Every quarter TSAHC spotlights a staff member or partner to help our readers get to know our mission and industry a little better. This week we interviewed Michaelle Wormly, Executive Director of WOMAN, Inc., a housing nonprofit in southeast Texas. TSAHC has partnered with WOMAN, Inc. through our Affordable Communities of Texas programs to create homeownership opportunities for low income and disabled veterans and other underserved families. Below is our interview with Michaelle.
1.Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the affordable housing industry.
I’ve lived in Houston for more than 25 years, and my academic and career choices have mostly revolved around the development and creation of affordable housing. I got started in the field while pursuing my Masters in Urban Planning at the University of Kansas. Prior to joining WOMAN, Inc., I worked as a Senior Planning Administrator for the Houston Housing Authority and taught as an adjunct professor at Lone Star Community College.
I’m proud to say I’ve been honored with a HUD Fellowship at the University of Kansas’ School of Architecture and Planning, as well as a Fannie Mae Fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Graduate School of Design. I’m also licensed with the American Institute of Certified Planners and with the Texas Association of REALTORS®.
2.Tell us about WOMAN, Inc., the organization you lead?
WOMAN, Inc. stands for Women Opting for More Affordable Housing Now, Inc. We are a nonprofit community housing development organization that has been in operation since 1993. The organization was created for the purpose of developing affordable housing opportunities for women and other at-risk populations in the Southeast Texas area. We have three flagship multifamily housing developments in Pasadena, Galveston, and Beaumont, and we also rehab single family homes that are sold to low-income home buyers.
Many of the women we serve are referred to us by a domestic violence women’s center and are looking to live independent, violence-free lives. In addition to providing housing, we provide case management and daycare services to help these women get back on their feet.
3.What are your goals for WOMAN, Inc., this year or in five years?
We want to take our work to another level by expanding our operational area; expanding our potential client base; improving project and operational efficiencies; increasing levels of service to women and our communities; and improving the internal capacity of the organization to perform.
4.What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of the affordable multifamily housing developments for women and children of domestic violence that WOMAN, Inc. has developed over the past 15 years. And, our most recent venture to provide homeownership opportunities to veterans through TSAHC’s Affordable Communities of Texas - Veterans Initiative program has also been very rewarding.
5.Who is your professional role model and why?
Over the years, I have looked at the success of my peers and colleagues in the affordable housing arena and taken inspiration from them. My role model is a composite of all the hard working, dedicated and unsung individuals working to address the needs of the needy.
6.What do you wish people knew about the affordable housing industry that is a big misconception?
Development of affordable housing is not just erecting structures. It is about creating communities and providing and serving the needs of all people to have a thriving neighborhood with long-term generational viability.
7.And, finally what are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?
I enjoy photography, golf, visiting museums, going to plays and listening to jazz.
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