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Little Haiti Housing Association, Inc. (LHHA), a non-profit community development
corporation serving the low-income residents of the Little Haiti community of Miami,
has been committed to the improvement of the quality of life for its residents since
its incorporation in 1987. The mission of LHHA is to provide decent, affordable
housing as a base for an improved quality of life for the residents of Little Haiti.
However, we believe that housing efforts must be part of a holistic strategy for
helping low income people move up and out of poverty and for improving our neighborhood.
LHHA believes that a key component in effectively serving the community must be
to utilize the best team of individuals, whether it is a coordinated effort with
other developers, financers, construction managers and legal counsel to complete
housing projects, or whether it involves bringing together community residents,
service providers and key stakeholders to increase access to ancillary services
and initiatives that increase community cohesion and advancement.
After experiencing the "White Flight" in the 1970s and the Haitian refugee
influx in the 1980s, the area of Little Haiti developed a diverse urban population
with associated problems and needs. Few resources and opportunities, deterioration
in the appearance of residential and non-residential buildings, unemployment and
the perception of crime all plagued Little Haiti, creating a great deal of instability.
These problems needed to be addressed, or the deterioration of the Little Haiti
community would have only continue to accelerate.
LHHA was incorporated in 1987 through the efforts of several local churches and
a team of pastors, social workers and community members that came together to address
the need for safe and affordable housing in Little Haiti. LHHA started with a plan
in place to purchase and repair existing homes, then sell them to low income families.
LHHA realized a need for organizational leadership experienced in housing and construction.
In 1990 HHA requested that Mennonite Central Committtee (MCC), the relief and development
agency of the Mennonite and Brethren Church of North America, consider providing
a volunteer to help re-establish the organization. MCC provided the services of
David Harder as a stipended volunteer. At the end of his term of service with MCC
in 1993 he was invited by the Board of Directors of LHHA to stay on as the Executive
Director, and he served in this capacity until January of 2003, when he was succeeded
by Mr. Samuel Diller.
LHHA provides service in five major areas: 1) Housing rehabilitation and new construction;
2) Homeownership education and support services, including individual budget and
credit counseling, home ownership preparations classes (all of which are taught
in Haitian Creole), individual support for below market rate mortgage applications,
and home owner follow-up and support; 3) Tenant services and education (in Haitian
Creole), landlord/tenant mediation and client referrals to needed social services;
4) Rental project development; and 5) Community building initiatives.
Currently LHHA has a staff of 12 full-time employees, 2 part-time employees and
4 AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers that is composed of individuals of diverse backgrounds
and professional fields.
To date LHHA has completed a number of housing projects, which document LHHA's ability
to finance, acquire and construct/rehabilitate physical developments, as well as
the ability to market a housing product in the Haitian community. These projects
are as follows:
LHHA has partnered with Greater Miami Neighborhoods, Inc. for the development of
Harvard House Apartments, and has worked in close collaboration with Greater Miami
LISC, Fannie Mae and many lending institutions and local government to structure
the acquisition, construction and permanent financing for its housing developments.
Single Family Homes / Rehabilitation - 59 units
Single Family Homes / New Construction - 5 units
Harvard House Apartments / Rehabilitation - 56 units
Forest Green Townhomes / New Construction - 33 units
5513 NE Miami Place / Rental Rehabilitation - 14 units
122 NE 78th Street / Rental Rehabilitation - 6 units
In addition to these housing developments, LHHA has developed a wide array of programming
that complements its housing programs and that are designed to empower residents
of the Little Haiti community. Some of these programs and projects are as follows:
Home Ownership Training: Early on, LHHA recognized the unique circumstances of its
community and worked to provide home ownership education tailored to its residents.
An intake program was designed to determine a family's home-ownership readiness.
Credit counseling was made available if a family had credit problems that prevented
them from securing a mortgage. When families meet the pre-qualification criteria,
they are enrolled in a six-week course that covers budget counseling, support for
below market rate mortgage applications and closing information.
LHHA has recently completed the renovation of its office building (purchased September
of 2000), which is located at 181 NE 82nd Street. Renovations for the second floor
were complete in July of 2001 and this space is currently leased to the Center of
Information and Orientation, a non-profit Haitian American community based organization.
First floor renovations, completed in early 2003, house the offices of LHHA, Intel's
Little Haiti Computer Clubhouse and the offices of Miami-Dade Neighborhood Housing
Services, Inc. (a non-profit community development corporation serving northeast
Additional projects in the pipeline include:
For more information on affordable housing and community building, please click
on the following addresses:
Construction and sale of a 15-unit condominium project known as Biscayne East
Development, construction and sale of 20 new single-family homes on 17 vacant lots
that are being transferred to LHHA by the City of Miami
Construction of 14 new rental units at 6601 NE Miami Place
Complete the final infrastructure development of the Reclamation Community Garden
Increased community organizing in Little Haiti, with the formation and support of
new neighborhood associations and block clubs.
The Enterprise Foundation
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message to LHHA.
Little Haiti Housing Association, Inc.
181 NE 82nd St.
Miami, FL 33138
Tel: (305) 759-2542
Fax: (305) 754-9200