|NAHRO AWARDS FALEK HIGHEST HONOR|
October 4, 2009
The nation’s largest network of housing and community development professionals has awarded its highest honor to Steven B. Falek, Associate Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM).
Mr. Falek received the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award on October 4th at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) in Washington, DC. NAHRO represents more than 18,000 members whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities. NAHRO’s membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.5 million people.
The annual Herman Award was established in 1975 to honor an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the nation’s effort to provide “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.”
“It is an honor for NAHRO to recognize Mr. Steve Falek with the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award,” NAHRO CEO Saul N. Ramirez, Jr. said. “His dedication and achievements to enhance the quality of life throughout his long career are substantial.”
Mr. Falek, who this year celebrates his 36th year with HACM, is responsible for more than 4,000 public housing units, 1,000 units of multi-family market rate rental housing and a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program that serves more than 5,600 families. He has served on countless boards and leadership councils, playing an instrumental role in advocating for resident involvement in decision-making, streamlining business costs and leading legislative efforts for housing authorities nationwide.
“Steve embodies the spirit of the award because he has worked tirelessly for years to ensure a high quality of life for low-income housing residents. He has gained the respect of residents and housing officials alike, and I am pleased that he is receiving this much-deserved recognition,” said Common Council President and HACM Chair Willie L. Hines, Jr.
Over the years, Mr. Falek has effectively advocated for increased and comprehensive services to often overlooked populations, such as homeless veterans and those affected by mental illness and drug addictions. He has also developed a reputation as a strong proponent of resident participation in the development of housing regulations and policies.
“Steve Falek has been one of Milwaukee’s unsung heroes, and we are very pleased that he has received this national acknowledgment. His work has ensured quality and affordable housing for thousands of families in need,” said Antonio Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of HACM.
Despite having responsibilities that might limit his time to meet with residents, Mr. Falek has personally met with every HACM resident who has been impacted by a major revitalization project to explain the process and their options. He also personally attends monthly meetings with resident advisory groups.
“Steve has had a profound impact on the lives of every public housing resident in Milwaukee. He has a long history of working with residents to ensure we are equal partners and decision makers,” said Sherri Reed-Daniels, HACM Commissioner and President of the Housing Authority’s Resident Advisory Board.
As co-chair of the Milwaukee Continuum of Care, Mr. Falek has been instrumental in connecting the Housing Authority's resources with those of community partners in order to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Milwaukee. He also serves on the Housing Authority Insurance Group Board of Directors, and has participated extensively in NAHRO at both the state, regional and national level. His service to the housing and community development industry has been recognized through a proclamation from the Mayor, a Congressional Letter of Commendation, numerous Certificates of Appreciation from NAHRO, and the Charles A. Thompson Award for Distinguished Service.
|The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee is an equal opportunity housing provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap, lawful source of income, marital status, family status or sexual orientation.|