The Latest News
November 2017
Regional Service Officer's Message
Hello PNRC members,
As you know, the culmination of the NAHRO Conference means that the PNRC leadership that was voted in at the May Conference is now in place.  We also have new leadership in NAHRO that was announced this past weekend at the NAHRO Annual Conference. Since PNRC's incoming President, Saeed Hajarizadeh has only been in place for two days, I didn't feel it was fair to expect him to write a President's message right away. 

2017-2019 PNRC Leadership
  • President - Saeed Hajarizadeh, Vancouver Housing Authority (WA)
  • First Immediate Past President - Sunny Shaw, Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello (ID)
  • Second Immediate Past President - Lowel Krueger, Yakima Housing Authority (WA)
  • Senior Vice President - Cupid Alexander, City of Portland, Mayor's Office (OR)
  • Secretary - Holly Paterson, Housing Kitsap (WA)
  • Treasurer - Gary Calvert, Housing Services of Washington County (OR)
  • VP for Commissioners - Karina Rorris, Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello (ID)
  • VP for Community Revitalization and Development - Jacob Fox, Housing & Community Services Agency of Lane County (OR)
  • VP for Housing - Sarah Parker, Northeast Oregon Housing Authority (OR)
  • VP for Member Services - Pam Thompson, Northeast Oregon Housing Authority (OR)
  • VP for Professional Development - Bill Cook, King County Housing Authority (WA)
  • Member at Large (2019) - Cara Carter, Housing Authority of Jackson County (OR)
  • Member at Large (2019) - Eric Lane, Tacoma Housing Authority (OR)
  • Member at Large (2021) - Josh Crites, Seattle Housing Authority (WA)
  • Member at Large (2021) - Andy Rodriguez, Nampa Housing Authority (ID)
  • Member at Large (2021) - Darlene Kelly, Housing & Community Services Agency of Lane County (OR)
  • Member at Large (2021) - Marka Turner, North Bend City/Coos Curry County Housing Authority (OR)
  • Idaho Chapter President - Jillian Patterson, Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority (ID)
  • Cascade Chapter President  - Todd Johnston, Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (OR)
  • Alaska Association of Housing Authorities President - Carol Gore, Cook Inlet Regional Housing Authority (AK)
2017-2019 NAHRO Leadership 
Other great things happened at the NAHRO Conference.  The winners of the 2018 Housing America Poster Contest were announced and the Pacific Northwest has three of the 12 winners, including the Grand Prize winner!  Also, NAHRO's Awards of Excellence were presented and PNRC had four winners.   For details on the poster winners and the awards winners, see below in Regional News.

Did you know that NAHRO Professional Development and Services can conduct a salary study for your agency?  For more information check out the link in the NAHRO News section below.

If you have questions about your PNRC member benefits, have suggestions on new benefits, newsletter content, or anything else, please feel free to contact me via email at or at 503-828-5371.  I enjoy serving the Pacific Northwest and am proud of the great work that you do in the Housing and Community Development industry.  Keep up the great work! Don't miss reading  December's newsletter where you will hear from your new President, Saeed Hajarizadeh.

Kristen Damazio
Regional Service Officer
Regional News
2018 Housing America Poster Contest Winners Announced - 
three agencies in the Pacific Northwest have winners!

For the first time ever, a region has three winners in the "What Home Means to Me" poster contest and PNRC is that region.  Zerin from King County Housing Authority is the grand prize winner and her art will be featured on the cover. Jannely from Yakima Housing Authority and Mischa from the Housing Authority of Yamhill County also won and will be featured in the calendar.

Zerin, age 18, King County Housing Authority (WA)

Mischa, age 10,
Housing Authority of Yamhill County (OR)
Jannely, 12, Yakima Housing Authority (WA)

The national winners' artwork will be featured in the 2018 "What Home Means to Me" calendar, which is shared with all members of Congress, local leaders and the NAHRO membership.  Each winner also receives a $100 Visa gift card. Zerin will receive an iPad and a framed copy of her poster. She and a guardian will also be provided with transportation to and lodging at NAHRO's Washington Conference in April 2018, where they will also tour the Capitol.

This year, our blue-ribbon panel of judges consisted of Jennifer Schwartz, National Council of State Housing Agencies; Richard Y. Nelson, Jr., Past NAHRO CEO; and Dominique G. Blom, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

See the presentation below.

