Formerly homeless board member serves Houston Housing Authority

The 112,000 Houstonians on the affordable housing waiting list are not going unnoticed. 

The Houston Housing Authority is using a unique approach to help solve Houston's affordable housing crisis. In fact, the Housing Authority's latest strategy to solve the problem includes fresh ideas from new board members.

“The diversity of the board will help in the process,” says Jody Proler, who has a background in banking, so his role on the Houston Housing Authority board is very specific. “Focus on finding new opportunities and analyzing new asset opportunities for growing the housing authority."

New housing board member Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Max Miller helped house Houstonians after Harvey took their homes away. 

”I've seen how it did some people mentally. Some have never recovered mentally,” explains Pastor Miller. 

The third newly appointed HHA board member knows about being in need of housing. For the first few weeks of his first year at Texas Southern University, Michael Harris was homeless. 

"Actually, this is the hall and that's the dormitory. I slept on the sofa. I'd come in late at night when most of the students would go up into their rooms,” Harris revealed to us after we met up with him on the TSU campus.  

Harris says even without a home, a Bible verse repeatedly popped into his head.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path,” Harris recites Proverbs 3: 5, 6.

Then, out of the blue, the Director of Financial Aid suddenly stopped him on campus and changed his life by helping him secure housing and financial aid. 

“The very person who crossed my path was the person who was able to open the door to my future," he said.    

Harris hopes as a member of the HHA board that he will be that person for someone else. 

“Hopefully we can get away from this cookie cutter type, one size fits all approach," he said. 

Harris ultimately secured his undergraduate degree, finished law school, and became a Houston Police officer. He is now a successful attorney.

“Where a person is today, is not necessarily where they will end up,” says Harris. 

The new HHA board members have been appointed by the mayor to a three year term. They say they are committed to coming up with a solution to Houston's affordable housing crisis.