Affordable Housing News

Agenda now available for 2017 national conference

Posted by NMA on Mar 13, 2017 11:39:22 AM

The Housing Conference | August 21-22, 2017 | Boston, MAThe tentative agenda for our fifth annual national housing conference is now available, and when you register now you'll receive early bird pricing!

Join us August 21-22, 2017, for two fantastic days of networking, learning,
and exploring the beautiful and historic city of Boston, Massachusetts. Industry experts will present sessions and panels on the latest topics in affordable housing, including:

  • An update on UPCS-V, the proposed inspections protocol to replace HQS (panel session)
  • Best practices in managing FSS, plus how to start a new FSS program in PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBRA and RAD PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBV and RAD PBV
  • Best practices in SEMAP (hands-on session)
  • CDBG-DR and resilience
  • Effective waitlist management
  • How to deal with generational differences in the workplace
  • Nan McKay's annual legislative update, including new rules and notices
  • Public/private partnerships and grant funds (panel session)
  • Quality control
  • Rent reasonableness
  • Roundtable panel session with NMA Housing Awards winners
  • Succession planning
  • Understanding tax credits and RAD finance
  • What you need to know before applying for MTW
  • What you need to know if you're a new executive director
  • What's new in capital fund finance
  • What's new in fair housing

Visit our website to register!

Topics: capital fund, CDBG, fair housing, FSS, HQS, inspections, LIHTC, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, PBRA, PBV, Program News and Notices, quality control, RAD, rent reasonableness, SEMAP, The Housing Conference, UPCS-V

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: Strategies for Success in HCV Audits

Posted by NMA on Aug 30, 2016 10:29:34 AM

John Achuff will be leading a session on strategies for HCV audits at The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio

John Achuff has been an NMA trainer for nearly a decade and currently serves as assistant director at a very large housing authority in the Midwest, where he manages 17,000 housing choice vouchers, 2,700 project based vouchers, 1,200 moderate rehabilitation units, and the housing authority's waiting lists. He possesses a broad base of program knowledge, having taught nearly every NMA seminar, with a focus on regulatory knowledge, program management, quality control, SEMAP, and single file audit. He will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference next month.

Best Practices for Program Success

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: Strategies for Success in HCV Audits
Presenter, John Achuff

Back for the second year by popular demand! In this interactive session, we'll cover best practices for administering the HCV program in a manner that minimizes the number of audit findings and increases the chance of becoming a high performer under SEMAP. The strategies are broken into two categories: 1) how to prevent errors and increase accuracy the first time transactions are processed (offensive moves); 2) how to effectively develop a quality control program to detect errors on the back end (defensive moves).

In offensive moves, we'll focus on suggested criteria for hiring the best candidates, developing the right training program, using tools and technology to increase accuracy, and employing coaching techniques to improve performance of staff. In defensive moves, we'll discuss suggestions for developing an effective quality control program, using reports to detect errors and discrepancies in a more efficient way, establishing additional safeguards for the finance team, and preparing for audits. This session will give HCV directors, supervisors, and staff useful guidelines and expert tips to establish the right combination of offense and defense to foster success in the HCV program.

John and other industry experts will be 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: quality control, SEMAP, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

Best Practices in Public Housing Unit Turnover and Vacancy Tracking

Posted by NMA on Jun 29, 2016 9:28:00 AM

public housing occupancy Terry Provance will be presenting a session at The Housing Conference in San Antonio on best practices in public housing unit turnover and vacancy tracking

Terry Provance has been a trainer and consultant at Nan McKay and Associates since 1999. He recently took the lead role in creating and developing NMA’s public housing occupancy tracking tool, which can be used by any rental development, whether or not it’s HUD-assisted, including mixed finance and LIHTC properties. Terry will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference in San Antonio this September.

Best Practices for Program Success

Best Practices in Public Housing Unit Turnover and Vacancy Tracking
Presenter, Terry Provance

Join us for this hands-on public housing occupancy workshop! We’ll review:

  • How occupancy rate and turnaround time affect revenue to the project and PHA
  • Private sector strategies for occupancy
  • Calculating vacant unit turnaround time
  • Tracking performance and identifying problem areas
  • Incorporating  the monitoring of unit turnaround time in the public housing quality control program

Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information. Don’t delay, less than 48 hours left for early bird pricing!

