March 3, 2016

A Day in the Life: Office of Housing, Jackson, Mississippi

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

Today we meet Jennie Chambers-Jones in the Jackson, Mississippi Field Office. Jennie is a team member of the office that handles the portfolio of multifamily properties that are privately owned and have rental subsidy contracts with HUD.

What do you do at HUD?

I am an Account Executive in the Multifamily Housing division for the Southeast Region. Residents of HUD assisted housing have the right to live in decent, safe, and sanitary conditions.  Therefore, an important part of my job is to ensure that owners and management agents maintain the physical condition of their properties. Currently, I have a portfolio of 79 multifamily complexes for which I am responsible. These consist of FHA insured and/or Section 8 subsidized properties.  When physical inspections reveal reportable deficiencies, I follow up with property owners and agents to assure that appropriate corrective actions are taken. Additionally, I monitor the financial health of my FHA insured properties. When my review of records and systems shows that a property’s financial condition is declining, I act to identify the contributing factors and I work with owners and management agents to address them.  Occasionally, working with residents and property owners or their representatives can be challenging. I recognize that HUD is in partnership with owners and their representatives to provide affordable housing in Mississippi. I’m not always able to give them the answers that they want to hear or resolve their issues. But, at the end of the day I am proud of the work that I do in Multifamily Housing.

What made you decide to work for HUD?

I’ve worked in the Jackson, Mississippi HUD office for almost 30 years. Before coming to HUD, I worked several part time jobs. My favorite was providing guided Mississippi River boat tours to high school history classes while I was a college student.  At the time, I was employed with the U. S. Corp of Engineers, Public Affairs Division in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was a delight to meet the students and have them share their knowledge about the history of the Mississippi River and the State of Mississippi. I wanted to work full time with the federal government, so I decided to leave the comfort my hometown, Vicksburg. I was hired as a Mortgage Credit clerk-typist 1986 in the Multifamily Housing Production Division. I continued to work as a Mortgage Credit clerk-typist and program assistant until I was accepted into the Upward Mobility Program as a Project Manager in 1999. I have seen a lot of changes during my tenure with HUD and I have enjoyed the journey.

What do you like most about your job?

I like having the opportunity to work with property owners and managers as they provide affordable housing for families in Mississippi. HUD’s programs allow residents to live in housing that they otherwise may not be able to afford. On many occasions, HUD’s rental subsidy is what keeps a roof over a family.

What do you do for fun?

I am a bowler and a member of the Jackson Mid-South Bowling Senate. I bowl on Thursday nights with the Bowlers for Christ League and on Sunday nights with the Sunday Night Rookies League. I enjoy competitive bowling across the South and Mid-South in The National Bowling Association, Inc. (TNBA) and The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) bowling tournaments.  I bowl on mixed teams (male and female) or all-female teams.

My second hobby is watching football — GO Cowboys!  Participating in these two activities on Thursday and Sunday nights is awesome! I truly enjoy the camaraderie I have with both my bowling and football buddies.

What keeps you going?

My daughter inherited my love of sports. She is working on a Master’s degree in Sports Science Management, and she currently works in the Athletics department at Jackson State University. She is also called on by other Mississippi universities to do statistics for their volleyball teams. I’m a very proud mom!

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

Ziva James is a Senior Management Analyst in the Jackson Mississippi field office.

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