Our Mission at Laredo Housing Authority
The Laredo Housing Authority’s mission is to serve the diverse housing needs of families within its jurisdiction by:
1. Increasing the availability of constructive, safe, decent, sanitary and affordable in its communities.
2. Ensuring equal opportunity in housing.
3. Promoting self-sufficiency and asset development of families and individuals.
4. Improving resident quality of life and economic viability.
5. Providing high-quality client services.
The Laredo Housing Authority is governed by a five member Board of Commissioners, one of whom is a Housing Authority resident. The Mayor of the City of Laredo, Texas appoints all board members. The Board of Commissioners has fiduciary responsibility as well as responsibility of establishing and overseeing policy for the agency. The Board of Commissioners also hires the Executive Director, who serves as the agency’s Chief Executive Officer. The Executive Director oversees the day-to-day operations of the Housing Authority and implements policies and programs established by the Board.
For the purposes of maintaining transparency and informing the public at large, LHA will provide the agendas and minutes of its Board of Commissioners meetings.
Board of Directors
Jose L. Ceballos
Chairman of the Board
With more than 20 years of public and private management experience, Jose L. Ceballos is a strong believer in fostering stakeholder collaboration, being publicly transparent and being true to those intended to be served. He has been active in numerous charitable boards and organizations – including Bethany House of Laredo, Laredo Homeless Coalition, Next Generation Rotary Club, 21st Century Policing Advisory Committee for the City of Laredo, Border Region Behavioral Health Center – Planning and Networking Advisory Council, Eagle Ford Consortium, Future of the Region South Texas, Laredo Environmental Summit, Laredo Humanitarian Relief Team, St. Peters Historic Neighborhood Association, Texas A&M International University – Masters in Public Policy Advisory Board, Avance – Laredo Chapter, Texas Residential Construction Commission, and the Laredo Weed and Seed Committee. Mr. Ceballos owns and operates Totem LLC, which provides consulting services to public and private entities – including executive management, project administration, and external affairs. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce and a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M International University.
Dr. Sergio Garza
Vice Chairman of the Board
Dr. Sergio D. Garza has been in the teaching profession for over 31 years. Dr. Garza received a Bachelor’s in Arts & Sciences in the area of Secondary Education and his Master’s degree in Elementary Education. He also holds a Doctorate degree in Bilingual Education from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.
His extensive schooling has afforded him the opportunity to teach students as young as kindergarten all the way to the Master’s level. Currently, he works in the TAMIU Curriculum and Pedagogy Department where he is involved with several initiatives pertaining to service learning. These initiatives include the I.N.E.A. “Plazas Comunitarias” Program in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate, Bethany House of Laredo in the “Luz de Esperanza” tutoring program, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Laredo, and Communities in Schools (CIS) to help with tutoring the in the public school districts of LISD, UISD and ZCISD. Most recently has helped out in a TAMIU tutoring program with study abroad students from Mexican Universities.
Dr. Garza is a firm believer in social justice and is committed to helping people help themselves. He is highly involved in service with the community and the county. He has served as the Dean’s Liaison for early childhood initiatives: Project TEEM and AVANCE. He currently serves as the Border Region Behavioral Center’s PNAC Chair and is the Chair for a 17-county collaborative – Money Follows the Consumer. Most recently, Mayor Pete Saenz appointed Dr. Garza to the Laredo Housing Authority where he serves as Vice-Chair for the organization.
His research interests are in the areas of code-switching, vocabulary acquisition, literacy, and mathematics. Dr. Garza was award the Curriculum & Pedagogy 2016 Teacher of the Year as well as the College of Education 2016 Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Marisela Rodriguez
Dr. Marisela Rodriguez is a wonderful asset to the Laredo Housing Authority. After receiving a Master’s of Science in Biology from UTSA, she began teaching at J. B. Alexander High School Magnet for Health and Science. Her trajectory in education continued as she began teaching at Laredo Community College and worked on programs with the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rodriguez is currently the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Laredo Community College. She received her Doctorate of Education from Texas A&M in Kingsville in 2016 and currently participates in various professional organizations such as Laredo Board of Realtors and National Board of Realtors, Rotary the Next Generation International Organization, and Texas Community College Teachers Association.