Topics: occupancy, quality control, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: Strategies for Success in HCV Audits

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 16, 2015 9:12:34 AM

NMA senior consultant John Achuff will be leading a session on HCV audit strategy at this year's NMA Housing Conference NMA trainer John Achuff will be leading a session on HCV audit strategy at this year's NMA Housing Conference

John Achuff has been an NMA trainer for seven years and currently serves as manager of operations at a very large housing authority in the Midwest, overseeing 40 staff members and 14,000 housing vouchers. He possesses a broad base of program knowledge, having taught nearly every NMA seminar, with a focus on regulatory knowledge, program management, quality control, SEMAP, and single file audit. He will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Hands-on Learning for Active Solutions

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: Strategies for Success in HCV Audits
Presenter, John Achuff

In this interactive session, we'll cover best practices for administering the HCV program in a manner that minimizes the number of audit findings and increases the chance of becoming a high performer under SEMAP. The strategies are broken into two categories: 1) how to prevent errors and increase accuracy the first time transactions are processed (offensive moves); 2) how to effectively develop a quality control program to detect errors on the back end (defensive moves).

In offensive moves, we'll focus on suggested criteria for hiring the best candidates, developing the right training program, using tools and technology to increase accuracy, and employing coaching techniques to improve performance of staff. In defensive moves, we'll discuss suggestions for developing an effective quality control program, using reports to detect errors and discrepancies in a more efficient way, establishing additional safeguards for the finance team, and preparing for audits. This session will give HCV directors, supervisors, and staff useful guidelines and expert tips to establish the right combination of offense and defense to foster success in the HCV program.

John 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 sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: GoSection8, quality control, SEMAP, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

NMA announces compliance monitoring for 200 PA municipalities

Posted by BEMuser on Jul 30, 2015 10:52:51 AM

House with checkmarkNMA, working with KPMG, is pleased to announce that we will be performing compliance monitoring for over 200 municipalities in Pennsylvania on their CDBG, HOME and NSP efforts.

NMA’s senior consultants will be leading teams in the state to ensure that these communities are spending their federal dollars correctly and offering technical assistance to help make the best decisions for these locations.

As part of this work, NMA is also developing training materials for the KPMG team and handling quality assurance of the monitoring resources.

Finding a partner that understands the complexities and realities of today's housing programs is essential. NMA is recognized as one of the most effective, strategic, and knowledgeable professional service companies in the affordable housing industry. For more information, email sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: CDBG, compliance assessments, Partnerships, quality control

Principles of Quality Control

Posted by BEMuser on Jul 22, 2014 9:55:26 AM

NMA senior trainer and consultant Cydney Jones, presenting a session at last year's NMA Housing Conference NMA senior trainer and consultant Cydney Jones, presenting a session at last year's NMA Housing Conference

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 2014 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Principles of Quality Control
Presenter, Cydney Jones

With more and more emphasis on conserving federal dollars, in this session we will discuss various ways that a good system of consistent quality control can assist a PHA in maintaining high performance and managing its HAP budget effectively. Quality control is more than just determining rent and HAP correctly. In this session, we will discuss innovative ways to identify and detect fraud and inconsistencies, maintain accurate electronic reporting to HUD, and measure PHA staff, system, and policy performance.

Cydney and other industry experts are available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2014 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference to registered participants. Don't delay, consulting signups are first-come, first-served! Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: budget cuts, GoSection8, quality control, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

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

Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #16

Posted by NMA on May 8, 2013 1:57:22 PM

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 #16: Look at time efficiencies for staff.

Look for savings in the certification and recertification policies and processes. Not only are you saving paper, you're saving time.

For example, Teri Robertson's Idea #1 in her HCV sequestration series was to revise PHA interim reexamination policy:

Some PHAs have eliminated PHA-initiated interims altogether so as to ease administrative burden. Others set a dollar threshold, but acknowledge that determining whether an interim needs to take place is often as time-consuming as actually conducting an interim.

Here’s a suggestion we’ve begun making to agencies when they contract with us to spend three days with them to facilitate a complete administrative plan or ACOP revision: consider adopting an interim policy that the family must report, and the PHA must conduct an interim, when the family begins receiving income from a new income source.

Consider outsourcing your quality control (QC) function for PIC errors. This can be time-consuming for PHA staff, and you need an accurate, objective assessment. (In the HCV program, a random, impartial sampling is imperative for SEMAP.) And you want to have trend analysis here: Is an employee's error rate improving? What kinds of errors are most prevalent?

Next: Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #17

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, quality control, recertification, SEMAP, sequestration, Trainers and Consultants

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

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