Cassie Hicks, director of Housing at The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), has been named as one of 12 members of the inaugural Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organized the committee as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The advisory panel will work with HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling to improve efforts to provide consumers with the knowledge they need to make informed housing decisions.
Hicks, who has worked with IDS’ housing programs since 2001, will participate in an orientation meeting at the White House on June 21. While there, she will participate in a separate event, “Dare to Own the Dream,” a June Homeownership Month celebration.
“It is truly an honor and a great opportunity to have been selected to work with this first-ever federal advisory committee,” said Hicks. “I look forward in serving to make an impact for Mississippi, but also for our nation, by exploring new opportunities to expand access to HUD housing counseling programs and developing new innovative strategies to support community-based counseling agencies.”
Nominees for the advisory committee were selected from among mortgage, real estate, consumer and housing counseling sectors. Through her work within the housing industry, Hicks has worked with the IDS Mississippi Home of Your Own program, the City of Jackson HOME Investment partnership program, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Affordable Housing program, as well as other housing initiatives, that have assisted hundreds of Mississippians in obtaining permanent housing. IDS’ housing programs have a special focus in working with homeownership initiatives for people with disabilities and their families.
“We are so pleased to see Mrs. Hicks aptly chosen for such a prestigious and impactful leadership position,” said Dr. Beth Bryant-Claxton, executive director of IDS. “She will most certainly provide a wealth of knowledge and passion to the work of the advisory committee. IDS is proud to lend her expertise to shape our nation’s housing policy and practice.”
For more information about IDS and its state and national award winning housing programs, visit www.usm.edu/disability-studies.