Affordable Housing News

Preventing Shortfall: Lessons Learned

Posted by NMA on Sep 1, 2016 2:27:29 PM

NMA's Steven Rosario will lead a session on preventing shortfall in the housing choice voucher program

In his current role as HCV program director, NMA's Steven Rosario oversees the operations of Miami-Dade County’s housing choice voucher program. He previously served as director of some of the largest voucher programs in the nation, administering more than 45,000 vouchers in Chicago and San Francisco.

With extensive experience in program and project designs, Steven is a high-energy, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven leader who has earned a reputation for building and leading strong and collaborative team efforts. He approaches each new challenge with a flair for innovation, creative problem-solving, and measured risk-taking to drive positive change in affordable housing programs. Steven will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Preventing Shortfall: Lessons Learned
Presenter, Steven Rosario

Housing authorities have historically been challenged with maximizing utilization without going over budget authority. This session will cover various funding scenarios and highlight the pitfalls that may result in a program shortfall. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Program reserves: How much should you keep?
  • PHA vs. HUD held reserves
  • Disbursements vs. budget authority
  • Prior calendar year HAP payments
  • Cash vs. accrual accounting
  • VMS updates
  • Utilizing results of 2-year tool
  • Impact of the PUC

The session will provide you with the guidance to ensure a PHA’s financial and program operations teams are tracking, updating, and reporting accurate and meaningful data. Along with this, the session will provide PHA with strategies on working with HUD’s shortfall prevention team.

The Housing Conference, presented by NMA and HAI Group, will spotlight three tracks: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a best practices track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: executive management, Executive Team, financial management, HCV utilization, The Housing Conference, VMS

Achieving High Performance in the HCV Program with Nan McKay

Posted by NMA on Aug 29, 2016 11:37:22 AM
 
Nan McKay
NMA president and founder Nan McKay speaking at The Housing Conference last year in Miami

With more than fifty years of experience in affordable housing, Nan McKay is considered to be the nation's foremost expert in the housing choice voucher program. Nan launched one of the nation’s first Section 8 programs as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, went on to found Nan McKay & Associates in 1980, and continues to train and write books on how to successfully manage an HCV program.

NMA senior consultant Teri Robertson is nationally recognized as a leading expert in HCV and Section 8. She has written for the NMA blog about HCV administrative fees, how to maximize your agency’s performance rating, and working with sequestration in the HCV program. Teri and Nan will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Achieving High Performance in the HCV Program with Nan McKay
Presenters, Nan McKay with Teri Robertson

Is your agency achieving the performance standards you'd like to see? In this fast-paced session, Nan will share her depth of experience in the housing choice voucher program, laying out a series of clear steps that will help you build a high-performing HCV program. Nan and Teri will explore these steps in depth, including:

  • Ways to define and communicate your agency's goals
  • How to monitor results
  • Setting up a leadership system
  • Methods for maximizing HCV program utilization

Nan and other industry experts are available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions at The Housing Conference to registered participants. Don’t delay, signups close this Friday! Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: executive management, Executive Team, HCV utilization, The Housing Conference

Grayscale: Why Black and White Thinking is Fatal

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 15, 2015 9:24:32 AM

Eric Kaufmann guides leaders to make better decisions and achieve better results. A native of Israel, he lived and worked in South Africa before gaining two decades of experience in sales, management, and leadership at Lanier/3M and Corning Clinical Laboratories. In 1999, he launched an executive development consultancy which has served Sony, T-Mobile, Genentech, Alcon Labs, Teradata, and hundreds of leaders of Fortune 1000 companies.

Eric will be presenting the keynote speech at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Keynote Speech, 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference

Grayscale: Why Black and White Thinking is Fatal
Presenter, Eric Kaufmann

While your mind craves simple solutions, leadership demands complex calculations. Leaders are valued for their ability to make decisions, especially difficult ones. This presentation examines the essence of effective leadership: determining how to satisfy multiple stakeholders. A simple yes or no may be desirable, but unrealistic and inappropriate. So, how do you make good decisions, add value at an executive level, and strategically contribute to the organization? By learning to embrace paradox!

