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Baltimore Housing Receives the Key to El Paso

During a recent visit to El Paso, Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano and Deputy Executive Director Anthony Scott were presented with the Key to the City from El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser. The Baltimore Housing delegation visited the city to learn about the Housing Authority of the City of EL Paso's (HACEP) innovative efforts to reduce costs and modernize operations.

While in El Paso, they also visited the eco-friendly Paisano Green community for low-income seniors. The development is the first net-zero-energy public housing development in the nation. This means that it produces as much energy from renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, as it consumes.

“We were very interested in both of those initiatives and how, in the face of relentless cuts out of Washington, we can emulate some of those innovations to help close the gap between funding levels and the cost of operation,” said Commissioner Graziano.

A major innovation implemented by HACEP is a new electronic system that allows applicants to enter their own application information using a computer kiosk in the housing authority's lobby.

“Housing authorities today must become innovators and must adapt to the reality of less money coming out of Washington,” said Commissioner Graziano.

From left: Anthony Scott, Deputy Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City; Paul Graziano, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City; El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser; Joe Fernandez, Chair of the El Paso Housing Authority; and Gerald Cichon, CEO of the El Paso Housing Authority. Photo courtesy of HACEP

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