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 for more information.

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

Updated forecasting tool, new payment standard tool

Posted by NMA on Aug 4, 2016 9:20:16 AM

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has updated the two-year forecasting tool for the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. According to the announcement:

A PHA can now launch the two-year tool and have it be automatically populated with data (e.g. funding, leasing, spending). Until now, PHAs had to manually input data, or obtain a populated version from the local HUD field office. Please review the two-year tool instructions, as depending on your version of Microsoft Office, some settings may need to be adjusted. Any issues, please contact your local field office.

PIH also announced the availability of a new payment standard tool. The purpose of the payment standard tool is to analyze the impacts of a potential payment standard change on both program participants’ rent burdens and the PHA’s program costs.

A one-page document posted to the FMC Highlights website contains an overview of both tools and a description of their accompanying instruction guides. The tools and instruction guides can be accessed through HUD’s Web Access Secure System (WASS).

Got questions about payment standards and the two-year forecasting tool? Don’t miss The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas, where NMA’s Teri Robertson and other industry experts will discuss these new HCV tools. Register online or email for more information.

Topics: HCV utilization, Program News and Notices

Using HUD’s Two-Year Forecasting Tool to Create an Ongoing Leasing Plan

Posted by NMA on Jun 30, 2016 9:56:49 AM

NMA senior consultant Teri Robertson will be presenting a hands-on workshop for creating an ongoing HCV leasing plan

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 will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference in San Antonio this September.

Best Practices for Program Success

Using HUD’s Two-Year Forecasting Tool to Create an Ongoing Leasing Plan
Presenter, Teri Robertson

Join us for this hands-on workshop and discover how to eliminate leasing events in the HCV program! You'll learn how to tweak HUD’s two-year forecasting tool to create an ongoing HCV leasing plan showing:

  • How many families to select from the waiting list
  • When to select the families
  • How leasing activities will impact utilization

We’ll provide you with an Excel tool to track eligibility success rates, so you can base the number of families to select from the waiting list on factual, historical information. Presenter Teri Robertson will demonstrate how to create a plan for selecting families every month to avoid those disruptive leasing events. As an added bonus, she'll demonstrate how to perform a rent burden analysis to determine whether higher payment standards are in fact justified.

Register online or email for more information. Don’t delay, less than 24 hours left for early bird pricing!

Topics: eligibility, HCV utilization, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

Affordable housing news 3/18/16

Posted by NMA on Mar 18, 2016 4:37:45 PM

If you're interested in the status of voucher utilization and funding, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) announced earlier this week that it will be hosting a free webinar next Wednesday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m. eastern time (11:30 a.m. Pacific time):

As of the end of 2015, state and local housing agencies had restored about half of the nearly 100,000 housing vouchers that they had cut after sequestration in 2013, and many were poised to restore additional vouchers in 2016. Some agencies that could be assisting additional families are instead leaving funds on the table unspent, however. Webinar panelists will provide a status update on voucher utilization and funding, discuss steps that housing agencies can take to improve utilization, and briefly assess the funding outlook for 2017.

Click here to register for the webinar. In other news:

NeighborWorks: More than 20 cities and states across the country have declared an end to veteran homelessness

NLIHC: Senate subcommittee holds hearing on FY17 HUD budget request

It's the first weekend of daylight saving time—enjoy the sunshine! We'll be back next week with more affordable housing news and analysis.

Topics: appropriations, HCV utilization, Program News and Notices, sequestration, VASH, veterans

Leasing Strategies: Maximizing Agency Performance

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 14, 2015 8:46:51 AM

With an exceptional knowledge of HUD regulations and longstanding expertise in providing a wide range of technical assistance, management training, and on-site expertise, NMA senior trainer and consultant Cydney Jones recently headed operations for NMA’s contract with one of the largest public housing authorities in the country. Cydney will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Leasing Strategies: Maximizing Agency Performance
Presenter, Cydney Jones

Is your agency making the most of ever-shrinking resources? In this session, you will learn strategies and best practices to monitor and maintain leasing to maximize HUD budget authority and administrative fees in both the HCV and public housing programs. We'll discuss how to improve performance with a focus on proven strategies that empower housing authorities to house needy families efficiently and effectively.