Gina Magallanes represents the residents of the Colonias on the Board of Commissioners. She is a Laredo-native and attended Nixon High School. Ms. Magallanes has lived at Russell Terrance for the last 10 years. She was elected and served as President of Russell Terrace’s Resident Council for 2 years. She believes that the work that Laredo Housing Authority does is important to help the low-income and at-risk communities in our city. Her main focus at LHA is on the children. As a mother of two, she thinks it is important to help our children succeed by not only providing a roof over their heads with safe spaces for play and creativity, but by also giving them every opportunity to develop into fruitful members of our community.
Ms. Anita Guerra was honored to be appointed by Mayor Pete Saenz to the Board of the Laredo Housing Authority on March 15, 2017, and to be able to serve the residents and citizens of Laredo alongside such accomplished board members. She was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. After graduating from J.W. Nixon High School, Commissioner Guerra attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she earned her undergraduate degree from Trinity University in four (4) years and subsequently retuned to Laredo, Texas. She continues to work at a local unit of government where she started in 1996 as a research assistant. She has devoted her entire career and over 20 years of her life to serving the local community of Laredo and Webb County through her public sector work. Due to her great love of and strong belief in life-long learning, Commissioner Guerra also earned her advanced degrees from Texas A&M International University, where she earned her Master of English (MA) in 2001, and her Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 2011. Commissioner Guerra also volunteers as an active member of the MPA Program advisory board and currently serves as the president of the MPA Alumni Association. Blessed Sacrament Church, her lifelong parish, is the church at which she attends Sunday mass every week. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, writing, swimming, volunteering and taking enrichment classes at local institutions of higher learning.
Acting/Interim Executive Director
Melissa Ortiz, born and raised in Laredo, TX, attended Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She first began her career with the Laredo Housing Authority in 2002 and has worked in many departments including Resident Services, Finance, and now Administration as the Acting/Interim Executive Director. She also serves in the community as part of the Laredo Homeless Coalition, Laredo Homeless Committee, and Poverty Round Table. Mrs. Ortiz’s goal for LHA is to provide more affordable housing to the community primarily focusing on ending homelessness and assisting Veterans, the elderly, and community youth. She is also interested in modernizing the realm of public housing while still maintaining and preserving the historical beauty of the Colonias.
A strong administration is the foundation of every agency. LHA’s Administrative Department is focused on efficient and effective leadership that produce the best outcomes for the agency and the population it services.
Information Technology Department
With today’s technologically-demanding society, it is crucial for the Agency to be able to function in a fast-paced and high-volume environment. The LHA IT department is committed to providing the Agency with a versatile and secure infrastructure so the Agency can function efficiently and securely as it rises to face the challenges set by today’s technological demands.
The Finance Department hold the purse strings so that the Agency can not only effectively administer the Agency’s programs, but to also meet it’s financial obligations as well. This department is committed to efficiently streamlining our operations and ensuring that the lights stay on and the bills get paid.
As the logisticians of the Agency, the Procurement Department ensure that all items purchased by the Agency and it’s various programs are accounted for and delivered to their final destinations. They also are invaluable in obtaining and retaining services and products essential to the operation of the Agency. Nothing is too big nor too small for this department!
Public Housing Department
As gatekeepers of our Colonias, the Public Housing Department facilitates the entry of all the residents from the moment a community member calls to inquire about the program to the moment when they become residents and are handed they keys to their new unit.
Section 8 Department
The ladies and gentlemen of the Section 8 Department are charged with helping the residents and landlords that participate in the Housing Choice Voucher. By giving a tenant the option to housing anywhere in the community, this department is battling homelessness one voucher at a time!
Resident Services Department
The mission of LHA is to serve our residents and our community. The Resident Services Department is at the forefront of the cause. They connect the agency straight to the residents. It is through the diligent work, service, and passion of these ladies and gentlemen that our residents have their problems solved, educational and recreational programs, and a place to call home.
Modernization & Development Department
The Modernization & Development Department are the tinkers of the agency. These masterminds use their knowledge and tools to make major improvements at all our Colonias and develop new strategies to create efficient and beautiful living spaces.
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