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Meet the NMA team: Betty Turner

Posted by BEMuser on Mar 6, 2014 9:38:02 AM

Betty TurnerToday in the NMA "Meet the Team" interview series, we sit down with senior associate trainer Betty Turner. With longstanding expertise in subjects including transition to asset management, supervision, and working with commissioners, Ms. Turner frequently trains popular NMA classes such as Public Housing Management, Public Housing Specialist, Supervision and Management, and Hearing Officer Workshop.

Tell us about your work experience.

I have over 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry and have worked in both public housing and Section 8.

How did you get your start in the industry?

I ended up in the industry because I needed a job! I had no clue what a housing authority was about — in fact, I didn't know the government was even involved in housing!

How many years have you been at NMA?

Nine years. Ten years this September.

Education credentials and professional organizations?

B.S. in business administration, and some graduate school. I'm semi-retired now, so I don't do a lot with professional organizations anymore.

What’s one topic you’re most passionate about in the affordable housing industry?

Public housing management. You have an opportunity to work with the whole family in a very meaningful way.

What's your favorite part about your job?

I love training, especially when I see the class participants really getting it!

Describe your typical work day?

Up at 5:30 a.m., in the training room by 6:45 a.m., no lunch, out of the training room about 6 p.m.

Tell us about a successful project that you had a part in.

A collaboration with the social services department in assisting kids aging out of foster care with eligibility for family unification Section 8 vouchers.

Hobbies outside of work?

Movies! There's just something magical about sitting in a large, dark room full of strangers eating popcorn.

NMA senior associate trainer Betty Turner honed her creative team-building skills over more than three decades as executive director of both large and medium-sized PHAs.

Topics: asset management, commissioners, foster children, hearing officer, Meet the NMA team, public housing management, supervision

New NMA conference sessions and one-on-one consulting

Posted by NMA on Aug 29, 2013 3:32:22 PM

One week left to register for the 2013 NMA Housing Conference and GoSection8 User Conference! New track sessions and signups for one-on-one consulting have just been announced. To read the full list of sessions, go here.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Don't Waste Strategy Time on Goal Setting!
Presenter, Eric Kaufmann, President, Sagatica LLC

Most strategy sessions are merely operational — a missed leadership opportunity. Eric Kaufmann guides leadership teams across the country and coaches corporate CEOs. He will present the way to prepare a strategic action plan that becomes a useful resource to accomplish your agency’s goals within limited funding. You will discover the six deadly mistakes of strategy planning. Ask the right questions, set the right measurements, and get to work!

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Why Your Agency Should Be Taking a Second Look at RAD
Presenter, Carrol Vaughan

The RAD demonstration program is a unique opportunity for housing authorities to convert their at-risk public housing to long-term Section 8 rental assistance contracts. In this session, we’ll cover the latest information on the program and discuss why your housing authority should take a serious look at whether RAD would work for your agency. We’ll also hear from staff at a large housing authority on why their agency is considering submitting an application, and review the thought process involved in making the decision to apply.

Fair Housing/Civil Rights Reviews: Are You Prepared?
Presenter, Annie Stevenson

Using HUD’s civil rights review checklist, we’ll discuss fair housing requirements for the public housing and HCV programs. Topics will include limited English proficiency (LEP), reasonable accommodations, alternative communication methods, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to prepare for civil rights monitoring.

Free One-on-One NMA Consulting

Reserve your free session with an NMA industry expert! These consulting sessions are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In fact, some are already full, so we encourage you to sign up now.

