Meridian Housing Authority was recognized by Mississippi HUD officials Monday, for a new home building program, starting scholarships, and helping families acquire their own houses.
Staff from all over the state are also in Meridian for a two-day training workshop.
HUD could find no better meeting place than the city that they say is exceeding expectations in all areas of work, be it construction, community outreach, or using assets to the best of their abilities.
"Actually our housing authority has been noted for our resident initiatives," said MHA executive director Ronald Turner, Sr. "We superseded the HUD requirements for Section A programs. We have developed a lot of community partnerships with a lot of agencies across the state and definitely here locally."
In addition to that, MHA has major construction jobs going on across the city. The $8.5 million Frank Berry Housing Development is underway and on schedule. Also two major construction jobs were just completed at Victory Village and Carousel Place.
Dealing with issues other than housing, MHA also helped start several college scholarship programs for teenagers living in public housing.
"One is a full scholarship, which is great. He is attending Mississippi State with a full ride," said Cecil Johnson, MHA director of community and supportive services. "The others are $500 scholarships and they are attending colleges throughout the state."
With what they call fantastic results for the 2009-2010 year, it is no wonder Turner and his staff received the esteemed 'Hard Hat' Award along with several others.
"We received the Voucher Award for being able to utilize all vouchers to ensure that families had a place to live," said Rep. Wilbert Jones.
MHA says it plans to continue its successful record.