The activities reported on this dynamic web site reflect our mission: to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for assisted families at or below 80 percent of median income. Our tools are HACEP's existing housing stock, private rentals under the Housing Choice Voucher Program that meet HUD's Housing Quality Standards, and income-producing real estate ventures. Additionally, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve self-sufficiency including realizing the American dream of homeownership. HACEP also connects our clients to a variety of other programs such as education, recreation, anti-drug programs, job training, and small business development agencies that are designed to help residents of subsidized housing achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence.
Our ambitious construction and modernization program ensures that all our properties meet or exceed the Department of Housing and Urban Development's housing quality standards. Many of our developments represent some of the best housing stock in El Paso. This includes the Paisano Green Community, a 73-unit community for the elderly that will achieve Net Zero, LEED Platinum, Zero Fossil Fuels, and Green Enterprise status. HACEP also developed the Revitalization Plan Statement for Hope VI Urban Revitalization Demonstration program for the Kennedy Brothers Memorial Apartments (KBMA), and the 317-unit Alamito HOPE VI project that is part of the revitalization of "Segundo Barrio." The Affordable Housing Disposition Program (AHDP) assures that a portion of the vast portfolio of RTC properties is made available to lower income renters and homeowners.
The real story of HACEP is not found in our "brick and mortar" projects, it is within our residents and staff. Throughout our developments, residents are actively engaged in a full range of programs promoting personal, social and economic development.
We are confident that as you learn more about us, you too will recognize that the best is yet to come!
Meet the HACEP Management Team
Gerald W. Cichon -Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso – one of the nation’s largest and highest-performing providers of affordable housing programs for low-income families, Mr. Cichon manages a $75 million budget that supports 450 employees, 6,500 public housing units, 5,300 Housing Choice Vouchers and 1,600 tax credit and non-subsidized units that collectively house some 40,000 El Pasoans.
Since his appointment in January 2008, Mr. Cichon integrated progressive payroll technologies to replace antiquated systems, revamped HACEP’s hiring process to attract industry-leading professionals from across the country, enhanced the integrity of the procurement process, secured more than $21 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – including an $8.3 million competitive grant to build a Net Zero, Fossil Fuels Free, LEED Platinum public housing community for the elderly – to improve the quality, availability and energy-efficiency of affordable housing units, and energized HACEP’s homeownership programs to reduce generational dependency on housing assistance.
In May 2009, he executed a successful restructuring of the public housing department to the Asset Management Program to improve the allocation of management resources and customer service to its 20,000 residents while maintaining the department’s status as a high performer by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He then implemented fraud and compliance units to the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs to seek and prosecute unlawful practices among residents who understate reported income and to ensure HACEP meets all federally-mandated rules and regulations within its housing programs. He also distributed additional housing choice vouchers to families in need while other housing authorities had to cut participants due to budgetary shortfalls, improved HUD’s judgment of the HCV Program from a standard to a high performer on the SEMAP assessment, and implemented a Section 504 compliance department to ensure HACEP provides adequate accommodations for persons with disabilities. Meanwhile, Mr. Cichon successfully re-energized a stalled $20 million HOPE VI revitalization project to transform the Alamito complex in Downtown El Paso into a vibrant $58 million mixed-income community.
. Mr. Cichon is an experienced attorney and is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Prior to his appointment as HACEP CEO, he practiced law as Chief Counsel for the Western District of Texas with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) from 2001-2008. From 1997-2001, Mr. Cichon practiced as Senior Felony Prosecutor for the El Paso District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted thousands of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases. He also served as a legislative aide in Washington , D.C. , for the U.S. Senator for the State of Colorado .
Mr. Cichon earned his Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio and his Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from the University of Colorado in Boulder . His professional certifications include a licensed Texas real estate agent, a certified Public Housing Manager, and a certified Asset Manager.
