February 07, 2017

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

November 29, 2016

Compressing the Recovery Timeline

I often take the accomplishments of our team for granted when I know that faster should be possible. It’s not a dissatisfaction with our people or our systems, but an unwillingness to accept that disaster recovery, by nature, takes years when impacted communities need help now.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

November 08, 2016

The Experience You Need

Recently, HUD and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued the Fall 2016 Integrity Bulletin entitled "Implementing the Five Key Internal Controls." This bulletin describes the five standards of an effective internal control structure. In it, responsibility is clearly assigned for the control environment to the management that’s overseeing the grant.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

October 25, 2016

But, What If? Are You Prepared If the Unthinkable Happens?

That Could Never Happen To Me. But, what if?

This is a question I have had to ask myself after hearing about recent violent events. I have come to the correct conclusion that I have responsibility for workplace safety and national security. No, I am not a member of law enforcement, branch of the military or Homeland Security. I am however a part of the American Public.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

October 11, 2016

Putting our Money Where our Mouth Is

More and more states and municipalities are wising up when it comes to disaster recovery contractors. More often, governments are in search of safeguards to protect themselves from contractors making big promises and delivering very little follow through. They’re finding these contractors offer low rates but no commitment to the deliverables that matter.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

September 20, 2016

Sometimes the Grass Really Is Greener on the Other Side

After completing 26 years of State service, I decided to pack my boxes and cross over to the other side. The “other side” for me was HORNE. Make no mistake, this wasn’t an easy decision. I prayed and talked to the ones it will affect the most—my family. My mother gave me the “grass isn’t always greener on the other side” conversation.

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Topics: Culture

September 13, 2016

We’ve Been There - Wake of Long Island Hurricane

Through the years Nor’easters, tropical storms, and hurricanes have crashed the Long Island shoreline leaving media images of trees uprooted, homes flooded, and beach coasts eroded. I can remember Gloria, Bob and Irene; each storm affecting a targeted area of the island. We watched the local news teams capture each event in sobering detail from the safety of our own home, offering prayers and feeling blessed that we were not affected. 

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

September 06, 2016

Recovery is Possible

In April 2005, I returned home from Iraq with about six months left of service before my contract ended. During the latter part of August 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast. A few days after the impact, my unit was called to action one more time but, this time, we weren’t called overseas.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

August 30, 2016

You Aren’t Alone, Louisiana

As I watch the damage and clean up efforts from recent flooding in Louisiana, so many emotions from what I personally endured during Katrina are brought back to the surface. In one day, I lost my home, all of my belongings, my truck, and my job. My parents lost their home and four rental houses—which was to be their retirement.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

August 16, 2016

Getting What You Pay For

We have all heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” and then we have all had times where we overpaid for what we got. When it comes to paying for professional services, you encounter this situation even more often.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, CDBG

August 09, 2016

The Softer Competitive Edge

Like many companies vying for business, I’m often asked what it is exactly that makes us different. What gives us that competitive edge? What sets us apart from our counterparts?

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Topics: Culture

July 27, 2016

That “Diversity” Buzzword

Odds are, you and I are different. We look different. We may worship differently. We probably like different food, different music, dress differently, live in different places, have different backgrounds and think differently. This is a simple fact of life.

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Topics: Culture

July 19, 2016

Are You Telling the Full Story?

When managing a Federal disaster grant, it’s essential to tell your entire story to both HUD and the public. Often, grantees are so busy starting up and running their grant programs that they fail to realize the importance of this. Transparency is key and HUD’s Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR) system gives you the chance to tell your story fully and completely. The DRGR provides grantees access to their grant funds and is the mechanism for entering the grant activity details and reporting on the grant progress.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

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