guest Editorial … Retired Housing Director has plenty to be thankful for

By Kevin Kondrat
Retired HHS Director
As I now retire as the Executive Director of The Hamtramck Housing Commission, I would like to thank The Review for the opportunity to humbly thank all who have donated their time and resources to help the Hamtramck Housing Commission (HHC) become and remain a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) High Performing Agency for an unparalleled record of 17 years and counting.
My tenure as the Executive Director was immeasurably enhanced by the involvement of every person and entity I am about to mention.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife of 40 years, Sandy, and my family and friends who have put up with me these last 20 years at HHC.
Thank you to Mayor Tom Jankowski for your confidence and commitment in 2004, and the mandate to “Save the Commission “from HUD receivership.”
Thank you, Mayor Karen Majewski, for your patience and diligence to ensure that the HHC was on the right path to High Performance. Your insight has allowed the HHC to flourish.
Mayor Amer Ghalib, thank you for your attention and concern for all of the residents of the HHC.
Without the stewardship of great commissioners past and present, the HHC could not have achieved and continue to surpass the milestones it has achieved.
The HHC has always enjoyed and continues to excel because of the very best and conscientious commissioners who put the needs of the residents before everything else.
The HHC will be in great hands with Chris Cornwell as the new Executive Director and Kay Brown as a very professional Project Manager.
Chris has the formal education and hands on experience along with an intimate knowledge of the mechanical systems of the HHC that is all vital for the success of the HHC.
I take full responsibility for all that has occurred at the HHC over the last 20 years. However, the responsibility for the success of the HHC belongs to its residents and its spectacular employees.
For the last 17 consecutive years (and counting), the commission earned the achievement of being rated as High Performance, which serves as the capstone of the employees’ many achievements. Their record is a testament to the fact that they are the very best at what they do and without peer.
They are collectively and individually responsible for the Commission’s success.
I thank our contractors, present and throughout the years, particularly ADR consultants whose tireless work on behalf of the Commission has saved it tens of thousands of dollars.
Thank you Judge Alexis Krot and Judge Paul Paruk (retired) of the Hamtramck 31st District Court for your fair and impartial rulings for all parties in HHC legal matters.
I cannot thank enough the Hamtramck Police (HPD) and Fire Departments (HFD). They have consistently met all of our needs, and never let us down.
The HPD through the 88th Avenue Deli have donated sandwiches and treats for our children at Christmas and Halloween throughout the years, thank you.
The Goodfellows through Konrad Koski, have formed an alliance with the HHC which ensures that all needy children in Hamtramck, Detroit, and Highland Park are recipients of Goodfellows boxes at Christmas.
The HHC now distributes 3,500 Goodfellows boxes annually from the administration offices on Dequindre. Jay Searcy and your “band of angels” and Yolanda Eddins, for the love and support you have given our children throughout these many years.
My very heartfelt thanks goes out to you both!
Finally, I want to thank Jessica Jones, the Financial Manager for the HHC. Though the HHC operates as a team, Jessica has been the architect and engineer of our 17 consecutive years of High Performance.
She is truly the hub of the HHC wheel. My appreciation for you is limitless.
I would like to thank the very dedicated staff and personnel of the Detroit HUD field office, and particularly Brandie Isaacson (Portfolio Management Specialist). Their continued efforts and unlimited patience has allowed the HHC to become one of the finest housing commissions in the State of Michigan.
In 2004, the HHC was penniless with a zero account balance. Mayor Jankowski had a simple but difficult mandate to save the Commission.
HUD had very serious doubts that it could be done and told me just that. Twenty years later, the HHC has set records for being a HUD High Performer for now 17 consecutive years. The Commission, once flat broke, now sits with $2 million in the bank — earned the old-fashioned way … We saved it, both financially and metaphorically.

God Bless You All!
Posted May 24, 2024

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