A Message from the President & CEO
Ever since its establishment in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) has strived to maintain high ethical standards, create housing opportunities and resident services to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. LMH has become a trusted community partner, solidifying its position as the premier partner in creating communities of choice in the Greater Toledo Area.
During 2020, Lucas Metropolitan Housing led a process of service with a sense of compassion. Now, more than ever, the lives of nearly 18,000 individuals were into our own hands.
2020: A year in review
We established a strong and robust Action Plan to effectively provide to staff and our residents, education and active prevention on COVID-19, taking all mitigation actions necessary and maintaining our core operations intact through our Business Continuity Plan. In a new world where, distancing was the most effective way to combat the virus, we remained as close as ever to our residents. Implementing outreach to keep in touch with our community and providing access and connection to supplementing services; or to just check out on them, their wellbeing and to provide compassionate support to all, specially our elderly and people with disabilities that may be experiencing episodes of stress and anxiety.
We took ownership of the situation, with the faith and understanding that this too shall pass.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." -MLK
Our staff did take that first step.
Despite the early success against a pandemic that was starting to hit hard on us, we remained vigilant:
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"- MLK
Our staff effectively provided personal protective equipment to thousands, including residents and staff to ensure their health and safety. Served hundreds of work orders to take care of the most pressing issues that our residents were facing. Maintained a 98% of occupancy rate, as the result of a process to guarantee housing opportunities for our low-income families and individuals. Furthermore, establishing partnerships to ensure rental assistance funding to help families maintain the place that they call home, also extending our eviction moratorium to levels even beyond those enacted by federal authorities.
We built unbreakable bridges of communication with our residents. Participating in thousands of interactions with them, while connecting our residents with services and basic needs like food. Feeding our kids and elderly, working hand in hand with our partners to successfully accomplish this goal.
In a year marked by a pandemic, we safely made 13,759 contacts with residents, coordinated 1,329 special attentions, and mentored 460 kids. Working directly with our community partners, law enforcement entities and governmental officials in identifying strategies to improve public safety, not only at our own sites, but for the community at large.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing understands the important role that our landlords play to provide housing opportunities of choice. We established a successful program to connect with our landlords, including education and a better understanding of our programs and the greater good that we aim to achieve in partnership with them. Those partnerships are starting to reflect positive results while opening more affordable housing opportunities.
During 2020 we came together to lift our Agency to the next level of excellence.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing is the proud recipient of the Ohio Auditor of the State Award. A recognition only received by a selected few in the State of Ohio. This recognition puts on display the meaningful improvements and fiscal responsibility that are being enacted by our staff to improve the interactions between our finance, operations, and programmatic compliance staff. We also accomplished an increase of 32% on the funding received through grant awards.
We carry an active voice that is respected throughout the housing industry. With the proactive evaluation of the federal, state, and local policy and proposed legislation, our Agency is at the forefront of all meaningful conversations. We are active participants in the discussion and advocacy efforts to preserve affordable housing. Furthermore, we are looking at other successful models that have been implemented around the world.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing is achieving the goals established in our repositioning strategy. Our community now can look to the future with hope, knowing that more and better housing solutions will be available within the next few years, including our project to develop a permanent supportive housing opportunity for the youth aging out of the foster care system, the redevelopment of the McClinton Nunn Homes, the transformation process that will see the Junction Neighborhood bloom and many others development activities that will be unveiled down the pipeline.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing is taking a proactive look at the necessary steps to implement additional solutions to upgrade our current housing stocks as well as the sources of operating funding to maintain the facilities after redevelopment. We are also entering into collaboration with entities to position our Agency, not only as participant on the meaningful development transactions that are happening out there, but to also making the necessary connections to uplift the real estate development and modernization profile of the agency. More importantly, to successfully obtain the necessary funding to make of our reposition strategy a reality.
As part of our unconditional commitment to improve the quality of life of the low-income families and individuals we serve, we established our two-pronged approach:
1- Creating housing opportunities in existing high opportunity neighborhoods
2- Improve neighborhood conditions to create mixed income communities of choice
This strategy provides a road map to the de-concentration of poverty.
We closed 2020 as recipients of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative Planning grant award, that will ignite the first of those strategies. We started 2021 as recipients of the Family Self Sufficiency grant award that will provide to our low-income families and individuals the necessary tools and resources to achieve their next steps in life in support with the second.
Lucas Metropolitan Housing will complete a process of true neighborhood transformation, because we do understand the reality many of our residents are facing and our staff understand that:
"Real appreciation must flow from the deep seas of the heart."- MLK
We are striving, and our future looks bright.
On behalf of our staff, my commitment to you and the community is that Lucas Metropolitan Housing will continue to serve... with a #SENSEOFCOMPASSION and dedication to the best interest of all, #ONEDAYATATIME.
Joaquin Cintron Vega
President and Chief Executive Officer