policies, some of which have not been updated in more than a decade, to ensure they are consistent with national best practices and in the best interest of our residents
- Renew partnerships with community groups, business and organizations to help forge new opportunities for our residents
- Advocate for residents with local, state and national elected officials in San Antonio, Austin and Washington, DC, to build political support for capital improvements of our communities, tax credits for new affordable housing, programs for veterans and housing for mixed-status households
- Begin the planning process to build tiny homes for homeless college students
- Break ground on several new affordable housing properties across the city
We think it’s always important to be introspective of the services and programs we offer and ways in which we can improve them. As the largest public housing authority in Texas and one of just 39 Moving-to-Work agencies in the country, we will also look for new ways to support our residents and look for innovative new ideas to increase affordable housing in San Antonio.
In the coming weeks and months on this blog page, you’ll hear from SAHA colleagues and the important work they do for our residents. You’ll hear more about our Community Development Initiatives Department and the many social services and programs they coordinate for our residents including food distributions, health services, academic scholarships and self sufficiency programs that help our residents become first-time homeowners. You’ll hear from our Construction Services and Sustainability Department on updates for communities like Victoria Plaza, which is undergoing a $17 million renovation and ways in which the agency is being environmentally sustainable. You’ll also hear from our Development Services and Redevelopment staff who are in the midst of building the largest affordable housing stock in San Antonio in a generation.
In summary, SAHA offers more than housing — we are a caring organization connecting residents with social services and helping them build relationships in the community. We believe in them and want them to be successful. We will do all we can to achieve this goal. We are working diligently to increase affordable housing options, whether they are in downtown San Antonio, the historic Westside, or tiny homes for homeless college students. We are excited about what 2020 will bring and we’re optimistic about San Antonio’s future.
Thank you in advance for your support in the work we do. We cannot do it all without you.
David Nisivoccia serves as President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) and is responsible for the oversight and operation of the largest public housing authority in the State of Texas and one of the largest in the United States. It is one of 39 Moving-to-Work agencies in the country.