The Metropolitan Council’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Metro HRA) recently hired Abdiaziz Ibrahim as its first outreach coordinator and program ombudsman.
Ibrahim’s welcoming persona and his experience as a property manager, housing case manager, and HRA Coordinator make him well suited to this role. His clients are families who have had difficulty finding housing where they can use their Housing Choice voucher.
Supporting resident success
In their pursuit of continuous improvement, Metro HRA leadership created the new position to foster successful property manager and tenant relationships. Toward this end, Ibrahim will lead classes to teach renters the skills necessary to becoming a successful long-term tenant. These include budgeting, home maintenance, and navigating the rental lease process, which has become more complex in today’s tight rental market.
Benefits to property managers
The benefits for property managers who accept Housing Choice vouchers include targeted marketing, reduced turnover, and a partnership with a reputable agency that results in stable housing for families. Ibrahim connects managers to tenants and tenants to communities.
‘Bridging the divide’ is Ibrahim’s passion
Ibrahim says that bridging the divide between families and rental properties is his passion. “I am helping folks with a basic necessity,” he said. “I know how important it is to have a home.
“I came to this country with no rental history, I had to figure it all out. There are hundreds of people who don’t have regular access to the internet, or know how to approach a property manager about a vacant unit. The application process can be complicated.
“I get a sense of fulfillment when renters are approved and can finally move in; it’s like a calling,” Ibrahim said. “People need this service, like health care. Some people who don’t speak English but Somali or Swahili can be left out completely. I mentor and coach them so that they can learn how to find a place to live, and it makes a huge impact on their families…I love it.”
Metro HRA administers state’s largest Housing Choice Voucher program
The federally funded Housing Choice Voucher program uses the existing private rental market and provides payments to private landlords on behalf of low-income renters. Participating property owners are guaranteed a stable source of rental income.
Families may rent any type of housing from participating property owners in the METRO HRA service area: Anoka, Carver and most of suburban Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. Eligible households pay 30% to 40% of their incomes for rent, and Metro HRA pays the remainder, within established rent guidelines.
Metro HRA assists about 6,500 households across the region. For more than a decade, Metro HRA has achieved the highest possible ranking from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its effectiveness and cost efficiency in administering the voucher program.
More about Metro HRA.