Satish Bhaskar - Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Bhaskar comes to HACEP with more than 30 years experience in the finance field. He graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University
, Block School of Business; and a Master of Accounting (MA) from the University
Mr. Bhaskar's professional qualifications and experience include working for the Housing Authority of the City of New Haven, CT as Chief Financial and
Housing Authority of Kansas City, MO where he started in 2003 as Director of Finance ascending to the position of Chief Financial Officer; Vice-President, Administration/CFO BGC of the Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, a Kansas City affiliate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; SVP/Chief Finance & Compliance Officer for Full Employment Council Inc., a Kansas City-based employment and training agency funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor where he started in 1987 holding several positions such as: Senior Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, and VP and Chief Financial Officer; Supervisor of Client Services for Sellers & Co., CPA, a regional certified public accountant firm. Mr. Bhaskar also worked as Chief Accountant for B D Steel Casting LTD in Bombay
Mr. Bhaskar holds the following housing certifications: Certified Public Housing Manager, Certified Public Housing Asset Management Executive, and Certified Housing Choice Voucher Executive.Mr. Bhaskar is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the India Association of Kansas City.
Stan Waterhouse - Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Waterhouse is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of HACEP’s affordable housing initiatives and programs, including Public Housing, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Development and Capital Projects, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Non-ACC properties.
His previous experience pertained to the development and management of over 100 world-class resorts, golf courses, and residential communities. He has also served as an advisor and asset manager for financial institutions, banks, and real estate investment firms. Most recently, he directed Haig Point Club and Community Association, a 1,100 acre sea island enclave, located off the coast of South Carolina between Hilton Head and Savannah, Georgia, through its transition to self-management.
Previously, Mr. Waterhouse was Senior Vice President of Operations for Ginn Clubs and Resorts where he oversaw $1.3 billion in hospitality assets – nine diverse 5 Star properties, 1,500 employees and over 4,600 members – as the company emerged from construction and start-up mode into full-scale operations. Before that, he served as Vice President for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where he spearheaded the company’s expansion to include private residence clubs, private club communities and golf assets. As a member of the Company’s senior leadership committee, he collaborated in the production of over $2 billion in revenue and laid the groundwork for the company’s second Malcolm Baldrige Award.
From 1988 through 1996, he worked with Club Corporation of America, the world’s largest private club operator, rising to Regional Vice President. He was responsible for 20 properties, producing $65 million annually with an employee base of 2,500.
A native of Texas, Stan holds an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, American Hotel and Lodging Association, and National Golf Course Owners Association.
Michael Spurlock - Legal Counsel / Corporate Attorney
Mr. Spurlock comes to HACEP with a broad range of legal experience in our community. Prior to joining HACEP he served as Regional Managing Attorney for Advocacy, Inc., and as General Counsel for El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board. He has also practiced law with an El Paso law firm, as a sole practitioner, and served as an assistant city attorney.
Mr. Spurlock received his juris doctor degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio. He is member of the State Bar of Texas and is licensed in U.S. District Court. He also studied Spanish at Instituto Cuaunahuac Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
Yolanda Dion- Director of Budgets and Forecast
Ms. Dion has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The University of Texas in El Paso, graduating with a Major in Accounting. Ms. Dion has worked for HACEP for 20 years. Ms. Dion's first position within HACEP was as a Grants Accountant and worked her way up to the Directorship position. During her tenure with HACEP, Ms. Dion has received numerous HUD certifications and continues to receive extensive training through HACEP on all areas of Management and Finance. She has also obtained her Public Housing Manager Certification. Prior to joining HACEP, Ms. Dion worked for the County of El Paso Auditor's Office as a Payroll Accountant and has worked for the private sector as Account Payable/Accounts Receivable Accountant.
Roman B. Velasquez - Director of Public Housing Programs
Mr. Velasquez has been employed with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Texas for the past 15 years. Since his employment, he has held several positions to include Housing Manager and Area Housing Supervisor. With a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, Mr. Velasquez is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration. Prior to his employment with HACEP, Mr. Velasquez worked as a Property Manager in the state of Hawaii for eight years and holds several professional designations and certifications in the field of residential property management, both in the public and private sectors, to include; Certified Public Housing Manager, Accredited Residential Manager, Certified Manager of Community Associations, Association Management Specialist and Certified Apartment Manager.
