2018 Ambassador Award

Congratulations to Karen Spellman

for receiving the

2018 Ambassador Award at the DE NAHRO Annual Meeting

Karen A. Spellman is the Interim Executive Director of Wilmington Housing Authority, a position she has held for the past two (2) years. Karen has over 20 years of executive-level experience at WHA and 18 years of experience working at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Karen’s broad knowledge of the housing industry, compassion for others and commitment to doing what is right is highlighted in her accomplishments, which include:

  • Developed the One Stop Shop – designed to assist residents with becoming self sufficient by offering economic development, education, parenting, financial management, homeownership counseling, etc. via partnering with various social service agencies in the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware. These programs have assisted over 28 families with becoming owners of their own home.
  • Responsible for writing a grant awarded on behalf of the Pearl Center Project in the amount of $246,000 to build housing for homeless veterans.
  • Plan to use an Energy Performance Contract and Capital Improvement funding to rehabilitate 36 long-term vacant scattered site units within 18 months after we receive HUD approval. These units will be included in the Section 32 Homeownership Program creating more homeownership opportunities for WHA’s residents. Upon completion WHA’s Public Housing Program will qualify for high performer status.
  • Building a Solar Energy Farm located in Southbridge that will generate energy savings in excess of $1.2 million for WHA.
  • Ownership of The Park View has been reverted back to WHA via limited partnership buy-out.

Wilmington Housing Authority has been going through some difficult times during Karen’s tenure as Interim Executive Director and through it all Karen has been the “anchor” for WHA’s employees, residents, and the mission of the Agency.

Karen has also been a member of the DE NAHRO Executive Board since 2012.  During her time on the Board she has been a strong supporter of the organization.   One of her many contributions included coordinating a number of the sessions at the DE NAHRO sponsored 2014 MARC Conference.

In addition to her dedication to WHA, Karen loves spending time with her four (4) children Keisha, Deanna, LaVar and “adopted” son Tyrell, their significant others and her fifteen (15) grandchildren.   


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