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--- Issued July 15, 2016

NAHRO NEWS RELEASE

Washington, D.C. (July 14, 2016) – The Housing Authority of the City of Erie has been chosen as a recipient of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Awards of Merit: Resident and Client Services for Wangari Maathai Tree Projects. The official presentation of the award took place in Portland, Ore. on July 15 during NAHRO’s Summer Conference.

“The NAHRO Awards of Merit Program was created to give national recognition to NAHRO Member organizations that have found innovative ways of making a difference in the communities and the lives of the people they serve” said, NAHRO President Steve Merritt.

In 1964, the Housing Authority of the City of Erie’s (HACE) former Executive Director, the late John Horan, graduated from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, KS. Included in that class, was 2004 Nobel Peace Winner Wangari Maathai from Kenya, founder of the Greenbelt Movement responsible for creating 6,000 tree nurseries, which resulted in the planting of 6,000,000 trees.

This inspired Mr. Horan to work with residents, community groups, and volunteers from within the HACE family to plant 1,000 trees setting up nurseries in eight HACE communities. Once the trees reach maturity, they will be planted throughout HACE communities providing beauty for years to come!

“This program celebrates achievement and honors the work that our members do each and every day to ensure a safe and affordable place to call home. Showcasing the efforts of housing agencies and agency officials through NAHRO’s Awards of Merit” said, NAHRO Acting CEO John Bohm.

“We hope that the general public, community leaders, private industry and government itself will become inspired to reform and enhance existing housing and community development programs and in addition create new ground-breaking programs and services to meet the housing needs our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The 2016 NAHRO Awards of Merit recognize outstanding achievement in housing and community development programs in five categories. Administrative Innovation recognizes innovative methods in areas such as maintenance, community relations, and interagency cooperation. Program Innovation — Affordable Housing includes special programs for homeownership, public/private partnerships, and innovative financing. Program Innovation — Community Revitalization includes innovative use of programs in areas such as economic development, neighborhood preservation, and creative financing. Program Innovation — Resident and Client Services includes innovative use of programs such as special activities for children, families, and the elderly, anti-drug programs, social services, and self-sufficiency. Project Design includes efforts such as new housing design, housing modernization, enduring design, and landscape design.

The NAHRO Awards of Merit Program was created to give national recognition to NAHRO housing and community development member organizations that have found innovative ways of making a difference.