Last Wednesday was the last day of work at the San Carlos Housing Authority for Alonzo Lamas, the chief financial officer at the housing authority for 11 years, five months and five days, as Alonzo so meticulously pinpointed. Anyone who knows Alonzo will not be surprised by this attention to detail. If nothing else, Alonzo is a stickler for the facts.
In my long friendship with Alonzo, I quickly learned that he is a no-nonsense sort of person — someone who knows what he knows and speaks his mind. He will be sorely missed at the San Carlos Housing Authority, and he will be missed in the Indian Country housing industry generally.
Alonzo is most proud of his immaculate audit record at the housing authority. Over the span of his 11 years in charge of the accounting and finances for the San Carlos Housing Authority, there were 11 perfect audits submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — not a blemish in the lot. And that is something that cannot be said of many housing authorities, Indian or non-Indian for that matter.
In that same 11-year period, Alonzo was instrumental in helping the housing authority complete tax credit-financed housing projects that included, no less than 45 new homes, five new community facilities, and the complete rehabilitation of over 200 homes. He is very proud that the housing authority is on a path for even more tax credit projects, leveraging its scarce NAHASDA dollars and generating millions of dollars of non-program development fee income for housing projects.
This is something that Alonzo thinks every tribe should look at doing.
As he said, “The need for housing in Indian Country is so great, housing authorities need to be creative in finding funds to develop their communities.”
We are very proud of our long friendship with Alonzo, and we will miss him very much. We also wish him well as he looks at new adventures. I am certain that no matter what Alonzo finds himself doing, it will be done well. Thanks for 11 wonderful years, Alonzo, and please keep in touch.