A Real Team of Superheroes

JubileehousingBlog

Top Image, left to right: (back row) John Sanabria, Pepe Mejia, David Ayala, Don Pedro Ayala, Carlos Palacios, Pedro Mendez, Alieu Kargbo, Jorge Torres, Darrick Jackson (front row) Morena Barbery, Christi Johnson, Dorothy Larimer, Quiana Bridgett (not pictured) Nathaniel Boyd, Vanessa Jones, Iris Granados Bottom Left Image: David services a ticket for resident Juana Alvarado. Bottom Right Image: Quiana, Dorothy, Christi and Morena guide applicants through the application process.

In a city where “leaks” grab headlines, Jubilee Housing’s Property Management (PM) team is usually preoccupied with the quieter – but no less important – kind of leaks.

“They don’t quit until your issue is resolved,” said Melissa Taylor, a resident of the Sorrento. “Whenever I’ve called for anything, be it as simple as replacing a washer in my sink, they are there. They are always professional.”

Dorothy Larimer, vice president of Property Development, joked “We really need to get some personal scooters for the guys.”

As Jubilee prepares to add 125 new units over the next four years, the team is growing to accommodate the increasing time demands. The team recently welcomed Nathaniel Boyd, who will work with the team on painting, patching, plumbing, and plastering projects.

“We’ll definitely be doing more hiring,” said Larimer. “Taking care of four new buildings will require a lot more bandwidth.”

In addition to the day-to-day work of keeping Jubilee’s buildings in great condition, the winter season is always an especially busy time for the team. When snow and ice inundate the region, Facilities Manager Morena Barbery, Maintenance Supervisor David Ayala, and their team are out late salting and up early shoveling snow. Clear walkways are critical for safety, especially for Jubilee’s senior residents.

While the maintenance side of the team is busy in the field, the administrative side navigates compliance, recertification, and leasing to make sure Jubilee and its residents can continue to benefit from the various subsidies that make Jubilee’s work possible.

Quiana Bridgett, director of property management, oversaw the opening of the Jubilee waitlist earlier this year – the first time Jubilee’s accepted new applications in 10 years. She and her team were able to register 200 new applicants for the waitlist in a single morning. In addition, the team coordinated the move-in of over 50 families into the newly opened Maycroft apartment building.

Bridgett, along with Compliance Specialist Vanessa Jones, is also responsible for making sure Jubilee and its residents are meeting obligations for continued participation in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. LIHTC and other subsidies are critical to Jubilee’s continued operations. Vanessa joined the team this fall to help with the burgeoning workload.

The PM team is indispensable to the wider Jubilee staff, too.

“They’re always responsive whenever we have maintenance issues at the Reentry houses,” said Mary Haygood, a member of the Reentry staff. “A special shout-out to Building Attendant Pedro Mendez for taking good care of us at the Sorrento.”

It’s common to see Alieu Kargbo escorting residents around the neighborhood at all hours (a fixture in the neighborhood, Kargbo is Jubilee’s longest-serving staff member). Mendez gets up early to make coffee for a resident in the Ritz. Darrick Jackson, the PM team’s only volunteer, helps residents with housekeeping and laundry. Christi Johnson, the administrative property manager, helps support the Jubilee Senior Club in her spare time. Jorge Torres often accompanies residents seeking consular services to embassies. And Pepe Mejia just finished volunteering at October’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration.

“Those are just a few of the ways the team goes above and beyond in the community,” Larimer said. “Showing such tremendous kindness. That is the thread that runs through this department.”

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