Ten years ago I came to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a young homeless services provider to head up the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS). It was my dream job - one I never imagined I would have. In those ten years we have seen a lot of change. In 2007, the Continuum of Care application was still on paper, HMIS was in its toddler phase, we didn’t have HUD-VASH or the HEARTH Act, and we had yet to experience the Recovery Act and the $1.5 Billion inflow of funds called the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. When I look back, I am humbled by what we have accomplished since 2007. The accomplishments that we as a community have achieved have made my time here some of the most important years of my professional life.
It is with that lens that I share the news that I am leaving HUD, effective June 23, 2017. This decision is, as one would imagine, bittersweet. I have been proud to lead an incredible team of public servants in SNAPS, the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH), and my direct office that work harder and smarter than any other team I have worked with. Their dedication to the mission and their passion have inspired me many times during my tenure at HUD to aim higher, do better, and make more progress on behalf of the people we serve. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my team and our colleagues throughout the Department for everything they have done to support this important work.
I also want to thank our local and national stakeholders, as well as those of you in communities around the country who are working on the front lines to end homelessness, person by person. I have appreciated your partnership, your feedback, and your honesty. You have been an invaluable resource throughout my time here.
Norm Suchar and Rita Flegel – two brilliant minds and focused leaders – will continue to lead their respective offices and take on new challenges to ensure that our programs are the best that they can be. They have my utmost confidence and support, and I ask that they have yours as well.
Many of you have probably heard me say that I still consider myself a homeless services provider. So, after some time off, you can be assured that I will remain committed to the work of ending homelessness going forward.
I wish you all the very best, and I hope to see you soon.
Ann Marie Oliva Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development