Lucas Metropolitan Housing has a Mission of Offering Places to Call "Home," While Providing Pathways to Self-sufficiency
On June 26, 2021, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) opened the waitlist for public housing apartments. The waitlist had remained closed since February 18, 2020. At that time, there were 2,600 applicants waiting for a housing opportunity.
After completing the application process, Lucas Metropolitan Housing had 2,967 applications that were successfully submitted and accepted by LMH. Of those, 2,678 came from the state of Ohio, 158 from Michigan, 31 from Illinois and the remaining from twenty-four additional states-demonstrating the increasing need for affordable housing across our nation.
"Our objective is to assist more families and individuals achieve a housing opportunity, to provide them with a place to call home and to help them find a pathway to self-sufficiency. Our goal is to support the transition to independence for as many individuals as possible so that we can provide more opportunities for others that remain in need," stated Joaquin Cintron Vega, LMH President and CEO.
Earlier this year, LMH was awarded a HUD 2021 Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Grant in the amount of $263,400. The award supports the salaries for 4 FSS Coordinators who will continue to assist public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants with achieving their self-sufficiency goals. "Self-sufficiency" is defined as a household's ability to maintain financial, housing, and personal/family stability.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Lucas Metropolitan Housing $423,352 under the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant program. ROSS grant funds help the agency hire and/or retain Service Coordinators to assist public housing families with their professional, financial, health and educational goals. Service Coordinators provide case management, assess residents' needs and work in partnership with local service providers to remove barriers so that residents can become self-sufficient.
LMH is increasing economic opportunities for HUD-assisted families. It develops initiatives to connect participating families to public and private resources to increase their earned income and financial empowerment, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence.
"Our vision is to work directly with families by providing daily assessments, case management, information, referrals for workforce development, resume building, training opportunities and job seeking/retention skills. Residents are also referred to educational opportunities, GED preparation and access to colleges in various locations of their choice. In addition, to help strengthen their financial stability, participating residents are referred to the Financial Opportunity Centers for assistance with budgeting, credit repair and homeownership education. This is a long distance race, but one that will help transform our community. This is a long distance race that we will win, one day at a time," said Cintron Vega.