Carl is the Immediate Past President of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (“NAHRO”/“Association”). He is the only the second Commissioner and first former public housing resident to lead NAHRO in its 86-year history. Raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, Carl lived in the Rosewood Housing Development. His firsthand knowledge of public housing fuels his passion and commitment to improving the quality of life for public housing residents. He has been a leader in improving public and affordable housing as well as strengthening ties between education, job skills, and better healthcare.
Previously, he served as NAHRO Senior Vice President, two terms as the Parliamentarian to the NAHRO Board of Governors and Vice President for NAHRO’s Commissioners Committee.
As NAHRO President Carl secured a $1 million donation for the NAHRO Merit College Scholarship Fund. While serving as NAHRO Senior Vice President he assisted in the creation of the NAHRO Merit College Scholarship Program and raised money to fund eight scholarships in 2017 and 2018. Carl has been active with NAHRO at the state, regional and national levels.
During his tenure as Vice President of the Commissioners’ Committee he helped rewrite the industry’s handbook for public housing board members, “The Commissioner’s Handbook on Public Housing.” Further, the Commissioner’s Corner was established in the NAHRO Journal of Housing and Community Development under his chairmanship where he has written several articles on digital literacy and healthcare. He also assisted in the revision of NAHRO’s Code of Conduct.
In addition, Carl was among the first Commissioners to earn a NAHRO Commissioner Certification and he is certified to teach NAHRO training and educational courses to fellow commissioners. Carl represented NAHRO as a delegate to Tri-Country on two occasions (Edinburg, Scotland 2006, and Toronto, Canada 2008).
Carl also serves as chairman of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin Board of Commissioners (HACA). He was appointed to the Board in 1997. Within two years of his appointment, he helped turn HACA from a troubled agency to a high-performing agency. The US Department Housing and Urban Development has named HACA as a high performing agency for the past 20 years.
Under his leadership, HACA created a dropout prevention program entitled, “AB Honor Roll”. This program has reduced the dropout rates among students who live in public housing, increased attendance, and test scores. HACA created a scholarship program and since its inception in 2002, HACA has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to approximately 650 students.
Additionally, HACA has created a business incubator to assist residents who want to start their own business. The agency has also successfully created a nonprofit, Blueprint Housing Solutions, to provide housing-related services to troubled housing agencies. HACA entered into an agreement with Google Fiber Austin to provide Wi-Fi service to all 18 public housing developments and it serves as a mentor to approximately 28 housing authorities participating in the Home Connect Project. Further, HACA partnered with Sendero Health Plans to ensure its residents have access to health insurance.
In 2014, Carl was inducted into the NAHRO prestigious Fellows program. He is a two-time recipient of the Texas NAHRO Commissioner of the Year Award. Southwest NAHRO Regional Council twice honored Mr. Richie with its Commissioner Public Service Award and he earned NAHRO’s Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award, which recognizes deserving Commissioners for excellence in advocacy for housing and community development programs. Last year he was inducted into the Texas NAHRO Hall of Fame.
Carl worked for a member of the Houston city council where he assisted in the development of the Houston Urban Homesteading Program, providing approximately 500 homes to first-time homebuyers residing in low-income neighborhoods.
He has used his legislative advocacy expertise to assist with passing state legislation that:
- expands the term of service for Texas resident commissioners;
- later eliminating term limits for resident commissioners;
- provides more flexibility under Texas law for the use of the housing tax credit program;
- develop an urban land bank program; and
- develop a community land trust program.
More importantly, he has worked to defeat legislation that would prohibit Texas public housing authorities from engaging in public advocacy, as well as ensuring that housing authorities can fairly compete for housing tax credit dollars.