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Aaron Darden

President & CEO, Tulsa Housing

Part 1: This week on ChangeMakers, Katie welcomes Aaron Darden, the President and CEO of the Tulsa Housing Authority. With nearly a decade of leadership experience at the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency in Nashville, Darden has hit the ground running since taking the helm at THA, securing $80 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants and undergoing a portfolio conversion of its public housing properties. Since Darden’s arrival, THA has leveraged over $350 million towards affordable housing development. Under his direction, the housing authority is driving transformative change through innovative public-private partnerships aimed at uplifting communities and increasing housing access in Tulsa. Tune in as Darden discusses his inspiring vision for revitalizing urban neighborhoods and creating equitable opportunities.

Part 2: The conversation turns to the Tulsa Housing Authority’s major recent accomplishment: being awarded two significant and highly competitive Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Katie congratulates Aaron, noting that these federal grants are extremely difficult to obtain, and asks him to discuss his innovative strategy that made THA’s proposals stand out. Darden explains his team’s approach, sharing exciting details about the transformative redevelopment plans for the targeted neighborhoods that will catalyze comprehensive community revitalization efforts with new mixed-income housing, improved services, amenities, and economic opportunities. He also covers the profound impact these awards will have on the organization’s broader initiatives and objectives, reflecting THA’s commitment to creating sustainable, vibrant communities. Darden outlines how the dedicated team that drove this successful grant pursuit exemplifies this mission, providing insights into the long-lasting effect these achievements will have on uplifting Tulsa residents for years to come.