July 8, 2011

Meet Sustainability Innovation Face-to-Face

Written by:

This post is also available in: Spanish

Our guest blogger today is Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Director, Philanthropic Research & Initiatives, Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation, Policy Development and Research

On July 18-20th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will host a three-day ‘sustainability learning summit’ at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.  Front and center will be the finalists and winners of the Sustainable Urban Housing Competition: Collaborating for Inclusive and Livable Cities.

Day one will be devoted to helping these finalists to take their projects to the next level.  The second day is a series of public panels and an award ceremony.  If you’d like to attend, register here.  The final day includes a policy exchange panel at HUD…register here.  We hope you can join us for these exciting discussions and to honor the innovations that help us define what sustainability and livability are.  Use our Twitter hashtag #sustainableamericas to follow along and ask questions during the various sessions.

HUD partnered closely with Ashoka Changemakers, the Department of State, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Planning Association and the Brazilian Ministry of Cities to expose policies, practices and products, making our cities more livable and sustainable.  For some of our entries this started and ended with the house, but the innovations ranged across the entire sustainability landscape.  We will celebrate these finalists and the other 278 entries from around the globe, the lion’s share of which (187) came from Latin America and the Caribbean.  There were 50 entries alone from Brazil and 51 from the United States, with one from each of these countries ending up in the winner’s circle.  But imagine how many more are out there, ready for the next phase of growth and outreach, ready for the next competition, ready for you, the reader, to interact with in some way.

Our unique public-private partnership that led to the successful Competition is a victory in and of itself as it pertains to breaking down silos, thinking out of the box and innovating intrapreneurially for the government.  So we can celebrate.  But only a little.  The work has really just begun for us as we research and lift up more of these innovations.  We are working on further phases of this effort with our partners and looking to expand those partnerships as we bring lessons home to our communities to make them more sustainable, livable and inclusive.  Look for our updates and we will look for you on July 19th and 20th to become part of the conversation.    (#sustainableamericas, #hud, @HUDusernews, @HUDnews, @ChangemakersPT, @ChangemakersES, @changemakers, @FoundationRock, @ECPAPlanning, @jcreinhardt, @WHAAsstSecty)

2 Responses to Meet Sustainability Innovation Face-to-Face

  1. Pingback: ECPA Urban Planning Initiative » Blog Archive » Meet Sustainability Innovation Face-to-Face

  2. I am asking you, practically begging for you to come down here and see this property, I have done all I can on a local level with your people from HUD, and my congresswoman doing nothing even though she sent two of her reps and an aide to the property to check it out and take back with them hundreds of pictures that I provided and a physical tour they took themselves left them sick from the mold, mildew and disrepair of the property that has gone ignored to the point where it is beyond repair, yet HUD is paying the owner who lives in NEW York Hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep us in unhealthy, unsafe, and unfair housing. He is doing this with your consent and funding. Please look into the attached and see the reports from City of Sanford Code Enforcement and police reports about how much of the city’s drug and violent crimes like murder and shootings come from this property. I am sure that HUD does not condone or knowingly funds properties like this when it is brought to their attention. So for all that it is worth I thought that the public should know about what is going on here and how their taxes are being spent through HUD…so I created a Facebook page and twitter and YouTube all of which have video and pictures of the code violations, the HUD guideline violations by the owner and the unfair treatment by HUD toward the tenants of Seminole Gardens Apartments. We are under Project Based section 8 and have the right under Federal Law, just like Sanford Housing Authority to have that Project Based Section 8 changed into Tenant Based Section 8 and the resident moved out of this slum property made this way by a slum lord. I say that because this owner and management team has made this property into a slum. It was already deteriorating and instead of making it better the owner has made it worse because he is collecting HUD money and doing nothing. Crime is worse, there are more shootings here now, more drug sales and more people from all over the county coming here just to hang out and this is because the management won’t cut the grass, the property has so much accumulation of trash that they are fined for it. So many criminal know that the management doesn’t give a shit then this is the place to come and do their criminal business.

    I am writing to you because I am a tenant in Seminole Gardens Apartments and I will get right to the point. Myself and many other residents are more than concerned about the management of this property. We are being forced by them to live in very unsafe and very unhealthy conditions. The management is getting funds from HUD via taxpayers and the government and they are not making basic maintenance repairs, let alone major repairs. There are elderly and disabled people living here who have no working ovens, stoves, fridgerators, mold and mildew growing inside, outside and in the walls. Leaking apartments, fire hazards…..all of these things and much, much more all because the management is misappropriating funds in every kind of way.

    If you have seen the news in the last few days then you have seen the shooting that took place in broad daylight while children played just feet away from it. This all happened because the management allowed it too and caused it. They could have assured that our elderly and disabled are protected and children not in the line of fire, by simply taking care of keeping the people involved off the property. The management is never on property to address the issues of maintenance and safety. The grass on property is so high it is causing a bug infestation of ants and roaches and other things like snakes and frogs. When I bring it to their attention they simply threaten with fines and eviction.

    This property has been in dilapidated conditions for years and this too can be proven through the Code Enforcement department of the City of Sanford. I called them about stair railings and landing that pose a danger to the children on property as they are so rusted that they won’t hold the stairs together. In short I am going to email you everyday and the local and national news, facebook and twitter this property with pictures and that is the hundreds of pictures I have and the hundreds that the code enforcement have and are available to the public and let everyone know that I am contacting HUD, our congress woman Corrine Brown, and keep the social media world alert and aware of HUD money going to a property that is a slum by a slum lord who lives in NEW York, but has a management Company here in Florida who is also pocketing government money, not making repairs, not cutting the lawn, they have fired a maintenance crew of 5 and have just one old man on staff who has many health problems and cannot make the necessary repairs so it is causing these already deteriorating buildings to fall apart even faster.

    Also I have to mention this…that because of the lack of concern from the owner and management for this property, it is drawing the attention of many criminal, thus this property is such a source for drug and violent crime that it is responsible for 30% or more of the total crime in the City of Sanford. Katisha Bruner, the office Manager is aware of this and the owner is aware of this, but he is an absent landlord who lives in New York and just collects HUD checks, but is not taking care of this property. My solution and I have asked Mrs. Corrine Brown and the media for help to do the same thing for us that she did for the tenants of Sanford Housing Authority. We are just like them, by that I mean our public housing project receives the same kind of project based section 8 that they received and it was turned into tenant based section 8 so that the residents could chose to move into fair, clean, healthy, and safe housing according to HUD and Section 8 guidelines. I am simply asking for the same thing because we are also in the same situation, except worse because this is Sanford last public housing and much of the crime is now concentrated into this one area and instead of management coming in and making things better, they have lost control and this property has become worse than it ever has been. Closing it down and allowing the tenants to leave would actually make things better for the city of Sanford as the NEW MAYOR has vowed to change the image of this city and I am trying to work with him and get him to also see the police reports and the reports and pictures from the city’s code enforcement. So please see if you can look into this and help us.

    Martin Vanburen Tenant of Seminole Gardens Apt.# 107 Phone (321) 363-3277

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *