A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Because we care so strongly for our community and the families we serve, the Ocala Housing Authority (OHA) family has adopted the motto of: “Service before Self.” We welcome you to our newly developed web site, and encourage your use of it, as well as utilizing it as a communication tool with staff. Please stay tuned as we fine tune its contents to provide a more comprehensive view and vivid snap shot of: who we are, what we do, why we do it, how well we do it, and where we do it. We are more than just housing!

“Greatness is not in where we stand, but in which direction we are moving.” I am very humbled and thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to lead such a loving, compassionate, knowledgeable, creative and productive Team of 27 individuals over the past 12 years at OHA. We appreciate our families for allowing the OHA family to make OUR housing, “YOUR” homes. I extend a special thank-you to our Board of Commissioners for your unyielding support of the OHA’s mission, and courage to step out on faith and exercise your vision. Our gratitude goes out to our community partners and supporters, for always having our back when we needed it the most. Lastly, thank you to my staff for your patience, perseverance and dedication in serving our community.

From managing our Public Housing properties, administering our Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (aka Section 8) for 1,300 families and 600 private landlords, providing Mortgage Foreclosure Counseling to more than 150 families annually……..to teaching new homebuyers how to become successful, contributing homeowners through our Homebuyer’s Club, building quality, affordable homes in Paradise Trails for them to purchase, and collaborating with our community partners to expand resources……..we enjoy serving our community. There is much excitement in the air with our new programs added to the menu in 2009/10: City and County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), State of Florida’s Hardest Hit Housing Program, City of Ocala and Marion County CDBG Mortgage Assistance Program, 5th Judicial Circuit Mediation Counseling Program, Section 8 Homeownership Program and Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers.

We take pride in delivering quality programs and services, as evidenced by HUD’s stringent evaluation of our Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) and Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), with scores designating OHA as a “HIGH PERFORMER” in both programs for FY 2009.

Gwendolyn B. Dawson
Executive Director