Year 2013

Owyne Gardner

Return to Press Releases

Contact: Dan Stern,, 202-842-8600

HAC Honors Local Leader for Rural Housing Work

Washington, D.C., January 22, 2013 – Owyne Gardner, T&MA Regional Manager, Little Dixie Community Action Agency in Hugo, OK, received the Skip Jason Award for Community Service from the Housing Assistance Council. This award, named for Robert M. “Skip” Jason, recognizes individuals whose efforts have improved the housing conditions of the rural poor in their communities. Representative Bennie Thompson (MS) presented the award.

owyne_gardner_13As a divorced mother of two small children, Owyne Gardner struggled for several years to provide for her family. In 1980, under a work program, she began her tenure at Little Dixie Community Action Agency. Thirty-two years later, she is one of the most well-respected self-help housing experts in the country. It was Owyne’s own road out of poverty that has led her to be a champion for housing the working poor. She assisted self-help housing programs in many states to build up from scratch. Her guidance of these new programs resulted in thousands of families realizing the American dream of home ownership.

“Owyne has always been a tireless activist for rural people and communities,” said Moises Loza, Executive Director at HAC. “Her energy, passion and dedication inspire us all and HAC is proud to partner with her to build stronger rural communities in Oklahoma.”

Al accepted his award at a ceremony at the National Rural Housing Conference in Washington, D.C.

About the Housing Assistance Council

A national nonprofit corporation headquartered in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1971, the Housing Assistance Council helps local organizations build affordable homes in rural America by providing below-market financing, technical assistance, research, training and information services. HAC’s programs focus on local solutions, empowerment of the poor, reduced dependency, and self-help strategies. HAC is an equal opportunity lender.


Photos from this event are available online.