Who do we want to be? What do we want to accomplish for our residents and for Tulsa? What are the values that drive us in this work?
These are all questions we sought to collaboratively answer in 2019. The process of answering these critical questions resulted in the development of new mission, vision and values statements that will serve henceforth as our guiding lights. All of our work will be measured against its connection and alignment with our mission, vision and values.
Just as we are in the process of revitalizing our great city through strategic development, our organization continues to transform into a force for positive impact in our community.
I hope you'll see in the report below our commitment to creating a better Tulsa by transforming lives and communities.
Since 1967 when Mayor James Hewgley appointed its first Board of Commissioners, the Tulsa Housing Authority has been charged with providing safe, affordable and decent housing to our Tulsa community.
Thanks to the leadership of scores of Tulsa’s civic and community leaders, THA has always carried out this charge over the last 52 years.
Today, on behalf of the current Board of Commissioners, I encourage your review of this 2019 annual report; I believe you will find the Tulsa Housing Authority is fiscally and organizationally healthy and well-positioned to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future with the goal of creating a better Tulsa.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The goal of social service programs, including housing assistance, is to bridge the gap for those who need a little extra help so that they can focus on reaching self-sufficiency.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is designed to do just that - help THA residents and voucher holders reach their goals and pave a path toward a self-sufficient future.
As participants reach their goals they earn funds that go into an escrow account that they redeem upon graduation. We've seen graduates use these funds for continuing education, a down payment on a home and to better their overall financial situation.
We are incredibly proud of our 2019 program graduates and can't wait to see all that they accomplish in the future.
"I have two beautiful children growing up watching everything I do. The FSS program helped me realize that I can do better." Morisha, 2019 FSS graduate
Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Community Enhancement Unit
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their home.
We continued our partnership with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office in the implementation of the Community Enhancement Unit (CEU) and have seen a decrease in criminal activity at our properties as a result.
Community policing is paramount to the success of this partnership, and we are so grateful for the ways our CEU officers engage with our residents. From playing ball to posing for selfies, every small interaction between these officers and our residents contributes to a relationship built on trust and respect.
#THAtsmystory / #THAtsOURstory
We all have a story to tell.
In 2019 we sought to share the inspiring stories of our residents and voucher holders to demonstrate, through the power of storytelling, just how much we all share in common. We are so much more alike than we are different.
We also shared the truly amazing stories of our leaders who were raised in and around subsidized housing. This real-life experience influences and informs their leadership of our organization. It gives them a unique understanding of the struggles and roadblocks many of our residents face.
Our hope is that through these stories you see yourself in the faces of our residents, and that you see the hearts of our leaders.
The work of transforming lives cannot be achieved in a vacuum or silo. It requires a committed collective.
We are incredibly grateful for the support and partnership of dozens of nonprofits, agencies and organizations that come alongside our residents.
From the super fun birthday parties for our resident kiddos thrown by Rock Your Party to the more than 290,000 pounds of food distributed to residents by the Community Foodbank of Eastern Oklahoma, the partners within our community are an invaluable resource to us and our residents.
No one knows or understands what a community truly needs more than its residents. That's why the Envision Comanche planning process was designed to be collaborative from start to finish.
After approximately 30 meetings with residents and community partners, 110 resident surveys and 65 design preference surveys, a comprehensive plan to transform Comanche Park Apartments and the 36th St. North corridor was finalized in 2019.
While the plan will take years to fully implement, we are working with our community partners to meet the immediate needs of residents along the way. One example is the establishment of a school bus route for Comanche Park kiddos, a long-standing request from residents that was enacted by Tulsa Public Schools in 2019.
Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program allows housing authorities to take advantage of additional funding streams to make needed improvements to public housing communities.
THA will convert all of its 12 public housing properties through the RAD program over the next several years. With much of the groundwork for conversion laid in 2019, comprehensive renovations will begin at Apache Manor and Sandy Park Apartments in 2020.
Along with the ability to move into a new and improved apartment unit, residents benefit from temporary relocation support and wraparound services should they be required to relocate during construction. Due to the construction phasing plan, residents will move to another unit on-site rather than relocate off-site, easing the transition.
Our work has the unique ability to truly transform the landscape of our city. We believe that elevating the lived environment can have a transformational impact on individuals and families.
As we look to preserve our existing portfolio through RAD and seek to redevelop long underserved areas of our community, we believe we will see lasting transformation that will have a profound impact on neighborhoods across our city along with the residents that call them home.
We are blessed with a team of employees that live out our mission not just within their roles at THA, but within the broader community.
From those little moments like taking time to fix a resident kiddo's hair for the first day of school and stealing away a few minutes to teach a group of residents how to play pool to the more formal volunteer opportunities like building a Habitat for Humanity house or reading to local classrooms, Team THA is committed to creating a better Tulsa.