She takes the recently vacated seat of Commissioner Dana Wefer, who resigned from her seat on the board in June. Wefer said she and her family would soon be moving out of town so she could no longer serve on the board.
The seven-member board oversees 1,353 units of low-income and senior citizen public housing on the west side of Hoboken. The HHA is partly funded by subsidies from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
Five of the commissioners are appointed by the City Council, one is appointed by the mayor, and one is appointed by the commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs.
Reyes, a lifelong Hoboken resident, has lived in the Hoboken Housing Authority for a little over 10 years. She said that gives her a unique understanding of the needs of its residents.
Earlier this month the council appointed Reyes to the board with a unanimous vote.
“I believe from day one of moving into the housing authority,” said Reyes. “I have never missed a meeting. Right away I began to educate myself on the goings on in the HHA, I would OPRA documents, and ask housing authority administrators questions until I got the answers.”
Reyes currently works for local nonprofit HOPES CAP Inc. as a Community Services Programs Supervisor.
“Working at a nonprofit which helps low income individuals, I know what’s needed in the community,” said Reyes.
“I definitely think that safety and quality of life of the residents is my passion.” – Barbara Reyes
Wefer took to Facebook after hearing of Reyes’ appointment congratulating her on the position and said she was “proud to have her fill my seat.”
“Barbara doesn’t just attend every meeting, she participates in every meeting,” wrote Wefer. “She listens intently, asks relevant questions during public portion, and comes up with ideas to address some of the practical problems the housing authority is facing. She’s not doing that out of allegiance to any political faction. That type of commitment comes from a deep and enduring commitment to the community and a passion for civic service.”
In an interview after the meeting, Reyes said, “I am absolutely excited to be sworn in here tonight. I think it went pretty good. It takes a lot of time to get used to it and learn everything but I have good people around me to help me. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners. “
Reyes said that there are several issues she will want to address while on the board in order to help her fellow residents.
“I definitely think that safety and quality of life of the residents is my passion,” said Reyes. “I think I will also focus a lot on facilities and coming up with resolutions to address some of those issues.”
Marilyn Baer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.