Dr. LaTina Denson, AICP has over twenty (20) years of planning, public policy and community development experience, particularly in the areas of housing and neighborhood development. Dr. Denson obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware. She is also a graduate of Michigan State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and a Master of Urban & Regional Planning with a joint degree in Urban Affairs.
Dr. Denson has served in leadership positions with, and provided technical assistance to, municipalities, nonprofits and public housing authorities to accomplish varied goals and objectives. In other capacities, she has managed projects for several citywide development initiatives. She has written, implemented, and monitored neighborhood and area plans aimed at addressing urban issues and development options in communities. Dr. Denson was a consultant for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development at their Washington, DC headquarters where she monitored sites in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania to ensure programs for community and supportive services.
Her research and teaching interests have been a direct reflection of her practical experience in community development and urban planning. During Dr. Denson’s academic career at the University of Delaware, she co-instructed a Master’s level course entitled Urban Society and Urban Policy and Community Development Theory, Concepts and Practice. She was affiliated with the Center for Community Research and Service where she served on a team funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation to examine mix- income communities. Dr. Denson, with a grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation, was able to examine linkages between housing and public schools at HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization sites. The Journal of Urban Affairs published an article which she co-authored, “Attracting Middle-Income Families in the HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization Program.” In addition, she has presented at several national conferences about her experiences in housing.
She was the 2000 recipient of the Marvin S. Gilman/National Housing Endowment Scholarship in U.S. Housing and Urban Policy, an award presented to those committed to housing research and dedicated to strengthening housing policy in the United States. She served on the Board of Directors of The National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH), an organization committed to assist resident services employees and public housing residents by shaping national housing policy and speaking on matters impacted by changing economic conditions and shifting political priorities.
In 2009, she survived a major stroke and spent several months in the hospital and therapy recovering from both physical and cognitive impairments. During her recovery, she began working and speaking on health and disability concerns. After her stroke, she became a public benefits system user. Unsettled by the lengthy process faced by public benefits system users, she joined Civilla, a group whose purpose was to help redesign how the MI Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) delivers service. Currently, along with Southfield Multimedia Cable 15, she hosts “Unlimited: Share the Story” highlighting mental, physical and health challenges. She is a volunteer at the World Health Relief working on long range policy and practices at their new headquarters in Southfield.
Dr. Denson continues her civic engagement and volunteerism with the appointment by the Mayor and City Council to the City of Southfield Planning Commission and the Commission on Senior Adults (COSA). She was selected as an ambassador to Southfield, Michigan, where she was committed to stimulating progress within Southfield’s community, civic, business and economic development landscapes.
She lives in Southfield, Michigan and has lived in the southern and eastern regions of the United States. As a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 2000, she continues her dedication to improve neighborhoods, communities, planning and public policy practices.