Eric Kaufmann’s diverse and varied life is a commitment to understanding and teaching wisdom. His published book, Leadership as a Hero’s Journey, shares practical ideas and tools that deepen a leader’s ability to be efficient, effective and deliberate — a leader whom people are drawn to follow. The crucible of Eric’s journey contains 13 years of leadership consulting, management at Fortune 100 firms, degrees in business and psychology, a quarter century of Zen practice, living in Israel and South Africa, teaching as a Master Scuba Diving instructor, and working as a certified hypnotherapist.

The conference will spotlight three tracks this year: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a hands-on track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far, including Eric Kaufmann's interactive strategy workshop.

Topics: executive management, GoSection8, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

Are your NMA model policies and Master Books up to date?

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 24, 2015 12:33:08 PM

NMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our model policies and Master Books written, published, and shipped to you!

2015: For 2015, the NMA Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and Guide has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updated language regarding nondiscrimination as outlined in Notice PIH 2014-20, which provides guidance on the equal access final rule
  • Revised policy changes concerning flat rent requirements mandated under the 2014 appropriations act and outlined in Notice PIH 2014-12 and its accompanying PIH-issued FAQs
  • Removal of the ACOP addendum due to the expiration of the temporary compliance provisions set forth in Notice PIH 2013-03 and extended by Notice PIH 2013-26
  • Revised clarifications regarding the definition of extremely low-income family, area median income, and other requirements per the implementation of the 2014 appropriations act and the HERA final rule
  • Other modifications for clarification and wording

2015: For the 2015 revision, the  NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates regarding the applicability of the equal access final rule to administrators and owners of HUD-assisted housing per Notice PIH 2014-20
  • Additions regarding PHA-owned units to account for Notice PIH 2015-05 on project-based voucher (PBV) guidance
  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • An entirely new section providing guidance and clarification on service and assistance animals
  • Other changes and updates for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2015: For the 2015 revision, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates regarding the applicability of the equal access final rule to administrators and owners of HUD-assisted housing per Notice PIH 2014-20
  • Revisions to VAWA certification guidance pertaining to the transmittal of the newly updated form HUD-50066
  • Minor modifications to account for Notice PIH 2014-25 on over-subsidization in the HCV program
  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • Other changes and updates for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2015: For the 2015 revision, the NMA HCV Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • Revisions concerning the required frequency of inspections—either annually or biennially—per HUD’s implementation of the 2014 appropriations act provisions
  • Other changes for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: appropriations, assistance animals, books and revision services, equal access, executive management, fair housing, final rule, flat rent, HERA, inspections, PBV, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, service animals, VAWA

From the Balcony to the Field: Turning Strategy into Measurable Action

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 18, 2015 8:32:49 AM

Eric Kaufmann of Sagatica presenting a session on real-world strategic planning at last year's NMA Housing Conference Eric Kaufmann presenting a session on real-world strategic planning at last year's NMA Housing Conference

Eric Kaufmann guides leaders to make better decisions and achieve better results. A native of Israel, he lived and worked in South Africa before gaining two decades of experience in sales, management, and leadership at Lanier/3M and Corning Clinical Laboratories. In 1999, he launched an executive development consultancy which has served Sony, T-Mobile, Genentech, Alcon Labs, Teradata, and hundreds of leaders of Fortune 1000 companies.

His book, Leadership as a Hero’s Journey, explores the four virtues shared by successful, passionate, and creative leaders. Eric will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

From the Balcony to the Field: Turning Strategy into Measurable Action
Presenter, Eric Kaufmann

In this hands-on workshop, Eric Kaufmann will help participants translate strategy into measurable action. You'll learn the optimal steps for transitioning strategic initiatives to goals, objectives, and tasks, then put those steps into practice via interactive group dialogues. Participants will come away from this session with an understanding of the strategy execution model and how to leverage it to ensure follow through and reduce "fall through."

