WORKSHOPS/ COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

DISPLACEMENT PREVENTION & MITIGATION POLICY

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Role: Lead Organizer/ Investigator
Activity: Community engagement meetings & stakeholders focus groups for the development of "Displacement Prevention & Mitigation Policy".
Year: Fall 2018/ Spring 2019
Sponsor: City of San Antonio, TX
Location: Various public venues across San Antonio.
Description: 

ANALYSIS OF IMPEDIMENTS

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Role: Co-Organizer/ Co-Facilitator
Activity: Community engagement campaign including public meetings,  stakeholders interviews. The campaign is part of HUD's analysis of Impediments to Fair Choice requirement.
Year: Spring 2019
Sponsor: City of San Antonio, TX
Location: San Antonio Public Library.
Description: 

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING STRATEGIES IN ECONOMIC BOOM TOWNS

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Role: Facilitator/ Principal Investigator
Activity: Interviews and focus groups in the Middle Rio Grande Development Council for data collection for the Sustainable Workforce Housing Research.
Year: 2011/ 2012
Funding: Institute for Economic Development, Rural Development Program, University of Texas at San Antonio
Location: Carrizo Springs, TX
Description: 

In 2012, I led a team to conduct community engagement focus groups and interviews with different groups of stakeholders. The objective was to understand different views, behaviors, and knowledge related to local housing issues and to explore speculations for locating new residential developments within the vicinity of the Eagle Ford Shale area. It was also important to address alternative housing options that could sustain the emerging demand in the study area. All focus groups where held in the office of the Middle Rio Grande Development Council [MRGDC] in Carrizo Springs, TX. Discussions were conducted with the following groups of local people and new-comers:

  1. Employees of the oil and gas companies.

  2. A combined stakeholders group including small business owners, community development people, and chamber of commerce staff.

  3. Housing authority and city officials whose work-place is located in/or is serving the local residents in the six counties (Dimmit, Frio, La Salle, Maverick, Webb, and Zavala).

  4. Area developers, who have current, prior, or prospective development in the area.

  5. Local residents: workers and non-workers in Eagle Ford Shale area and its vicinity.

Teaching linked to this Project: Housing Design and Development Elective, University of Texas at San Antonio, Fall 2013.
Project: Workforce housing development; Cotulla, TX.

SELF HELP HOUSING PROGRAM ASSESSMENT: USDA Section 502

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Role: Organizer/ Investigator
Activity: Interviews for staff administering USDA 502 Self-Help Housing Program administered by Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee (SMTCCAC).
Year: 2008/ 2009
Funding: Faculty Summer Research Grant, Morgan State University
Location: Hughesville, Southern Maryland
Description: 

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), through Rural Housing Services Program-RHS- established the Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program. The program is part of the common home ownership program -Section 502- and it targets families who are unable to afford decent and safe housing through regular mortgage process. It assists low and very low-income households to construct their own homes through sweat equity, that contribute to 65 percent of the construction labor cost, with the availability of qualified technical supervision from the program administrator.

With funding from Morgan State University, Faculty Summer Grant, the project investigated and analyzed autonomous housing processes and program capabilities to serve residents in three Maryland counties: Charles, Calvert, and St Mary’s. The project focused on:

  1. Providing a critique for implementation of self-help housing program, USDA Section 502.

  2. Establishing guidelines for self-help housing provision in the small communities in the state of Maryland and the U.S; and

  3. Enhancing outreach endeavor and connections between Morgan State University and the underserved communities in Southern Maryland.

  4. Engaging the public and program providers in data gathering and analyses through:

    • Conducting structured face-to-face interviews with the SMTCCAC staff.

    • Conducting open-ended interviews with the residents of the three self-help housing development in the tri-counties.

DESIGN + RESEARCH FORUM ON HOMELESSNESS

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Role: Organizer/ Moderator & Studio Instructor
Activity: Design and research forum for the homeless
Year: Spring, 2008
Speakers:
  • Mary Anne O'Donell (Catholic Charities)
  • Curtis Wilson (CSD Architects)
  • Mary Slicher (Project PLASE)
  • George Vrany (Project PLASE)
  • Dr. Jonathan VanGeest (Morgan State)
  • Dr. Mary Anne Akers (Morgan State)
Location: Morgan State University Campus, Baltimore, MD
Description: 
The forum was part of junior urban studio activities including a nine-week project centered on issues of homelessness and basic human needs. Design process and shelter typology were addressed in this forum and throughout the studio through employing different dimensions: organizational methodologies, structure, and contextual urban setting, which are based on functional and social-behavioral determinants of homelessness.
Teaching linked to this Forum: Design III Studio, School of Architecture and Planning, Morgan State University, Spring 2008.
Project: Transitional Homeless Facility; Earl's Place Shelter Expansion.