Northern Marianas Housing Corp. corporate director Jesse Palacios recently told board members that the corporation’s goal this year is to expand, improve, and increase its housing programs.
Citing his 2014 annual report, Palacios said that two goals weren’t met last year so they’ve included it on their agenda this year. These are expanding the supply of assisted housing and improving the quality of assisted housing.
Palacios told board members that NMHC will apply for additional rent vouchers and continue to monitor U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s notice of available funds or “superNOFAs.”
The NOFAs are funds that HUD usually allocates to NMHC through block grants, housing choice vouchers and other formula-based funding.
NMHC will also collaborate with Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), HUD, the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, and the Veteran’s Affairs Office in Guam and the CNMI.
Palacios vowed that NMHC will continue to maintain its Housing Choice Voucher count at 320 throughout the year.
According to NMHC’s latest report, more than 200 families benefit from its Housing Choice Voucher program. This program is only for those availing of privately owned scattered units that are part of the program and housing division of NMHC’s Section 8 Housing Assistance Program.
Palacios said they would also be working on the voucher management system to enhance accountability and increase customer satisfaction.
Another NMHC goal this year is to work on developing Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects.
So far NMHC has helped build the Isa Villas in 2012, Tasi Homes in 2013, Saipan Comfort Homes, which is still pending, and Ironwood Saipan, which is also in development.
“In a short amount of time, we have made tremendous improvements in compliance and operations but we still have work to do. We can do better,” Palacios said.