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When Linda Holder was a little girl, she had always imagined being a nurse. She was working her way through nursing school when she hit a dead end. As a single mother of two boys with a job, she would not be allowed to complete her clinical work. At the time, anyone with a job would be dismissed from the program.

In 1983, Holder took a position as the assistant manager at Height House, a high-rise Section 8 202 housing property for the elderly and has been with the Houston Housing Management Corporation (HHMC)—the for-profit management arm of the Non-Profit Housing Corporation of Greater Houston—ever since.

“I got into affordable housing by accident 39 years ago. I was looking for a job because I had just had my second son. I thought I would be there until I found something else, but I never looked back,” Holder said. “This fulfills me like nursing would have. It’s all about people and taking care of people. It’s about the service to the people.”

Since taking her “temporary” job, Holder has progressively made her way through the ranks at HHMC, including as a property manager, executive supervisor, grant writer and since 2008, the vice president and chief operating officer. In her current position, Holder’s duties include supervising a staff of 70 “extremely talented” employees, writing grants for several of the properties, serving as the Department of Housing and Urban Development liaison for property operations, working with the executive director on development and signing the checks for 17 corporations. She routinely puts in 55 hours per week.

“I have many long-term employees,” she said. “We’re like a family. It takes a team to succeed in this business.”

One of her unofficial duties includes being an advocate for the elderly. “I get calls every day from people, especially the elderly and homeless, who are desperate and have no place else to go,” Holder said. “I get to help people every day. I help them try to find a place to live.”

Holder said she explains the waitlist process (her shortest waiting list is 18 months to two years) to those who call and why she does not have any place available immediately for them. But she also takes the time to try to locate services that may be able to provide immediate help. She said there is not enough housing to meet the demand.

“It’s hard to break their hearts and tell them you have no place for them. It gets emotional,” Holder said. “I’m a big soapbox person for the elderly, especially since it is a part of the population no one is housing right now. Locally, the only funding right now for new development has some tax credit funding. The rents in the tax credit properties are usually too high for low-income elderly residents.” Holder, a widow with two sons and one grandchild, has been trying to cut back a little at work and take care of herself more.

“I try to relax when I am not working. I spend time with my family. I read, listen to music, do crafts and cook,” she said. “I work a lot of hours by choice, I have a very talented team and things run very well when I am not there. But I love the work and the people, and I want to be there.”

Jennifer Jones is director of communications and public relations for NAHMA.

 

Reprinted with permission from NAHMA, Alexandria, VA, 703-683-8630, www.nahma.org. From NAHP Update © Spring, 2022. All rights reserved.

AHMA East Texas 2022 Recipients 
listed on Education/Scholarship Tab

 

Welcome to AHMA East Texas

Affordable housing is a highly regulated industry - and we're here to help our members by providing education, training, certification, networking, advocacy and training. Through our Education Foundation we also fund higher education scholarships for deserving residents of our member properties, as well as for employees and family members.

See our Education/Events Calendar for upcoming training programs. 

Linda Holder.jpg

Finding a New Way

to Care For Others

NAME: Linda G. Holder, NAHP

MANAGEMENT COMPANY:
Houston Housing Management Corporation, Houston, Texas

POSITION: Vice president/Chief operating officer

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AHMA East Texas

provides critical training and education for managers, supervisors, owners & maintenance personnel working on affordable housing properties. This includes

  • HUD Occupancy Training

  • Fair Housing

  • LIHTC Training

  • Legal Updates

  • REAC Preparation

  • Maintenance Management

and much more.

See our Education Calendar