Much like the population it serves, the affordable housing industry is full of diverse housing providers.
In an effort to highlight our employees and their unique affordable housing journeys, Quadel will feature staff members in a new series entitled Passionate People. Our first feature is Andre Serrette, Arizona Quadel’s Managing Director.
Mr. Serrette has been with AZQ since the office opened in 2018. A Los Angeles native, Serrette said he loves Phoenix and has enjoyed the “change” the metro-Phoenix area has offered over the years. His favorite activity is hiking and believes the metro area is “the perfect place to hike.”
Learn about Serrette’s journey into affordable housing and what drives him to be a passionate professional below.
How did you get into the affordable housing industry?
“I actually began as an intern at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles towards the end of my undergraduate years. I had a friend in college who had already been an intern there. He encouraged me to apply, and that’s where it all began. I stepped away from the internship during graduate school. But, my very first full-time job after I graduated was back in the affordable housing industry with California Quadel.”
What do you like most about working in the affordable housing industry?
“We often hear about so much of the ‘bad’ that is going on in the housing world. It can be very easy to get desensitized if you go by the narrative. However, there are many tenants that are very, very appreciative of what we do. We truly make a difference in their lives; more than we even know.”
What continues to surprise you about the industry?
“The narrative around the Housing Choice Voucher program can still be very negative and there is still such a great deal of nimbyism pertaining to the program.”
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from working in this industry?
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Why is affordable housing important, and why should people care about the services Quadel provides?
“Housing in the entire country has become so expensive. It can be so hard for families to put a roof over their heads. We’re even seeing situations where multiple generations of working adults have to be in a household just to pay the rent or mortgage. As a society, we have to ensure we’re providing reasonable options for people to live.”
What is your goal/motivation as a professional housing provider?
“To simply keep at it. The work we do and the decisions we make affect thousands of clients. I can never lose sight of that.”