This is an interactive strategy workshop. Please bring a copy of your completed high-level strategic initiatives.

The conference will spotlight three tracks this year: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a hands-on track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: executive management, GoSection8, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

NMA's HCV Executive Management Master Book has shipped!

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 2, 2014 2:23:21 PM

Subscribers to our annual revision service can expect to receive the latest version of the NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book this week. If you have any questions about your subscription, please contact Meg Kennedy in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

For the 2014 revision, the HCV Executive Management Master Book  has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates required by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA)
  • Modifications regarding project-based vouchers (PBVs) as codified by the HERA final rule
  • Extensive changes throughout the book for the Federal Register notice published June 25, 2014, which implements new requirements mandated by the 2014 appropriations act including biennial inspections
  • Other changes for organization, flow, and ease of reading

Looking for further guidance? Don’t miss our recent blog series, Achieving High Performance in the HCV Program, in which NMA founder and president Nan McKay shares her 18 tips for defining and communicating your agency’s goals, monitoring results, setting up a leadership system, and maximizing HCV program utilization. You may also be interested in our HCV Executive Management class, which has been thoroughly updated for all bulleted items above.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: appropriations, books and revision services, executive management, final rule, HCV utilization, HERA, inspections, PBV, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, VAWA

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 sales@nanmckay.com 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, GoSection8, HCV utilization, hearing officer, HQS, inspections, LIHTC, maintenance, NMA Housing Awards, occupancy, PBRA, PBV, PHAS, program management, Program News and Notices, 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 sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

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

Meet the NMA team: Nan McKay

Posted by NMA on May 2, 2013 1:24:50 PM

Continuing the "Meet the team" series, NMA founder and president Nan McKay was kind enough to share some of her busy time with us for an interview. Nan has previously written for the NMA blog on the topic of executive management and high performance achievement in the HCV program.

While serving as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, Nan McKay started one of the nation’s first Section 8 programs. She has devoted the past two years to redesigning NMA’s HCV Executive Management course and rewriting the HCV Executive Management Master Book.

Tell us about your work experience.

In 1980 I had 17 years' experience working for housing authorities and wanted to do something new. I decided to start a training company and, a month after beginning Nan McKay and Associates, I won a HUD training contract with four contracts awarded nationally, mine coming in second because HUD awarded the contract on experience, not money. I probably wouldn't have known how to bid a big (or little!) HUD contract at that time. The dollar amounts you received as contractor were set by HUD, and they provided the material for you to train. I was thrilled, to say the least.

The training covered HUD's new housing quality standards, and attendance was mandatory. Many housing authorities didn't like that. I figured I had better put on a pretty interesting show, or the students might shoot the messenger! I traveled with a set of 10 pre-completed flip charts (we didn't have overheads and PowerPoints yet — I don't think they had been invented). I drew stick figures on the charts to illustrate topics. Very professional. A trial by fire. Dee Dee Strum, Ellen Hart, and Joanne MacDonald helped me out, and we did HUD sessions around the country.

Lo and behold, people liked the training and wanted me to do other things. So we did. I learned how to negotiate with hotels and even decided what to serve at the lunches we provided at seminars back in those days. We developed new training material, and by that time I had written and published three books, which we used in the training. We even finally purchased an Apple II computer and didn't have to type all those labels anymore!

I love to go to cities and talk with people

and see how they live. My hobby is life.

For five years, I worked out of the basement of my home, starting early before the kids were up and often talking on the phone with housing authorities in my nightgown. We did the business as a family team, with Molly and John (my children) sharpening pencils, collating papers, sealing envelopes, and writing name tags.