Four PNRC Agencies Win NAHRO Awards of Excellence

Referral Voucher Program

To combat the overwhelming odds of leasing a rental for participants, the Spokane Housing Authority (SHA) created the Referral Voucher Program (RVP). Typically, after waiting years for a voucher, only 37% of voucher recipients were successful leasing a rental. In addition, it took about seven months from call-up to lease-up because of the complexity of verification requirements and area vacancy rates of 1.6%. RVP targets assistance to vulnerable households and pairs it with services aimed at securing and stabilizing housing for part call-up to lease-up participants. The results are an 84% lease-up success rate, taking an average of just 41 days from call-up to lease-up.

Ms. Pamela J. Tietz, PHM Executive Director Spokane Housing Authority 55 West Mission Avenue Spokane, WA 99201-2398 Phone: 509-252-7139 Email:

Speakers of the House: An Investment in Employees

The most valuable asset any governmental agency has is its employees. As a large segment of the workforce prepares for retirement, King County Housing Authority (KCHA) recognized that a critical determinant of their organizational future is the degree to which they can retain, train, and advance their emerging leaders. Through their agency supported Toastmasters club called Speakers of the House, they created a space for staff to enhance their communication and leadership skills while building an organization where employees at all stages of their careers are encouraged to thrive and grow.

Mr. Stephen Norman Executive Director King County Housing Authority 600 Andover Park West Tukwila, WA 98188-3326 Phone: 206-574-1100 Email:

Blue Springs Crossing Apartments

This project started with a land donation in what was thought to be the "perfect location" for low income families to live. The problem was the lot is a small triangle formally used as a watering pond for livestock, so how could it be converted into a jewel of a project nestled up against a high end single family home development? This would be the only apartment complex this community would have and a low income one to boot. The project had to fit in its place, look high end and prove everybody wrong who opposed it. In order to do this, a courtyard design was used and the siding, roof, and color schemes were all chosen to fit into the existing community's look and feel.

Mr. Dale Inslee, PHM Executive Director Northeast Oregon Housing Authority Post Office Box 3357 La Grande. OR 97850-7357 Phone: 541-936-5360 Ext. 22 Email:
A Book for Every Child Initiative

A Book for Every Child Initiative 

Recognizing that the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is education, the Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello (HACP) has taken a first step in its education plan by working to get books into the hands of the children they serve. The Book for Every Child Initiative insures every child that comes into the office or is listed on a form, is given an age appropriate book. Additionally, Free Little Libraries have been stocked with books at the HACP properties making book access easier for the children served.

Ms. Sunny Shaw, PHM,CME Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello Post Office Box 4161 Pocatello, ID 83205 Phone: 208-233-6276 Email:

The application process for 2018 Awards is now open!

Pacific Northwest Regional Award for Innovative Services (PRAIS) Awards of Merit applications submitted to NAHRO will be reviewed by a regional committee.  The committee selects applications to represent the region and those are forwarded to NAHRO to be considered for NAHRO National Awards of Excellence. From these applications, PRAIS winners are selected and are awarded at the PNRC-NAHRO Annual Conference. Applications must be submitted by April 1st (no fooling!).

Friends of Housing honored for leadership,  inspiration

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has honored six individuals and one firm as "Friends of Housing" for their work to create, support and advocate for affordable housing in Washington state. 

In addition, Seattle attorney Deborah Winter received the Margaret M. Sevy Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her career in public finance law.

The awards were presented October 3 in an evening reception at the annual Housing Washington conference in Spokane.

"It is our privilege to shine the spotlight on these inspiring leaders and their accomplishments on behalf of the people of our state," said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission.

Beautification Days

Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County employees participated in 8 Beautification Days at their Public and Assisted Housing Complexes between June and October this year.  

Our Property Management D ivision  started a new tradition this summer: "beautification days" - staff spends a day working at one of our housing developments. From painting, repairing drywall to gardening there is no short list of tasks that can help make our sites beautiful for the residents to enjoy. Employees also get a chance to eat lunch together. 

There were 8 beautification days scheduled this summer and all of our staff is invited to volunteer and spend a sunny  day outside. Employees enjoyed spending the days in large groups from both of our offices while painting, shoveling bark, repairing dry rot,  trimming vegetation and completing work orders.  

