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cover13By Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues

Fort Worth – The Fort Worth Housing Authority (FWHA) is establishing the Barbara Houston Education Fund  (BHEF) to honor the agency’s recently retired President and CEO, Barbara Houston. Houston retired from FWHA in June 2014, after 24 years of service as the agency’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

She is credited with changing the focus of the agency from merely being a provider of public housing to being a creator of quality affordable housing options for the citizens of Fort Worth. Houston also implemented a variety of resident education and support programs that assist them in acquiring job skills and the training necessary to become self-sufficient and even achieve homeownership.

“During Barbara Houston’s 24 years of service at FWHA, she helped thousands of program participants take their lives to new levels of success through self-sufficiency,” said Terri Castaway, FWHA Board Chair. “The education fund is well-deserved recognition in honor of her longstanding and impaction legacy of improving the living environment and quality of life for individuals and families in our community.”

The Fund is a nonprofit organization that recognizes Houston’s long history of service and dedication to personal achievement by providing financial assistance through scholarships and grants to FWHA clients that will help them cover the expenses of academic studies and vocational training. Eligible expenses include tuition, books and materials, course fees, supplies and tools.

“The Barbara Houston Education Fund is a living tribute to Barbara’s dedication to helping people help themselves by supporting their efforts to acquire the education and skills to achieve a better life,” said Naomi W. Byrne, FWHA President and CEO. “She has inspired many individuals; and, families over the years and now her legacy will continue to help the next generation of participants achieve their personal and professional goals.”

FWHA develops, owns and operates quality affordable and accessible housing that provides assistance to citizens of Fort Worth utilizing various federal, state and local programs. Currently, FWHA owns 1,145 public housing units, 3,126 affordable housing units, 525 market-rate units; administers more than 6,100 housing vouchers; and operates 2 homeownership programs.

The launch of the fund was July 10th at a formal a celebratory retirement dinner for Houston on at the Ashton Depot in downtown Fort Worth.

For more information about the Fund and how to contribute are available on FWHA’s Web site, Watergate or write to: P. O. Box 430 Fort Worth, TX  76101-0430. You may also call  or fax the office : 817.333.3400 Fax: 817.332-4830.