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Mission Housing Authority restructures, welcomes new board members

“This article appeared in the Jan. 28 issue of the Progress Times.”

The Mission Housing Authority swore in a new resident Commissioner, nominated Everardo Gomez for Co-Chair, and welcomed Debra Lee Alvarez as the newly selected interim chairwoman during a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday evening.

Everardo Gomez is the newly nominated Co-Chair for the Mission Housing Authority. Mission city councilwoman Norie Gonzalez Garza swore Gomez in.

“We’re looking forward to a lot of progress, especially here at Anacua Village,” Gomez said, saying that although plans are to be done by 2023, the Housing Authority is hoping to make improvements a lot sooner. Anacua Village renovations are the starting point of projects for the year.

“We’re going to renovate the whole place, and we’re going to keep the name. It’s a staple here in Mission,” said Gomez.

Rigoberto Tovar is a resident commissioner on the board for this year.

“State law requires one commissioner of the body of five must be a tenant or a resident of housing,” said new Executive Director Arnold Padilla.

Padilla said that the commission has been an excellent, well-working group.

“Right now, we’re all concentrating on the effort of replacing aged units with new units,” Padilla said. “We should see over the next three years a huge difference in the type of units that are available to our tenants and our community as there is today.”

From left to right are as follows; Mayor Dr. Armando O’ Caña, City Councilwoman Norie Gonzalez Garza, Board Member Joe Louis Sanchez, Co-chairman Everardo Gomez Jr., Chairwoman Debra Lee Alvarez, Board Member Diana Izaguirre, Board Member and Residential Commissioner Rigoberto Tovar, Executive Director Arnold Padilla.

Joe Louis Sanchez was nominated for a second term and feels humbled that Mission Mayor Dr. Armando O’caña selected him to serve on the board once more.

“This was my second appointment to the board,” Sanchez explained, formerly part of the board in 2020-2021. “We have a really good board that serves the collective.”

Like Gomez, Sanchez said the board is re-establishing itself and going through many changes this year. Renovations will include all existing facilities that house tenants in Mission, not just Anacua.

“We are making better living accommodations, giving them more of an aesthetic view,” said Sanchez. “The new Commissioners are very tenant and community-oriented. There’s major projects in the works.”

Mayor O’caña also swore in the newly selected interim chairwoman.

“It was already time to restructure,” said Alvarez, who has been vice chairwoman since 2021. Alvarez will be holding her place as chairwoman for a year.

With this new term, Alvarez is looking forward to many projects. One project is currently developing in the downtown area with Anacua Village, a 110 unit affordable housing community off Mayberry Street.

“You’re going to see a lot of progress in the next five years with our Housing Authority,” Alvarez said. “We’re actually going to be doing new developments. We now have a development corporation that the Housing Authority has.”

The development corporation allows the Housing Authority to build and place ownership over the developments. Not only is the Housing Authority permitted to rent out to public housing and Section 8 but to regular citizens of Mission.

“That will bring more housing that is definitely needed in the city,” said Alvarez.

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