Letter From the Executive Director
During 2013, the Housing Authority of the City of Miami Beach (HACMB) continues to excel in providing quality housing services to over 3,700 families annually. Indeed, the HACMB now ranks as one of the top ten largest housing agencies among Florida housing authorities, with an impact on the local economy of over 30 million dollars annually.
Seven years ago, the HACMB instituted its Model Agency Initiative (MAI) establishing a strategic approach to achieve excellence in all areas of services provided. After identifying improvements and new endeavors to be pursued, the HACMB proceeded to secure the necessary funds by competing successfully for State of Florida HOME funds, Miami-Dade County Surtax funds, and City of Miami Beach HOME funds. These funds, as well as Public Housing Capital Funds, CDBG Disaster Recovery Initiative funds, and ARRA funds, have now been put to work in the most comprehensive renovation ever conducted at Rebecca Towers. In addition, the HACMB has undertaken the rehabilitation and new construction of quality affordable housing.
Today, the HACMB is developing housing for the first time since the 1970s. Acting as the developer, the agency completed the rehabilitation of Henderson Court, a five-unit Art Deco building that had been previously boarded up for a decade. Simultaneously, the construction of the Steven E. Chaykin Apartments, providing 30 units of affordable elderly frail/disabled housing in the heart of South Beach, was completed in December 2012. In addition, in February 2013, the HACMB completed the renovation of the Lois Apartments, a 16-unit Mediterranean Revival building which provides affordable units to families. The Leonard Turkel Residences, a 21-unit contemporary building for the elderly, is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2014.
Concurrently, the HACMB is successfully conducting multi-million dollar upgrades for Rebecca Towers, turning this complex into a model of public housing for the 21st Century. Completed so far in this comprehensive initiative are the installation of over 1,600 high impact windows, an elevator modernization project that provided state-of-the-art elevators, a full-scale renovation of the residents’ lunch room, professional exterior pressure washing and painting, installation of upgraded emergency generator systems, installation of a tele-entry system, as well as eco-friendly initiatives such as roof replacement, installation of tankless water heaters, water conserving toilets, new energy efficient domestic water pump systems, and a rain-sensing irrigation system. Currently, underway is the replacement of a hot water boiler system with a high efficiency tankless system.
While these major physical improvements are underway, the HACMB has managed not only to operate as a U.S. HUD designated High Performer for the last seven years; but to increase its Section 8 voucher baseline by an unprecedented 20 percent, currently administering 3,100 vouchers from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and the HUD-VASH Programs. The HUD-VASH program operated by the HACMB has emerged as the most prominent and largest in South Florida. As part of this growing effort to service our veteran community, the HACMB is also implementing a HUD-VASH program under an agreement with the Key West/Monroe County Housing Authority. Meanwhile, the HACMB continues to successfully operate its FSS Program, including the Section 8 Homeownership component through which FSS participants have become first-time homeowners. In addition, the HACMB serves as a member of the Housing Committee of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
Another innovation also introduced under the HACMB’s MAI, is a quarterly networking event attracting over 20 social services providers from South Florida. Most recently, the HACMB and FIU School of Architecture entered into a design collaboration effort. Despite all the new initiatives the HACMB remains a model of efficiency, operating as a streamlined agency consistently within budget.
Currently, the HACMB is actively involved with the Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (FAHRO) and the Southeastern Association of Housing and Community Development Professionals (SERC). At the same time, the HACMB is involved with the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).
In 2008, HACMB received the South Florida Business Journal Excellence in Human Resources Award.
In 2009, the Alliance for Aging, Inc. awarded the HACMB the Jose Paulos “Above and Beyond” Award for community networking efforts to better serve the elderly.
In 2010, the Department of Defense recognized the HACMB as a Patriotic Employer.
In 2010, the HACMB Executive Director received FAHRO’s Executive of the Year Award, a first for the agency.
In 2011, the HACMB received FAHRO’s Housing Authority of the Year Award, also a first for the agency.
In 2012, the Steven E. Chaykin Apartments was selected for the Award of Merit for Innovation for Sustaining Places by the American Planning Association - Florida Chapter.
The HACMB is a member of FAHRO, NAHRO, SERC-NAHRO, PHADA and ULI.
Miguell J. Del Campillo