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How can you leverage professional networks for strategic outreach and community engagement?

How can you leverage professional networks for strategic outreach and community engagement?

How can you leverage professional networks for strategic outreach and community engagement?

The local housing authority of Bismark, Alabama, was created in 1935. In 1937, the Housing Authority of Bismark, Alabama (HABA), became a public housing agency (PHA) under the provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (commonly referred to as the Wagner-Steagall Act). This New Deal-era legislation created the U.S. Housing Authority to provide loans and subsidies to local PHAs.

As a quasi-governmental agency, HABA is organized as an extension of the city of Bismark. It has its own board of directors, who are appointed by the mayor and who serve two-year terms in office. Additionally, HABA formed a nonprofit foundation in 2000 to support its mission “to make available quality, affordable housing for lower and moderate-income families through the wise stewardship of public funds.” HABA is also a member of the Bismark County Continuum of Care (CoC), which is a group of providers serving the currently or at-risk homeless population.

This past month, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued  new standards for homelessness  called “Home, Together.” The strategy espoused by the plan is to “make homelessness a rare, brief, and one-time experience” across America. This new strategy builds on the 2010  Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness  plan presented by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).


HABA is the largest provider in the state of attainable housing through direct administration of housing units in the city, the management of Section 8 housing vouchers throughout the region, and the administration of housing tax credits. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the implications of HUD’s initiatives and rules as they relate to PHAs. Alignment with these new regulations will directly impact federal funding for the organization.



You are the assistant executive director of HABA. Therefore, you are responsible for periodically reporting on relevant developments and progress to the board of directors. These new HUD regulations happen to coincide with your first presentation to a brand-new board of directors. The new board is enthusiastic and energized, but in need of background information to support its understanding of the challenges facing your organization and their historical roots. Therefore, you have decided to create a presentation that will first provide the new board with some critical context, then brief them on the implications of the new HUD initiative and your plan for advancing the mission of the organization. Be sure to include the following:

· Begin your presentation by establishing a context for your audience that addresses key background information, including:

· Articulate the significance of housing affordability and homelessness as key contemporary issues facing local, state, and national governments. In other words, why are these issues critical and impactful?

· Demonstrate how federalism has shaped the governance model as it relates to civil rights and housing. Include relevant legislation, executive actions, and judicial precedent that help to explain the historical causes of present conditions.

· Then transition by focusing on the specific impacts of the new HUD initiative for your organization. Specifically, be sure to explain the potential for budgetary effects, including the significance of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and federal grants in aid programs for funding critical service delivery organizations such as your own.

· Finally, conclude your presentation with your plan for ensuring compliance and advancing the mission of the organization. Be sure to propose informed strategies that address the following questions:

· How can your organization continue to build and develop productive relationships with the local, state, and federal levels of government?

· How can you leverage professional networks for strategic outreach and community engagement?




What to Submit

Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:

Presentation to the New HABA Board of Directors Craft an effective presentation that educates the new board about the broader historical and contemporary context, as well as briefs them on the significance of new HUD initiatives. Specifically, you need to propose a plan for ensuring compliance and advancing the mission of the organization. Your presentation must be 10 to 15 slides in length, include speaker notes, and cite any references.

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