Dallas Housing Authority Adds Quality of Life and Fair Housing Talent to Its Team to Advance Its Mission to Provide Affordable Quality Housing and Access to Supportive Resources across North Texas

September 24, 2018

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep 24, 2018--The Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) announced today that LaShonne Watts from the Dallas GrowSouth/Neighbor Up initiative and Myriam Igoufe from the University of Arlington North Texas Regional Housing Assessment research team have joined the agency to help advance its mission.

LaShonne Watts is the new director of Resident Services for DHA. In this capacity, she will primarily be responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing resident services activities to help the families attain economic self-sufficiency. Previously, she was the General Manager for the Red Bird area for the collective impact nonprofit Neighbor Up, part of the Dallas GrowSouth initiative. In this position, she worked on community revitalization and economic development initiatives in her assigned area.

Prior to that she was an Assistant City Attorney and Southeast Community Prosecutor for the City of Dallas for almost five years where she focused on improving the quality of life for residents through strategic code enforcement. Ms. Watts also worked as a Staff Attorney for the Children’s Law Center in New York City for five years, where she represented children in custody, visitation, guardianship, paternity and abuse and neglect cases in Bronx Family Court. Ms. Watts started her legal career at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop as a litigation associate. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Myriam Igoufe is the new director of Housing Services for DHA’s Housing Choice Voucher program, responsible for ensuring DHA continues to effectively work with property owners, landlords and community resources to enhance the affordable housing options in high opportunity neighborhoods for the families DHA serves. Dr. Igoufe is a recent University of Texas at Arlington doctoral graduate in urban planning and public policy. She led the North Texas Regional Housing Assessment analysis, which included 21 cities and housing authorities across North Texas, as co-principal investigator and project manager. The North Texas Regional Housing Assessment was part of a new planning process established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requiring federal grantees to identify, evaluate, and address fair housing issues and factors contributing to discriminatory issues.

Dr. Igoufe is a recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the past two years, and currently serves on the Equity sub-committee and Technical Advisory team for Smart Growth Dallas. Her past professional experiences include working as policy analyst for local governments, as a university researcher, and as a consultant in economic development and urban planning with ASH + LIME Strategies. After attending the Sorbonne Law School in Paris, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Government and International Law as well as her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lamar University. Igoufe earned a PhD in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the University of Texas at Arlington.

“We are thrilled to have Ms. Watts and Dr. Igoufe join the DHA team,” says David Zappasodi, DHA’s chief operating officer. “They are bringing the next generation of insights, experience and ideas to the agency to help us continue providing much needed affordable housing resources across North Texas. We look forward to leveraging their talent as we implement innovative solutions for resident services and fair housing.”

About DHA

DHA provides quality, affordable housing to low-income families and individuals through the effective and efficient administration of housing assistance programs. The agency aims to create opportunities for program participants to achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence. DHA provides housing opportunities to 54,000 people through public housing developments and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs. Our mission is to provide affordable quality housing and access to supportive resources across North Texas. DHA is governed by its Board of Commissioners and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. DHA is an independent, local government entity, not to be confused with the Dallas City Housing/Community Services department, which is governed by the City of Dallas. For more information about DHA, please visit: www.dhadal.com.

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Jacqueline Chen Valencia, 469-540-1151





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PUB: 09/24/2018 09:00 AM/DISC: 09/24/2018 09:01 AM


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