Nan McKayNan McKay, President and Founder
Expertise: HCV program management

John McKayJohn McKay, CEO
Expertise: Performance management, applying Baldrige principles to affordable housing

Carrol VaughanCarrol Vaughan, VP of Professional Services
Expertise: Procurement, organizational development

Dorian JenkinsDorian Jenkins, VP of Program Management
Expertise: HCV program, public housing leasing, tenant relations, rent collection, REAC prep, cost controls

Cydney JonesCydney Jones, Director of Program Management
Expertise: General HCV topics and issues

Sheryl PutnamSheryl Putnam, Professional Development Manager
Expertise: LIHTC compliance, HOME, PBRA

Samantha PratterSamantha Pratter, Writing Supervisor
Expertise: HCV and public housing eligibility, occupancy, and rent calculation

Annie StevensonAnnie Stevenson, Senior Trainer
Expertise: Fair housing, hearings, EIV, general HCV and public housing topics

Terry ProvanceTerry Provance, Senior Trainer
Expertise: Fair housing, PHAS, public housing property management, general asset management issues

Sammie SzaboSammie Szabo, Associate Trainer
Expertise: General HCV and public housing, PBV, blended occupancy

Jay OrtenzoJay Ortenzo, Property Services Manager
Expertise: HCV inspections and standards, public housing maintenance management

Teri RobertsonTeri Robertson, Senior Consultant
Expertise: SEMAP, quality control, HCV program utilization

Betty TurnerBetty Turner, Senior Associate Trainer
Expertise: Transition to asset management, supervision, working with commissioners

Please note that you must be a registered conference attendee or new registrant in order to take advantage of free consulting sessions. Non-registrants without an accompanying registration are not eligible. Register online or email for more information. Winners of the 2013 NMA Housing Awards will be announced at the conference — don't miss it!

Topics: asset management, blended occupancy, commissioners, EIV, eligibility, executive management, fair housing, HCV utilization, hearing officer, HQS, inspections, LIHTC, maintenance, NMA Housing Awards, occupancy, PBRA, PBV, PHAS, program management, quality control, RAD, rent calculation, SEMAP, supervision, The Housing Conference

Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #20

Posted by NMA on May 15, 2013 10:42:06 AM

Cara Gillette

While public housing funding for May is now at an 82% proration level (up from 79% in April), sequestration is still in effect, and Congress shows no inclination to reverse it any time soon.

The business of owning and managing affordable housing in decent, safe, and sanitary condition and in good repair remains our mission. PHAs need to plan more strategically than ever before. So, as all businesses must ask in tough times: How can we maximize dollars and cut costs?

Tip #20: Consider at least partial regionalization.

If you're a small to medium PHA in the vicinity of other PHAs, consider the cost savings if you collaborate in some essential functions. Maybe you're not interested in or ready for full regionalization. But think about it: a regional site-based waiting list would give verified applicants much more choice. Regional accounting, HR, quality control (QC), RFPs and RFQs, and training could save a lot of needed dollars.

To review, here are the 20 tips we've discussed over the course of this series:

Maximize dollars

Reduce costs

Public housing directors and managers know how to do the job with tight resources. Working with reduced funding is a challenge. With strategic planning, accurate and timely reporting and monitoring of property performance, and highly competent property managers and staff, the PHA can ensure its properties are financially viable. As with any business, the properties need to look at ways to increase income and decrease costs. Looking collaboratively at revenue and expenditures enables the PHA to make those smart asset management decisions.

NMA senior associate Cara Gillette trains, consults, and provides technical assistance nationwide in fair housing, public housing management, hearings, economic self-sufficiency, and governing boards. Prior to joining NMA, Ms. Gillette served at the San Diego Housing Commission, administering its public housing and Section 8 waiting lists, serving as hearing officer, managing public housing, and overseeing resident economic development programs. She has previously written for the NMA blog about blended occupancy projects.

If you find that you need staffing help during sequestration, NMA can assist your agency with recertifications (done remotely), quality control, outsourced hearing officer services (done remotely), HQS inspections, and more. Email for more information.

Topics: asset management, budget cuts, executive management, occupancy, quality control, sequestration

The Green PNA: Your road map to asset improvement

Posted by NMA on Feb 27, 2013 9:28:37 AM

This article was recently published in the Winter 2012/2013 issue of the Affordable Housing News. As it may be of interest to our readers, we're reposting it here.

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has put an increased focus on energy conservation and green asset management. We’ve been hearing a lot of questions about the Green Physical Needs Assessment, or GPNA. What is the GPNA, and how will it affect those of us in the affordable housing industry?