Lorena Rivera -
Director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program
Mrs. Rivera is a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso with a B.B.A. Degree in Finance and a Minor degree in Management and is presently pursuing an Executive MBA at UTEP. She also has an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Rose State College in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Mrs. Rivera has extensive knowledge in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and has been with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso for more than 10 years where she has held several positions including Housing Choice Voucher Supervisor for the Admissions Department, Accountant for the Internal Audits Department, Quality Assurance Accountant for the HCV Department, Accountant for the Budgets Department and Accountant Technician for the Payroll Department.
Her professional certifications include: HCV Eligibility Specialist Certification by Nan McKay, HCV Rent Calculation Specialist Certification by Nan McKay, Family Self-Sufficiency Specialist Certification by Nan McKay, Leadership Certificate Skills Program for Housing Authorities by The Human Resource Consortium, LLC, and Management Competencies Certification Program for Housing Authorities by The Human Resource Consortium, LLC.
Mrs. Rivera is a Native El Pasoan and is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Karen L. McCluskey - Director of Contract Compliance and Procurement Administration
Mrs. McCluskey has a Bachelors Degree in Science in Business Management and an MPA from UTEP. She comes to HACEP with more than 15 years of experience in Procurement and Contracts in the El Paso Community. Mrs. McCluskey is a Certified Texas Purchasing Manager (CTPM), has a Certification Degree in General Insurance and Bonds, and 6 years in the City Attorney's Office as Legal Assistant. Mrs. McCluskey has been an El Paso resident for more than 30 years.
Director of Development and Capital Projects
Mr. Olvera has a Masters in Engineering Management/Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in Chemical & Industrial Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, and comes to HACEP with more than 25 years of experience as a results-oriented executive manager in the private sector.
Mr. Olvera has served as President for subsidiaries and companies of two of the largest cement and construction materials companies in the world. He has also served as Director of International-Offset Programs for one of the largest aerospace companies, and developed international business opportunities for foreign customers.
Mr. Olvera served as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Rock Products Association, 1995 - 1999. In the Public Sector, Mr. Olvera served as Procurement and Contracts Manager for the West Texas Workforce Board. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Gary Knudsen - Director of Information Technology
Mr. Knudsen has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, an Associate of Science in Data Processing from the Control Data Institute, and an Associate of Arts Degree from Cypress College.
Mr. Knudsen's professional experience includes: Manager of Operations and Delivery, Business IT Manager for Engineered Materials Group, Engelhard CLAL, and Appearance and Performance Technologies, Manager of Data Processing, Production Operations Manger, EQ Site Coordinator, Supervisor of Information Systems, Plant IS Coordinator, Mottle Production Supervisor, and served in the USMC with a Military Occupational Specialty of Administration.
Mr. Knudsen was recognized for outstanding performance and professionalism through the receipt of Engelhard's 1996 Exceptional Quality Award.
Shane B. Griffith - Public Information and Government Relations Officer
Mr. Griffith is the media and government liaison for HACEP. He comes to HACEP with more than 10 years experience in the communications field. He graduated from the University of Connecticut (UConn) with a dual degree in Communications and Journalism and earned his MBA in International Business from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
Mr. Griffith's professional qualifications and experience include working as the Public Affairs Specialist for the El Paso Water Utilities – Public Service Board, a reporter and anchor for over four years for "Crossroads Magazine," a weekly television program broadcast throughout Connecticut, and the Executive Director of the "Four County Catholic," the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Norwich, CT, where he also served in the dual capacity as Associate Director of Communications. In addition, Mr. Griffith worked for ABC News Channel 8 in New Haven, CT, as the robotic camera operator and floor director.
Mr. Griffith is active in the El Paso community with the Paso del Norte Group and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. He is also a cellist and has performed with the orchestras of Las Cruces, NM; Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico; West Hartford, CT; University of Connecticut; and Bristol, CT.