In an effort to learn more about the Florida Redevelopment Associations’ (FRA) efforts and hear from some of the leaders in the state, the CRA team attended the FRA Conference and came back energized and ready to continue transforming Delray!
The 2022 FRA Conference was held this year on October 12 through 14, 2022 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. Our team of Executive Director Renee Jadusingh, Assistant Director Christine Tibbs, Legal Advisor Kim Phan, Esq., Redevelopment Manager Ivan Cabrera, Community Engagement Director Alexina Jeannite, and Arts Warehouse Manager Grace Gdaniec, represented the Delray Beach CRA and brought back insight and ideas on how we can always better our District.
“It’s an opportunity to really get a sense of how many organizations around the state are working to make a positive impact like we are. I enjoy sitting in on the panels of varying topics, and have definitely learned something new each year,” Gdaniec said. “It’s also nice to speak with people from other organizations and get to know what is happening in other cities, and while each city is different by size and budget, everyone is working really hard.”
The goal of the FRA is to transform urban places into vibrant, thriving commercial areas and neighborhoods. According to the FRA, this is done beyond the latest urban renewal trends as they advocate for effective legal and financial tools to support long term, solid alternatives to urban blight.
“One of my favorite takeaways was from the keynote speaker from U.S. Hunger, Mr. Rick Whitted, who discussed how addressing food insecurity was so much more than food itself. He challenged the audience to ask the question: ‘Why are people hungry in the first place?’ His approach is not simply to feed people, but to use food as a connector to learn what real underlying issues need to be addressed,” Jeannite said. “He demonstrated in real time the direct correlation between food deserts in our communities and the underlying root of poverty in those areas – it was very informative and engaging. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn and to network with other CRA staff from all over the state, who share a common vision with the work we do every day.”
Our work on the Carver Square Workforce Housing Development earned us an hour-long event discussion, titled Collaborative Approach to Affordable Housing. The focus was on the different methods and programs for addressing affordable/workforce housing through counties, cities and CRAs. With creative thinking, layering of programs can lead to successful affordable housing/workforce housing developments, especially when CRAs, cities and counties work together.
“Attending the FRA conference is a great experience because I learned from other CRAs work/projects, current challenges/topics for CRAs and make connections with other professionals or people involved in CRAs mission. I always look forward to attending this conference and seeing people from other CRAs,” Cabrera said. “My favorite part are the sessions and the awards ceremony where projects are recognized statewide.”
It was another great event where we were able to connect with and learn from other CRAs, with a goal to always continue our mission and vision for the betterment of our community members.
- CRA Legal Advisor, Kim Phan, Esq. participated in the panel called “Hot Legal Topics in Redevelopment”.
- CRA Executive Director, Renee Jadusingh participated in the panel called “Collaborative Approach to Affordable Housing”.
- The CRA had two team members graduate from the FRA Academy, and receive their certification as Redevelopment Administrator (RA). Congratulations to Kim Phan and Christine Tibbs!
- CRA Executive Director Renee Jadusingh was elected as Treasurer for the FRA for 2022-2023.