Mobile Housing Board

Despite plans for multimillion-dollar redevelopment projects, the Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners has been beset by financial shortcomings and dilapidating infrastructure. From reprimands from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a lawsuit from former employees to the recent resignations of a longtime commissioner and executive director, the board has continued with plans to update its affordable housing stock.

Mobile Housing Board

MHB makes more changes to its nonprofit arm

The Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners on Monday, Feb.13 took another step in the overhaul of its troubled nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises, by agreeing to work within the merit system to begin to merge the two entities. The first step for commissioners was a unanimous vote to bring MDE V.P. of Asset Management and Compliance Matthew McClammey and two executives that report to him under the MHB umbrella through the Mobile County Personnel Board. It was the most logical first step, Commissioner Reid Cummings said, because MDE has no assets. “The only assets they have they get from the housing board,” he said. READ OUR ONGOING SERIES OF STORIES ON THE MOBILE HOUSING BOARD The board discussed the ease at which they might be able to fold other positions in under MHB and the merit system. Attorney Raymond Bell said 60 percent of the merge would be “easy.” “The others would require asking the personnel board to create a position,” he said. “Another issue could be with the pay range … ” Commissioners discussed holding a work session with the personnel board to help them create needed positions that may not exist in other jurisdictions where the merit system is in place. Before MDE became the behemoth it is now with designs on development, it began as a small nonprofit created to secure grant funding for the Clinton...

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Mobile Housing Board names interim director

The Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners on Wednesday named an interim leader for the authority, as former Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn will leave a month earlier than expected. After a somewhat brief executive session, the board unanimously picked Senior Vice President and CFO Lori Shackelford as interim executive director. Board Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway said Shackelford was chosen because she worked closely with Vaughn, is respected by the employees and has a “long-term history” with the authority. “She’s the perfect fit,” Pettway said. READ OUR ONGOING SERIES OF STORIES ON THE MOBILE HOUSING BOARD When he announced his resignation earlier...

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Executive director out at Mobile Housing Board

Mobile Housing Board Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn officially announced to commissioners Wednesday during a monthly meeting that he would be stepping down, effective Feb. 28, ending his seven-year tenure as head of the city’s public housing authority. Following the meeting, Vaughn said he had been thinking about resigning over the last 90 days and felt the time was right. “The executive director job is extremely demanding,” he said. “At some point you wonder if it’s time … for a fresh start.” During Vaughn’s time as executive director, the authority commenced a major redevelopment plan and encouraged the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to convert its entire housing stock to the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. The move to RAD could jeopardize some current MHB employees, but would allow the board to update its aging housing by teaming up with private developers. The board saw challenging times under Vaughn’s direction as well, and his departure comes at a time of intense scrutiny. In 2016, HUD’s Office of Inspector General released a scathing report challenging the entity’s relationship with its nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises (MDE), and accusing MHB of mismanagement of funds. Vaughn said the OIG report had nothing to do with his resignation. “It’s time for new opportunities for me,” he said. READ OUR ONGOING SERIES OF STORIES ON THE MOBILE HOUSING BOARD Although Vaughn said he wants...

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Vaughn out at Mobile Housing Board

Mobile Housing Board Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn officially announced to commissioners Wednesday during a monthly meeting that he would be stepping down, effective Feb. 28, ending his seven-year tenure at the head of the city’s public housing authority. Following the meeting, Vaughn said he had been thinking about resigning over the last 90 days and felt like the time was right. “The executive director job is extremely demanding,” he said. “At some point you wonder if it’s time … for a fresh start.” During Vaughn’s time as executive director the authority has moved forward with a major redevelopment plan and gotten permission from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to convert all of its housing to the Rental Assistance Demonstration. The move to RAD could jeopardize some current MHB employees, but would allow the board to update its aging housing stock by teaming up with private developers. The board has seen some challenging times under Vaughn’s direction as well, and his departure comes at a time of intense scrutiny. Earlier this year, HUD’s Office of Inspector General released a scathing report challenging the entity’s relationship with its nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises, and accusing it of mismanagement of funds. Vaughn said the OIG report had nothing to do with this resignation. “It’s time for new opportunities for me,” he said. READ OUR ONGOING SERIES OF STORIES ON...

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Mobile Housing Board scrutinizes redevelopment plan

The Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners questioned some aspects of the renderings of redevelopment plans during presentations at the board’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14. While completely new streetscapes, revitalized communities and new retail space are what the the board was promised, some of the commissioners had reservations. The presentations showed sketches of what redevelopment could mean for the now-vacant Roger Williams Homes on the city’s north side and the surrounding Three Mile Trace neighborhood, as well as Thomas James Place, Boykin Tower and R.V. Taylor communities on the city’s south side. The presentations for both were the result of two years of community meetings and discussions, made possible by two Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to MHB. A plan has been proposed for the redevelopment of the three MHB properties on the city’s southside. Like the Three Mile Trace plan, Marie Mhoon, a local project manager, said the plan envisions a neighborhood with parks, mixed-income housing with retail businesses and job opportunities. The southside plan includes space for retail near Interstate 10, Mhoon said, with plans to bring shops in first before the bulk of the housing. Cummings had doubts the plan would be successful. “Retail will be tough,” he said. “It follows the development of housing. It will be the last to come.” READ OUR ONGOING SERIES...

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