4 questions with this year’s Trailblazer, Peter Lynn!
At this year’s Home For Good Summit, Peter Lynn from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles was recognized as Los Angeles County’s Trailblazer! Peter plays an essential role at the Housing Authority, leading the way with new and innovative strategies for ending chronic and veteran homelessness.
1. What is your role at the Housing Authority?
I’m the Director of Section 8 for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. It’s my role to ensure that we operate the Authority’s rental assistance programs with excellence on all HUD metrics while meeting the housing needs of very low income and homeless Angelenos. The income-eligible population outnumbers our available assistance by about 10 to one, so the challenge is to balance the use of these critical resources against the wide variety of housing needs in our community, which includes tens of thousands of homeless, many with deep supportive service needs. Section 8 is a complex, thoroughly regulated program that brings together many political, public and non-profit partners, as well as our landlord community. It’s a joy to run on behalf of the people of Los Angeles.
2. Why did you first get involved in the issue of homelessness?
I started working on housing assistance for people with special challenges, including homelessness, in 2001 with the Section 8 program of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, after being displaced from my own home following the World Trade Center attack.
3. Tell us about one innovation you’ve initiated at HACLA in the last year that you believe has made a big impact.
There were several initiatives last year I’m proud of, from our working group to collaboratively address barriers to access to housing for the homeless, to extending almost 500 more Shelter Plus Care units by maximizing the grant funding available, to transferring almost 500 SPC residents who no longer required the program’s high level of supportive services into our tenant-based voucher program, freeing those units for chronically homeless individuals who need them.
4. In a movie about your life, what actor would play you?
Wait, are you saying I can’t have the role? Get my agent on the phone.