PARTNER ON HOUSING AUTHORITY REDEVELOPMENT | Case Study
GHA should build off the City of Norfolk’s “People First” approach to resident relocation in working together to codify goals for relocation throughout the Smith Homes redevelopment process. Norfolk’s approach focused on providing residents the support they need to empower families toward success and upward mobility by teaming with resident services providers. GHA should provide Smith Homes residents similar individualized case management, with an emphasis on relocating to housing in areas of opportunity. GHA can explore partnering with third-party providers to assist in providing these services. At the same time, GHA should provide landlord education support to educate landlords on Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and to encourage landlords, particularly those with properties in areas of opportunity, to accept voucher holders. Providing these services would transform the stresses of relocation for Smith Homes residents into a positive experience for themselves and their families, many of whom will remain in their relocated unit for the long-term.
St. Paul’s Quadrant Redevelopment Norfolk, VA To establish a network of support for relocated residents, the City of Norfolk and Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority are partnering to administer the People First Initiative*. People First is dedicated to improving resident outcomes and breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. With $3.5 million committed in annual funding from the City of Norfolk, the program aims to empower residents’ ability to be economically self-sufficient and exercise maximize housing choice. People First is designed to respond directly to resident needs as determined through community meetings, household surveys, stakeholder work sessions, and analysis of resident data. The program aims to provide high quality and effective mobility and human capital investment services to the roughly 1,700 families living in the three public housing developments in Saint Paul’s Quadrant.
The Initiative is a commitment to providing comprehensive services for the residents of St. Paul’s Quadrant. Mandated tracking and evaluation of outcomes will ensure services are tailored to individual needs, and that overall outcomes are comparable across residents. It will provide: • Mobility services to assist residents in securing rental assistance for those who chose to seek private housing • Case management services to provide individualized success plans for residents • Employment and entrepreneurial support and government benefits assistance • Family coaches to connect residents on an as-needed basis to individualized services such as eviction risk-reduction, special support services, education services, and healthcare services *See https://www.stpaulsdistrict.org/people-first