Dec 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Davis-Bacon: Lessons Learned

The first time I read “Davis-Bacon Labor Standards: A Contractor’s Guide to Prevailing Wage Requirements for Federally-Assisted Construction Projects,” the document review process seemed simple and straightforward. However, after years of reviewing, digging down into the details and reading articles about Davis-Bacon and its origin, it’s not quite as straightforward as one might think.   

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Topics: Compliance, Davis-Bacon Act

Oct 17, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Keep Your Head Above Water

With tropical storms and hurricanes dominating the news—and many of our day-to-day lives—it’s important to think about flood insurance. Hurricane Harvey dumped over 50 inches of rain onto Texas in a short span of time. Hurricane Irma brought rain and storm surge levels that put much of the lower part of the state underwater. You don’t have to look far to see why flood insurance is so vital.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

Oct 10, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Recovery for the Short and Long Term

CDBG-DR funds serve as a lifeline to survivors of catastrophic events. These programs have measurably improved the quality of life for so many impacted citizens, particularly our most vulnerable residents. Following the wake of the hurricanes that have hit both Texas and Florida, CDBG-DR programs are more crucial than ever, working with disaster relief and aiding people in need of housing, infrastructure, and economic development.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

Sep 12, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Be an Inspiration

When I sit back and reflect on my family ancestry and those that have influenced my leadership style, it becomes clear to me that it’s often the women in my family lineage who have contributed to the beliefs and values of who I have become.

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Topics: Servant Leadership

Sep 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Wherever the Path May Lead

I sit and watch the devastation that Texas is facing and am flooded with emotion. Twelve years ago, I was one of those people I see on television. It’s just so hard to watch. I know what is coming. I know what they will face in terms of trying to pick up the pieces.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

Aug 28, 2017 4:00:00 PM

The Texas Way

With a resilient job market, great Mexican food, and small-town feel, the Texas Gulf Coast is a great place to call home. According to the Texas Relocation Report, “Texas experienced a net gain of 107,689 out-of-state residents in 2015, a 4 percent increase from 2014.” As a good neighbor should, I welcome you to Friday night lights, longhorns and warm Texas weather. As we native Texans know, with triple digit summer days come hurricanes.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

Aug 22, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Subrecipient Monitoring and Its Impact on Your Program

When a grantee passes federal funding to a subrecipient who follows through with a project or program, a true partnership is created. Both the grantee and the subrecipient are responsible for proper performance and compliance with the grant activities. Therefore, it’s necessary for the grantee to oversee the performance and compliance of its subrecipients. Grantees do this through subrecipient monitoring as well as through their administration of the programs. The subrecipient monitoring piece of oversight has several layers and starts first and foremost with a strong monitoring plan.

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Topics: CDBG

Jun 13, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Proper Treatment of Activity Delivery Costs That Can't Be Tied to a Final Cost Objective

In the disaster recovery world, costs incurred as a result of implementing and executing allowable CDBG activities are known “Activity Delivery Costs.” These costs are directly attributable to a CDBG project or activity.  These costs are not governed by 24 CFR 570.205-.206 and, therefore, aren’t subject to the 20% cap. According to CPD Notice 13-07, Activity Delivery Costs are treated as part of the total cost for delivering a Final Cost Objective under a CDBG program.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, CDBG

May 16, 2017 10:00:00 AM

A Letter to Me

I often find myself deep in thought, contemplating “what-if” scenarios. What if I won the lottery? What if my parents never emigrated from Mexico? What if I became a teacher and not an accountant? These hypothetical scenarios allow me to think outside the box and not limit my options or ideas to my current circumstances. After a long day’s commute home, I thought to myself, “What if I could turn back time and go back to September 1, 2008?” You see, for many, this date is insignificant. But for me, September 2008 threw my world off its axis. Lives were lost. Some lives were greatly disrupted. When the third costliest storm in United States history hit hard, unparalleled potential financial devastation loomed.

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Topics: Servant Leadership, Passion

Apr 11, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow

On a recent Saturday morning, I stood with my niece at the crossroads of a busy intersection to help her sell highly-sought after Girl Scout cookies. It would have been easier to just buy the amount of cookies she needed to sell and call it quits. However, I found myself intrigued by her enthusiasm and eagerness to do her part.

I was only there to help ensure the safety of the girls and hand out cookies, but I found the experience extremely enlightening. I quickly saw that Girl Scouts is about so much more than selling cookies—it’s about transforming young girls to lead. During my time with this troop, one of the leaders gathered the girls and shared three powerful principles of leadership: Discover, Connect, and Take Action. This was my “aha" moment. I was struck by the similarities of this great organization’s vision and mission to the core values of HORNE.

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Topics: Culture, People Development, Leadership

Mar 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The Road Less Traveled

Looking back at “my story,” I realize that I began taking the road less traveled early in life. I found great happiness doing things that were not traditional for a growing Mexican woman, from the electives I took in high school to the career path I would eventually choose. 

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Topics: Culture

Feb 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Don’t Just Put Out Fires

After a natural disaster strikes, the process of disaster recovery is overwhelming. With so many moving parts and different groups of people involved in building a successful program, recovery can be more than daunting. Case managers, construction workers, project managers, program administrators, government agencies and the damaged homeowners themselves all must effectively coordinate, communicate, and work together to reach the ultimate goal of community rehabilitation.

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Topics: Client Service, Disaster Recovery, CDBG

Feb 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Thrive Instead of Just Survive

Many communities all over the country struggle with being able to provide decent, safe, and sanitary affordable rental housing to their residents. When you have a mission of creating a place for people to flourish, navigating the ins and outs of funding is vital. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are often used to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct multi-family rental housing.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, CDBG