Cydney and other industry experts will be available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis now. Register online or email for more information.

Topics: budget cuts, GoSection8, HCV utilization, occupancy, 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 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 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

Meet the NMA team: Teri Robertson

Posted by NMA on Apr 18, 2013 9:11:28 AM

Teri RobertsonToday in our interview series, we're talking to NMA senior consultant Teri Robertson. Nationally recognized as a leading expert in the housing choice voucher and public housing programs, Teri has previously written for the NMA blog on such subjects as HCV administrative fees and how to maximize your agency’s performance rating. She's currently publishing an ongoing series of posts focusing on sequestration in the HCV program.

Tell us about your work experience.

I've been with Nan McKay and Associates for roughly 14 years. Before that, I worked for a large housing authority; before that, in welfare; and before that, as a manager with AT&T.

How did you get your start in the industry?

AT&T offered the golden parachute. Being a manager took a lot of time away from my family, and my sons were at important ages. I took the "early retirement," and then started hunting for a job. I began working in the welfare department for the County of San Diego, then saw an opportunity to transition to the housing authority. It looked interesting. It was!

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

I have two. First is HCV program utilization. As agencies undergo funding setbacks, it's critical that they manage to their voucher utilization to the greatest extent possible. This includes taking whatever actions are feasible to reduce average per-unit costs and to ensure consistent monitoring and projection of lease-up and related expenditures. On average, it can take months from waiting list selection to lease-up. Agencies really need to manage this aspect of their business.

Second is quality control. I believe an effective — and positive — quality control system is the single most important factor in the prevention of future errors. It does require identifying key program indicators (KPIs), establishing a QC system, tracking results, and coaching and mentoring staff. Although QC is a lot of work, it's less work than fixing large errors after they've been made.

What's your favorite part about your job?

Working directly with clients. Whether it be educating, presenting a more efficient way to reach goals, or providing an in-depth assessment of their program complete with recommendations, I know I'm making a difference.

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

A very large housing authority contracted with NMA to have us establish their internal QC department. The agency's HCV program was administered by vendors, and the PHA wanted a new approach to quality control. I headed the project. After writing a detailed action plan that was approved by the PHA, our great team went to work. We participated in the hiring of the new QC team, established detailed electronic tools for QC purposes, trained and coached staff, set an ongoing QC schedule, coached staff in writing QC procedures, and established an ongoing management reporting system.

In her free time, Teri Robertson enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and hiking the many mountain trails of San Diego's backcountry.

Topics: HCV utilization, Meet the NMA team, quality control, Trainers and Consultants

Ask the Experts: Join us next week to discuss sequestration

Posted by NMA on Mar 4, 2013 1:06:33 PM

Teri RobertsonNext week, NMA's Teri Robertson will be hosting a telephone conference to discuss sequestration. (For some background, browse the #sequestration tag.) The session will cover:

  • Update on sequestration
  • Reducing HAP expenses
  • Reducing administrative burdens
  • The latest on Notices PIH 2013-03 and 2013-04
  • Other potential solutions to address 2013 funding issues
  • Outsourcing as an option to reduce expenses while still meeting program requirements

There's no cost to participate, but you'll need to register in advance by emailing us at Space is limited, so sign up now! We hope you'll be able to join us.

2013 HCV Funding: How to Respond to Sequestration

Friday, March 15 (or Tuesday, March 19 if you can't attend Friday's session)

10AM Pacific Time / 1PM Eastern Time

Email to register

NMA senior consultant Teri Robertson is nationally recognized as a leading expert in HCV/Section 8 and public housing. She has previously written for the NMA blog about HCV administrative fees and how to maximize your agency's performance rating.

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

Topics: Ask the Experts, budget cuts, HCV utilization, hearing officer, HQS, Notice PIH 2013-03, PIH notices, quality control, recertification, sequestration, Trainers and Consultants

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