Housing industry

The Phoenix Housing Department staff and its partners have received four awards from the Arizona chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (AZNAHRO) and the Arizona Housing Authority Directors Association (AHADA).

The awards were recently presented to:

• Yvonne Gonzales, Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program Participant of the Year. Gonzales enrolled in the city of Phoenix FSS program in January 2009. At the time, she lived in Section 8 housing with her two children. Since then, she has earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts and will graduate in May 2013 with a degree in food and nutrition management. Also, she continues to maintain employment as a cook and volunteers for the StandUp for Kids program. Every Sunday, Gonzales cooks a meal for up to 20 homeless children.

• Paul Tocco, Maintenance Employee of the Year. Tocco has been a building maintenance foreman for more than 12 years. His duties include overseeing maintenance and repair of public housing units and grounds. His notable accomplishments in addition to his routine duties include: planned and coordinated the training of more than 80 employees in preparation for the annual Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections of public housing units; developed a simplified guide and REAC index to immediately predict possible scores; coordinated the teams and led the effort in scheduling and conducting 100 percent of the inspections of the interior and exterior of more than 2,000 units and grounds; and ensured all work orders were issued and prioritized. His efforts resulted in a significant improvement of REAC scores.

• Project H3: VETS, Housing Innovative Program of the Year. The Phoenix Housing Department has been successful in partnering with the Phoenix VA Medical Center (VAMC) and most recently with the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness to provide permanent and supportive housing to chronically homeless veterans. Project H3 VETS was implemented to identify and house the most vulnerable and chronically homeless veterans in Phoenix.

• Collins Court Apartments, Community Development Innovative Program of the Year. Collins Court Apartments is an innovative multifamily acquisition and rehabilitation development complete in March 2012 that is located in Council District 1 with 80 units of high quality permanent support housing for homeless individuals and small families.

• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or bstidham@ahwatukee.com

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