OHA President, CEO Receives NAHRO’s Most Prestigious Honor
(Washington, D.C. – October 22, 2019) – The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) presented Vivian Bryant, Esq., President and CEO of the Orlando Housing Authority (OHA), with NAHRO’s highest honor: the prestigious M. Justin Herman Memorial Award. The award, which was presented on October 10 at the NAHRO National Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Tex., honors an individual who demonstrates sustained excellence in the field of housing and community development.
“Ms. Bryant’s illustrious career epitomizes the highest standards of the affordable housing and community development industry,” said NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman. “She has distinguished herself as a leader, innovator, and forward-thinking, civic-minded professional who assembles stakeholders to build and preserve affordable housing.”
Under Bryant’s leadership, the OHA has become a recognized leader in the affordable housing industry in Central Florida. The housing authority oversees 1,409 public housing units, 4,300 Section 8 units, including 619 Veterans Administration Special Housing (VASH) Vouchers, and 543 affordable, non-public housing units and has more than 130 staff members. Bryant led the OHA in the successful application for and development of two successful HOPE VI Revitalization Grant awards totaling nearly $25 million. These funds enabled OHA to leverage further public and private investment in order to replace dilapidated public housing with vibrant mixed-income communities. One of these projects, Hampton Park, also received recognition from the Downtown Orlando Partnership and NAHRO’s Award of Merit in the Project Design category.
Since 2011, the OHA has had a management agreement with the Housing Authority of the City of Sanford. Under Bryant’s leadership, the agency’s status has changed from “troubled” to “high performer.” In 2016, the agency was awarded a coveted Choice Neighborhood Initiatives Planning Grant from HUD, which will enable the revitalization of more than 50 acres of public housing land.
Bryant is also dedicated to more widespread growth of the affordable housing industry nationwide. She has served on the board of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) and as president of the Housing and Development Law Institute (HDLI) for the past six years. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST), a prestigious national public service sorority, and has engaged DST to support OHA’s services to its residents and mission.
About the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award
The M. Justin Herman Memorial Award is given annually to a NAHRO member who has made outstanding contributions to their community’s quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development. Established in 1975, the award recognizes the standard of excellence that M. Justin Herman brought to the San Francisco Housing Authority and housing and community development industry.
Left to right: Then NAHRO President Carl S. Richie, Jr., Orlando Housing Authority President and CEO Vivan Bryant, Esq., NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman