Marcia Barry-Smith, Director of Community Outreach and Program Services for Habitat for Humanity of Broward, has been elected Chair of the Broward Housing Council.“To be elected by the Council for this role is an honor. There are complex issues that must be addressed, and my esteemed Council members and I will be looking closely at the many facets of the affordable housing crisis in Broward County,” said Barry-Smith.Twenty-Four years experience in affordable housingBarry-Smith has worked in the area of affordable housing in banking and non-profit boards and management since 1994. Highly regarded as an expert in community development around the nation, Barry-Smith’s nationally acclaimed program ‘Homeless to Homeowner’ has placed hundreds of formerly homeless families into homeownership, empowering them to reach for independence and financial fitness.Need is “dangerously critical high”“The need for safe, sustainable housing in Broward County for those of limited means is at an all-time, dangerously critical high,” said Barry-Smith. “Safe, comfortable and affordable living conditions are essential for families and children to simply exist from day to day, much less thrive. The connection between living conditions and good health outcomes is indisputable. As an unequivocal advocate for the underserved, I consider it an honor to serve on this council.” Last March, Barry-Smith received a Woman of Distinction award from the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) in recognition for her leadership in the community. In October of 2017, she also received an Economic Opportunity Award from the Broward County Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). Additionally, she serves on numerous boards including the Lauderhill Local Affordable Housing Committee. Broward Housing CouncilThe Housing Council was established in 1974 and serves in an advisory capacity to the County Commission and to facilitate coordination between the County, Municipalities, the business community and not-for-profit groups to address housing issues including, but not limited to, affordable housing, workforce housing, and homelessness. The Council’s vision affirms: “All residents of Broward County should have opportunities to access safe, decent and affordable housing countywide, which is the cornerstone for healthy, successful and sustainable communities.”
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