June 9, 2014

A Day in the Life: Public and Indian Housing, Boston

Written by:

Photo of Ellen Bradley

Welcome to another edition of our blog series, A Day in the Life, which will introduce you to HUD employees and highlight the important work we do.

Today we meet Ellen Bradley who works in the Office of Public and Indian Housing at the Boston Field Office.

What is your typical day like?

The days are always busy in Public Housing.  Our office is involved in a wide range of activities for all of our housing authorities.  The typical day includes contact with both Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and members of the public.

Often times, our day includes speaking with applicants for assisted housing programs or families that are already assisted on one of the programs that are managed by local PHAs.  There are often conference calls with PHAs or with program staff in Washington; meeting with other Divisions here in the Boston HUD Office and also periodic site visits to housing authorities for meetings or reviews.  The way our office is organized, it is often necessary to coordinate responses on various issues between other staff in the office that may be assigned to a particular housing authority such as financial analysts or facilities management staff.  There are some routine meetings with housing authorities that occur weekly or monthly and we always squeeze in many activities that arise throughout the day.  That’s the nature of all of PIH.

What are the overarching tasks of your position?

To ensure that Public Housing Agencies are in compliance with applicable regulations for either the Public Housing or Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs.

How long have you been in your current role?

I have been working for HUD for 25 years, 24 years in the Office of Public Housing in Boston and one year in the Charleston, West Virginia Office, also in the Office of Public Housing.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I am assigned to the Boston Housing Authority (BHA).  That is difficult because it is so large.  There are so many calls and visits due to the size of Boston’s Program.

The other side of that coin is that Boston does have experience with so many unique and different programs and grants.  I am exposed to innovative proposals and I have the ability to meet many different partners that the BHA engages with on a daily basis.

Staff members in our office have been involved with the transformation of public housing developments under the Hope VI initiative, they’ve taken part in new and exciting efforts underway to implement the Choice Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grants, and they stay in close communication with the Boston Housing Authority and its partners to house veterans assisted by the HUD VASH Program.  I feel fortunate to work with talented people in our office and to have had the opportunity to encounter PHA staff that are devoted and committed to the clients that they serve.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Having to be an expert in many complex and ever-changing programs and not having enough time to do everything that has to be done.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back next month for a new edition of A Day in the Life!

Rhonda is Regional Public Affairs Officer in HUD’s Boston regional office.

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