Lake County Housing Authority achieved the Award of Excellence for its Proactive Panel Discussion

Press Release ( - GRAYSLAKE, Ill. - Aug 30, 2017 - The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Awards of Excellence program was created to give national recognition to NAHRO housing and community development member organizations that have found innovative ways of making a difference in the communities and the lives of the people they serve. Established in 1989, the NAHRO Award of Merit program has honored more than 6,000 programs.

NAHRO’s awards program is a multi-level program consisting of the Awards of Merit and the Awards of Excellence.  The first level of the program, the Awards of Merit, are submitted by local housing authorities to NAHRO and sent to Regional Juries for review.  These Awards of Merit identify exceptional accomplishments in the housing and community development programs in five categories.  In the year 2017, we have been honored with eleven (11) National Awards of Merit from NAHRO.  Four (4) of those programs were nominated for NAHRO National Awards of Excellence.  All four of those programs – Proactive Discussion on Race Relations -“What Unites us is far greater than what divides us.”, Realtors Workshop, and the Family Self Sufficiency Program Regional Collaboration were amazing programs that reached to the highest level of NAHRO’s award categories.

The second level of the program, the Awards of Excellence, is chosen from the Awards of Merit winners nominated for an Award of Excellence. The juries judging these awards may select up to 24 awards.  There are over 95 local housing authorities that are awarded the Awards of Merit each year with multiple entries and wins making the selection process one we are very proud to have passed.

David A. Northern, Sr. LCHA Executive Director/ CEO said, “The Lake County Housing Authority program that received the National Award of Excellence was created during an increase in police shootings that caused mistrust between community members and law enforcement.  In order to be proactive and prevent similar dissolution of trust and unrest in our community, an idea of a conversation about race was formed.  The key was having a diverse group of community leaders and elected officials be at the table to discuss the issues prevalent to this area.”

In order to address this concern, law enforcement officials, government officials, and those in educational leadership positions were asked to participate in a panel discussion. Adding to the discussion were also community members and advocates, making the panel well-rounded in experience and expertise. Each participant spoke about the issues dealing with race from their point of view, and collectively came up with solutions and plans of action to make the Lake County area more diversity-friendly and safe for all its citizens.

Some local police officers and sheriffs coordinated with school officials to start a program where law enforcement came into schools during the lunch hour to build relationships with the children of the community. The school based program has built trust and relationships, so that empathy, understanding, and compassion could be established on both sides. Relationships were also established amongst panel members so that conflicts could be better managed and prevented in the community and at the schools.

“As a pastor and Board Chairman of the Lake County Housing Authority I was delighted to be a part of this program,” said Dr. H. Lee Jordan, Jr.  “It is nice to be recognized, but our focus here remains on the creation of programs and housing resources that benefit Lake County and the larger housing communities.  This honor does bring awareness to our amazing staff and the agency’s CEO Mr. Northern and his abilities.”

The Award of Excellence celebrates the achievement of services that the agency, its employees and its board members do day in and day out for the residents and community to provide and maintain a safe and affordable place to live.  Being honored with the National Award of Excellence shows that it is motivated to generate, create and redevelop new and current housing and community development programs.

“This award gives merit to who we are as an organization and how we are engaged in all events that affect the citizens we serve,” Northern said.  “We continue to spearhead innovative efforts such as this one with race relations and the collection and dissemination of over 25 thousand gallons of water to the Flint Housing Authority Commission and its clients in 2016.”

About LCHA: Lake County Housing Authority is one of the leading housing authorities in Illinois. Established in 1946, it provides housing and housing related services for over 13,000 citizens of Lake County. To learn more about Lake County Housing Authority, please visit our webpage at

Source : Lake County Housing Authority

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