Public housing in the USA is a high important area which helps hundreds of thousands of men and women to be able to afford a roof over their heads. Here in St. Louis Missouri we have a wonderful board of directors who look after the housing groups, headed up by the passionate Mr. Grefe, and with excellent team players as well such as the man we were lucky enough to speak to about this, manager and executive of the housing group Martin LaMar. Mr. LaMar does wonderful work in his job and we were lucky enough to catch up with him about what managing a public housing group is like, especially here in the metropolitan area of St. Louis Missouri.
Martin tells us that funding for the housing group is without question the most important topic and that each day much of his job is involved in securing funding for the housing group. Federal funds are available for housing groups such as this one but in order to secure this funding, there are many requirements which must first be met. These requirements could be anything from signing a letter of request, filing paperwork at the right time or even having meetings and phone calls to discuss the funding. Beyond this the housing group also relies on donations which is something that Mr. LaMar invests a lot of time in.
Much of the workforce in housing groups such as this one in St. Louis Missouri are volunteers and this leaves the group in a precocious situation. Volunteers of course cannot be tied down to long term contracts or anything like that, which means that securing their services can be difficult. The volunteers here do everything from cutting each blade of grass in the unit to working on outreach projects with families looking for affordable housing, they are truly the backbone of everything good that the group does. Managing the volunteers and seeking out new volunteers is a key management responsibility.
Something which Mr. LaMar told me that he was always keen to do was to build a legacy around this public housing and ensure that it provides a stepping stone for individuals as they seek to build and improve throughout their lives. Too many times in the past did we build affordable housing and then simply leave those in the houses and forgot about them. Martin is keen to make sure that those who are loving in these houses, can have the opportunity in some years to be able to go out and buy or rent their own place. Affordable housing is a great option for those who are struggling but it should always be seen as a temporary measure which helps people out in the short term, so that they can help themselves out in the long term.
What are your views on public housing groups? Please let us know in the comments section below this post, we’d love to hear from you.