There were a couple hard parts: having to leave the family, sometimes with tears, week after week, missing birthdays and school events; and trying to do the training and the business work while I traveled about 40 weeks a year. My husband learned to cook something other than scrambled eggs and became "Mr. Mom" in addition to his work, and Molly and John were troopers about only talking with me at night on the phone many nights during the week. Whatever success I have had, I credit much to my family. Without my team supporting me at home, I couldn't have done it.

Over time, the business grew, with more books and more seminars. We relocated to California in 1985 and moved into real office space. In the '90s, some wonderful people joined me and are still with NMA. Ray Adair, Jay Ortenzo (as a contractor first), Dolores Figueroa, and Bill Caltabiano were the earliest, then Carrol Vaughan, Cara Gillette, Holly St. Hilaire, Annie Stevenson, John McKay, Terry Provance, Teri Robertson, Gaye Walker, and Lois Boyles. We also had a computer company for 15 years with housing software and, on the side, I started a business called Designer Outlet (my midlife crisis, I think) which was not financially successful.

Now I oversee the company at a high level, with John handling the heavier load. The principles we started with are still in place: treat your customers well, operate with integrity, work hard, make people's lives better, do the best job you can with a positive attitude, and know that you have to be 100 percent correct when discussing the HUD requirements — or suffer the consequences!

How did you get your start in the industry?

I had been a flight attendant in Illinois. I got married, which at that time required you to resign as a flight attendant.

My husband and I moved to Minnesota and I needed a job. I was 21. I started in the rehabilitation department at my first housing authority as a secretary. In 1963, women were pretty much relegated to secretarial jobs, unless you had a degree; then you might get a job as a housing manager. I had two years of college at that time, and therefore only qualified for a secretarial job.

Nan McKay in her flight attendant uniform, 1962 Nan McKay in her flight attendant uniform, 1962

I keep getting "other duties as assigned" and became more of an administrative assistant (in job duties only — not title). When the job of administrative assistant for our department was posted — the job that I was actually doing — I applied, and my boss recommended me for the position.

However, I was brought down to the executive offices and told that higher positions in that department really weren't for women because, historically, women got pregnant and left — and I didn't get the job. I trained the man who got the job, but it was hard to keep my heart in my work.

I had organized a national conference for the department and ran into Harold Moriarty, who had recently been appointed as executive director of a smaller housing authority. He asked me what experience I'd had with the department, said he was looking for someone with responsibilities similar to those of an administrative assistant, and asked me to write a job description for that position, which
I did. He offered me the job — and I took it.

Mr. Moriarty did more for me than anyone else before or since in my career. He gave me a chance. After a year or so, he wanted to promote me to assistant to the director and, as I understand it, had to put his own job on the line to get agreement from the board. He not only championed me, but I had been divorced and he introduced me to my current husband of almost 45 years.

I worked with Mr. Moriarty for nine years. I helped him build the agency by working on an urban renewal project, writing a business relocation and acquisition guide with a HUD staff member, and finally becoming assistant executive director. While there, I supervised the design and construction of, and then managed, a highrise for elderly families in South St. Paul.

The highrise was a wonderful experience. In the beginning, many of the elderly residents felt like they were old and their lives were over. Some of them were so poor, they were eating dog food before they moved into the building. Many were embarrassed to have to have this kind of financial help. I was about 25 and didn't agree with any of it. I told them that they had worked all their lives and paid their taxes and they deserved it.

We had New Year's Eve parties where everyone dressed up and ate popcorn and drank punch. We went to plays and other events. We created a beauty shop in the highrise with money donated by the business community. We had pool tournaments. We had dancers and singers come in and entertain us. We made a garden that the residents could plant. We laughed and we cried. We were a family.

The Nan McKay Building in South St. Paul, 1960s The Nan McKay Building in South St. Paul, 1960s

I had my daughter while working in the highrise (I worked until 5:30 p.m. and she was born at 8:30 p.m.). I was back at work in two weeks, and the caretaker's wife babysat for her. Molly had 132 grandmas and grandpas, because she spent so much time at the highrise until I had John. The commissioners named it "The Nan McKay Building."

