Jamaican, Marica Barry-Smith, Director of Community Outreach and Program Services for Habitat for Humanity of Broward, has been elected Chair of the Broward Housing Council.
“To be elected by the Council for this role is an honor. There are complex issues that must be addressed and my esteemed Council members and I will be looking closely at the many facets of the affordable housing crisis in Broward County,” said Barry-Smith.
Barry-Smith has worked in the area of affordable housing in banking and non-profit boards and management since 1994. Highly regarded as an expert in community development around the nation, Barry-Smith’s nationally acclaimed program ‘Homeless to Homeowner’ has placed hundreds of formerly homeless families into homeownership, empowering them to reach for independence and financial fitness.
“The need for safe, sustainable housing in Broward County for those of limited means is at an all-time, dangerously critical high,” said Barry-Smith. “Safe, comfortable and affordable living conditions are essential for families and children to simply exist from day to day, much less thrive. The connection between living conditions and good health outcomes is indisputable. As an unequivocal advocate for the underserved, I consider it an honor to serve on this council.”
Last March, Barry-Smith received a Woman of Distinction award from the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) in recognition for her leadership in the community. In October of 2017, Barry-Smith also received an Economic Opportunity Award from the Broward County Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). Additionally, she serves on numerous boards including the Lauderhill Local Affordable Housing Committee.
The Housing Council was established in 1974 and serves in an advisory capacity to the County Commission and to facilitate coordination between the County, Municipalities, the business community and not-for-profit groups to address housing issues including, but not limited to, affordable housing, workforce housing, and homelessness. The Council’s vision affirms: “All residents of Broward County should have opportunities to access safe, decent and affordable housing countywide, which is the cornerstone for healthy, successful and sustainable communities.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Broward
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Broward brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat Broward offers a “hand up” not a “hand out” to low to very low-income families who are unable to qualify for conventional financing but are willing to work hard to improve their family’s lives. Key initiatives include empowering partner families through education, resources and support to successfully achieve their personal, academic and professional goals; teaching the youth of future homeowner families the skills and attitudes needed to make better life choices and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty; increasing awareness and educating the community regarding issues related to the affordable housing crisis and what they can do to help; pursuing green building certification for Habitat Broward homes in order to make our design more sustainable and eco-friendly; as well as revitalizing and strengthening the community by building affordable homes throughout Broward County. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Broward please call (954) 396-3030 or visit our website at or check us out on Facebook at .