Cynthia Telfer

Melvindale Housing Commission

Cynthia Telfer
Cynthia "Cindy" Telfer spent her career in the affordable housing industry, starting in 1981 with the City of Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Housing Commission. She worked as a public housing manger, maintenance supervisor and led a team of Housing Choice Voucher managers. Her passion for service to others was groomed by working with low-income families and collaborating with many area service providers to promote client self-sufficiency. The late Congressman John Dingell recognized this dedication on August 18, 2006 in a letter thanking Cindy "for a public service job well done". Attending college at night, Cindy graduated from Cleary University, Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1998.
As Cindy continued to navigate the affordable housing world she worked as a teacher, coach and mentor with private housing providers and public housing agencies. Working as a contractor with Quadel Consulting, Cindy taught fellow housing providers regulations pertaining to Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) occupancy requirements, Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher and affordable housing regulations.
After becoming the Executive Director of the Melvindale Housing Commission in 2012, consisting of 199 residents in a high rise tower and administering 133 section 8 vouchers, Cindy pursued the development of a subsidiary non-profit (The Greatest of These Is Love) to provide affordable household items through “Nora's Closet” and free meals through “The Ladle of Love Bistro.” Later partnering with a development consultant, Cindy guided Melvindale’s public housing development through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, obtained tax credits and modernized Coogan Terrace.
Managing a small housing choice voucher program, Cindy sought opportunities to expand affordable housing for community members by adding vouchers through funding via the Mainstream, Family Unification and Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) programs. An initial allocation of twenty-five Mainstream vouchers was awarded in 2018, and additional Mainstream vouchers were awarded through CARE act funding in 2020 and 2021. Working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services/Foster Care has enabled Cindy to provide affordable housing and prevent homelessness to qualified foster youth.