The county called and said they wanted to build an elderly highrise just like South St. Paul's. I did the organizational transcript, and when they were finally funded in 1976, after a HUD moratorium on funding, I left to build their program.

During the four years I worked there, we did community development, housing, a weatherization program, 115 grants, and 312 loans. We worked in 32 communities and built sidewalks, a shelter for battered women, and a community services building, as well as both elderly and family public housing and the Section 8 program, which was selected by HUD as one of the 13 outstanding Section 8 programs in the country. The board was kind enough to name a family project "McKay Manor."

I started Nan McKay and Associates in 1980, and the rest is history. 2013 is my 50th year in the housing industry.

Education credentials?

I went back to college in the '70s (I was then in my 40s), finished my bachelor's degree, and did about two years of work on my master's degree. I worked full-time and went to school at night. I had the company by then, and my travel just didn't allow the time for school anymore. However, I also attended the Federal Executive Institute and completed many, many managerial courses. I'm working on an Excel class this year, which will give Andrew Denicola and my other helpers some relief.

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

Making a difference in the lives of the families who are housed is the biggest one. Until you really see the struggles low-income families and elderly and disabled people have, up close and personal, you don't have any idea how hard life can be. Treating people with compassion and respect is so very critical. Their lives are hard enough without having to deal with a bureaucratic, insensitive housing authority employee who doesn't administer their subsidy according to HUD rules.

When we work with housing authority staff, we help the people who help the people. If we can impart the knowledge that housing authorities need when managing the regulations, and can be the "wind beneath the wings" of management staff in how to manage their staff with knowledge, professionalism, and respect, we will make a difference in the housing world.

What's your favorite part about your job?

I love everything about what I do and have done.

Next: Read Nan's "Fifty years in housing: Part I"

When she isn't working, Nan McKay loves to travel and see what the rest of the world is all about. Look for her this September at the NMA Housing Conference, where she will be presenting a legislative update with her insight on the latest industry news.

Nan has chosen the National Leased Housing Association as the organization she supports and to which she volunteers her time; she currently serves on the NLHA board and is an active member. In the past, she has been actively involved in NAHRO as a regional board member, president of the state chapter, and national chair of their housing subcommittee. She helped start DARTS (Dakota Area Referral and Transportation for Seniors), a community-based nonprofit that connects people to services and partnerships that improve their quality of life.

In addition to her participation in many women's organizations and associations for women in business, Nan also co-founded Minnesota Women in Housing with Lyn Burton-Feeney.

Topics: commissioners, executive management, Executive Team, HQS, Meet the NMA team, seniors and elderly, The Housing Conference

Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #10

Posted by NMA on Apr 29, 2013 10:05:54 AM

Cara GilletteAs we know, public housing funding for April is at a 73% proration level. HUD plans to issue a second funding to bring the April proration level up to 79%.

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?

Reduce costs

All good businesses know that they not only need to bring in revenue, they need to watch costs. Just like our waistlines, costs can balloon without us even noticing. Unlike revenue, reducing costs doesn't have just one or two big-ticket items like occupancy and collection. You may have one or two glaring money pits, but you may also have a lot of little things that are adding up — just like those calories that affect our waistlines.

Tip #10: Set performance standards and manage to them.

A key to productivity is letting employees know what's expected. Are there performance standards at your PHA, and are supervisors supervising to those expectations? Are managers supervising the supervisors? Are performance metrics being tracked?

Administrative salaries and benefits are always one of the largest costs at a PHA. Your PHA needs highly competent employees, and if things get really crunched, you want a fair and transparent way to keep the highly competent staff. Clear expectations, and clear and respectful communication, will be your lodestar to guide you through stormy times.

Next: Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #11

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 sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: budget cuts, executive management, sequestration, Trainers and Consultants

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