In July of 2011, HUD issued a proposed rule to revise existing regulations governing physical needs assessments (PNAs). The proposed rule would require agencies to project the current modernization and life-cycle replacement repair needs of their projects over a 20-year period. In addition, the rule proposed to integrate the performance of the PNA with the performance of an energy audit.

That’s a big change from the current regulations, which only require five years of planning. However, these proposed changes should be welcomed, not feared. As HUD says in the notice, “The 20-year period coincides better with the useful life of individual properties and their building components and systems to ensure the long-term viability of the property.” The rule also proposes that PNAs be submitted electronically, which will minimize the burden.

With the Green PNA tool now available, and most of

the bugs worked out, it looks like the final rule on

energy audits and PNAs will be coming very soon.

In November of 2011, HUD followed up with a proposed rule on energy audits, which would identify energy-efficient measures that need to be addressed in the audit and lay out the procedures for improved coordination with PNAs. The rule would also define “core energy conservation measures (ECMs)” that must be considered, as well as “advanced ECMs” that agencies could, but would not be required to, consider (such as solar and geothermal power and green construction).

Last year, HUD released a Green PNA tool designed to gather energy audit data and facilitate its integration into long-term capital needs planning (you can find the user guide for the tool here). There are many other resources at HUD’s website that you can download and print out, including:

Now is a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the software and making some decisions about how you’ll respond to the new rule.

Specializing in real property services, Jay Ortenzo has been a technical trainer and consultant with Nan McKay and Associates for more than 20 years. With 34 years of housing experience in both public and private sectors, he develops technical training manuals and materials relating to federally subsidized programs on housing inspection, maintenance, and modernization. He recently spoke on HUD’s new GPNA planning tool and software at the Public Housing Authority Directors Association (PHADA) conference in January.

NMA can assist your agency with PNA planning and energy audits. For more information, contact

Topics: asset management, energy efficiency, final rule, green building, maintenance, PNA, proposed rule

Achieving maximum occupancy: Tip #5

Posted by NMA on Oct 18, 2012 11:23:17 AM

Tip #5: Plan for the future.

In Tip #2, I mentioned that the property manager should track the occupancy rate on a monthly basis. In doing so, your PHA will know whether the rate is improving, getting worse, or staying the same. But tracking is an ongoing process, and as your PHA approaches the end of its fiscal year, it will need to set new goals and plan for the following year, taking into consideration the identified problems and strengths.

This is an activity that should happen at the time of annual budget planning for the development. Keep in mind that planning is an area where everyone — development staff, the property manager, the asset manager, and executive management — needs to be in agreement.

Each development's occupancy rate is different,

and planning for each will likewise differ.

In order for your PHA to obtain the maximum score for occupancy in the PHAS management indicator, each development needs to achieve at least a 98 percent occupancy rate. How difficult a task this will be depends on the current circumstances at each development. If the development is having difficulty filling units and is experiencing a low occupancy rate, it could be quite challenging to achieve a 98 percent rate in the next year.

Taking such issues into consideration, your PHA needs to set goals that are realistic, but should also push the staff to do the best they can. If little is expected, little will be gained. On the other hand, if the development is already at 98 percent or higher, there may not be much more they have to do to maintain that rate, other than to keep doing what they're doing and monitor monthly in order to spot and correct any negative trends before they become a major concern.

To review, here are the five steps I've discussed to help your agency maximize occupancy under PHAS:

Remember, occupancy is the lifeblood of rental housing, and your occupancy rate has potential effects on every aspect of program operation. Understanding how to fill units and keep them filled is therefore essential — not just for improving PHAS scores, but for improving the overall health of your agency.

Terry Provance has been a trainer and consultant at Nan McKay and Associates since 1999. He specializes in the public housing program and is responsible for writing and keeping staff updated on asset management materials. He took the lead role in creating and developing NMA's new PH Occupancy Tracking Tool, which can be used by any rental development, whether or not it's HUD-assisted, including mixed finance and LIHTC properties.

Topics: asset management, blended occupancy, LIHTC, mixed financing, occupancy, PHAS, Knowledge Base

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