Connect with Yesler - A Community Celebration

Friday, September 29, 2017, marked the official opening of the Seattle Housing Authority's newest residential building at Yesler - Hoa Mai Gardens. The building is oriented toward families and has 111 apartments in sizes ranging from one to four bedrooms. Features include an interior courtyard with a playground, a spacious community room, a residents-only gathering space and more than 20 P-Patch garden plots, integrated into the outdoor landscaping. Hoa Mai Gardens, which is named for a flower significant in Vietnamese culture, is directly across the street from the Yesler Community Center and future Yesler Terrace Park. 
The following day on Saturday, September 30, more than 250 Yesler residents, families from Bailey Gatzert Elementary and visitors from surrounding neighborhoods attended an SHA-hosted Connect with Yesler community day to bring neighbors together to celebrate the opening of Hoa Mai Gardens and the beautiful community that Yesler is becoming overall. The event provided a fun way to bring people together and underscore the importance of community-building through family-friendly and interactive activities. The celebration also reinforced that Yesler neighbors, supporters of SHA's redevelopment efforts and community partners remain steadfast in their commitment to the vision for the new Yesler community.

Children enjoy the giant sandbox built by Andersen Construction

Children play in the Sounders F.C. "Octagon Field" while parents look on.

The street  fair-style celebration included food from local caterers and music by the Columbia City Jazz Night School, which was generously funded by Vulcan Real Estate. Children enjoyed  soccer in a Sounders F.C mini arena, games with the Big-Brained Superheroes club and art projects with four artists-in-residence at Yesler who are supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation. The Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a nonprofit youth service organization, led activities and gave tours of their new space on the ground floor of Hoa Mai Gardens.

Additional activities were provided by the Seattle Black Farmers Collective, MOD Pizza, the Seattle Public Library and Andersen Construction, who built a giant sandbox for the day and provided free ice cream.
NAHRO Awards of Merit in Housing and Community Development

The Application Process for the 2018 Awards of Merit is 

The NAHRO Agency Awards Program was created to give national recognition to the achievement and innovation of NAHRO agency/organizational members throughout the country; to provide additional opportunities to inform the public of the best in housing and community development; and to create a resource bank of information on significant, innovative activities performed by housing and redevelopment agencies and community development departments.  Since 1989, NAHRO has honored more than 6,000 programs.

The Agency Awards Program is a two-tiered program consisting of the Awards of Merit and the Awards of Excellence.  The first tier of the program, the Awards of Merit, are submitted to National NAHRO and sent to Regional Juries for review.  The second tier of the program, the Awards of Excellence, are selected from the Award of Merit winners nominated for an Award of Excellence by the Regional Juries.  They are sent to National Juries who may select up to 24 Awards of Excellence in a given year.

The Awards Application consists of two main parts.  A Program Summary that describes the program in 100 words or less and a Program Narrative that creates an overview of the program that addresses a set list of questions/topics in 2,400 words or less.  For more information, please review the 2018 Awards Flyer.

To be considered for a Pacific Northwest Regional Award for Innovative Services (PRAIS), your application must be submitted by April 1, 2018.  

 For more information, visit the Awards page on the PNRC Website or the NAHRO website


NAHRO's comprehensive agenda of educational and informational opportunities enables participants to learn firsthand from recognized experts. From basic to advanced learning, NAHRO offers indispensable sessions, courses, & briefings throughout the year on vital topics impacting the industry.

Check out  All Trainings for a comprehensive list of our professional development opportunities & make sure to visit our Training Calendar for our most current offerings! 

 Live Trainings  - A traditional in-person classroom experience hosted by our 20+ Designated NAHRO Training Centers. 

e-Learnings -  Convenient online distance courses. 

 e-Briefings - 90-minute online information sessions led by industry experts dedicated to updating housing & community development professionals. 

Certification - Candidates are immersed in curricula that promote knowledge, leadership skills, & professional experiences vital to career advancement. 

 On-Site Training - Customized sessions brought right to your agency for a personalized learning experience.

Technical Assistance Consortia TA, Salary  Comparability Studies and  Executive Director & CEO Search

For more information or to get a proposal, contact Regional Service Officer,
Kristen Damazio at 503-828-5371.
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