Title: Lease Option Program Manager
This position is critical to Homeport’s Lease Option Rental Development Projects’ requirement to sell homes to our lease option residents once the 15-year IRS compliance period has ended. The sale requires coordination of our Home Ownership, Asset Management, Accounting and Housing Advisory Service departments. I also work with title companies, realtors, lenders, funders, contractors and marketing professionals. Working with all these entities, it allows me to be responsible for tracking and supporting potential buyers through the home buying process and for making resource referrals. This position is also responsible for coordinating any preventive construction repairs to the home, with contractors, which may be needed prior to closing. Educating lease option residents empowers and prepares them to become successful homeowners. It also builds and supports financial literacy, economic inclusion and asset building to reverse generational poverty.
What do you like most about the organization?
The work we do at Homeport is what allows me to sleep at night, knowing I have made a difference in someone’s life. Our Mission is, “To create and preserve healthy, stable and affordable communities, one neighborhood, one person at a time.” I truly believe in our Mission. Knowing my co-workers also believe in our Mission is an added benefit. Over eighteen years of service and many jobs at Homeport, I can say I am proud of what I do.
Homeport has also allowed me to educate myself over the years. I have earned a certification in Nonprofit Housing Management (Asset Management). I am also a Certified Apartment Manager and have a NeighborWorks America certification in Financial Capability for Lease Option.
What have you done in your career that you are most proud of, or that people may not be aware of?
When I first came to Homeport in 1993 the organization was called Columbus Housing Partnership. I started as a fill-in receptionist answering the phones while on sabbatical from the State of Ohio. I had 10 years of service in the Bureau of Unemployment, Department of Corrections, and Boards and Commissions (the last under Gov. George Voinovich). CHP’s Director, Beth Hughes, asked me, “Tell me about yourself and what you have done?” After telling her, she said “You are staying here!”
I began working in the Development Department that next day. After six months, my time was split between the Development and Accounting departments. I soon became full time as a payroll officer and partnership accountant. I later moved onto becoming Executive Assistant to Maude Hill, who at the time was overseeing the Housing Advisory Department and our property management companies. That’s how I got to love property management! After three years of service with Homeport I left to work with outside property management companies. Homeport came back after me in 2002 and I worked in the Asset Management Department with the now late Ray Prendeville.
What I am most proud of is the knowledge I learned in housing and construction. When I first started, it was unheard that a female was in construction, let alone being a person of color. I got no respect, to quote Rodney Dangerfield. Even in all my classes in construction I was sometimes the only female. I worked hard and made like a sponge, soaking in everything I could. I surrounded myself with the best contractors and they taught me well. Finally, I got the recognition. I would love it when I would go on a construction site and workers knew me and treated me with respect.
I am also very proud of my involvement in creating and rolling out a “smoke-free” policy for our apartments, homes and properties. The program was recognized with a platinum or highest level award from the state Department of Health in 2016 as part of its anti-smoking and cessation initiative. ODH arranged for a billboard on East Broad Street to tout Homeport and its smoke free initiative. I also participated in videos for Columbus Public Health and the state on the importance of not smoking.
Favorite things to do outside of work?
I am a Christian and a wife of a minister and musician. That keeps me busy, along with my seven grandchildren. I have a lovely daughter who has been in the housing business 15 years. I lost my son in a car accident when he was 22. It was hard to recover from that loss but I am better with my faith in God.
My new hobby is traveling! I have a cousin in Georgia who loves to travel as much as I do, so for the past five years we have hit a different island. Our first trip was to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, then Barbados, Cancun, Jamaica and Marco Island, FL. This year’s trip … Hawaii! My dream is to travel overseas, destination dependent on security.