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Prof. Odinet re-elected chair of housing authority board

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Prof. Chris Odinet was recently re-elected as chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of East Baton Rouge Parish for 2016.

The board administers the parish’s public housing and Section 8 voucher program, as well as builds a number of affordable housing developments through its non-profit affiliate, Partners for Progress, Inc. Members of the board are appointed by the Baton Rouge Metro Council. Odinet’s term as chairperson will be for another year.

He says serving on this board is a pleasure. “As an academician who researches and writes about property law and housing finance, serving in this capacity gives me the unique opportunity to combine theory and practice, while getting to interact with some really stellar housing professionals,” he explains. Odinet has published and spoken widely on issues related to mortgage lending and the financing of community development projects.

During his first term as board chair, he helped facilitate a larger board discussion on the future of the housing authority and how the agency might expand its affordable housing offerings. Particularly, such expansions may include mixed-income projects and through the combination of housing initiatives with those of the parish’s redevelopment authority and community development office.

“In the upcoming year we’re going to continue our broader, strategic discussion of how the agency can continue to grow and be even more innovative,” Odinet explained.

A board retreat will be held sometime in the first quarter of 2016. “Led by our outside, national consultants, the goal is to help us think big and imagine what’s possible as the authority continues to serve the affordable housing needs of the parish,” he said.

“The Southern University Law Center has a tradition of instilling a sense of public service in our students, and that commitment is equally expected of the faculty,” Prof. Odinet said.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be able to serve on this board with some really wonderful colleagues and to work with a great executive director and staff. The support of the Law Center’s faculty and administration in these endeavors is greatly appreciated.”