Tip #18: Maintain a viable owner base.
The availability of suitable housing is essential for maximum program utilization. Make sure you're meeting the informational needs of new owners and providing excellent service to all owners participating in the program. Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Make owner outreach and marketing to owners an ongoing activity (the NMA Owner's Handbook can be helpful during this process)
- Emphasize interpersonal skills as well as technical skills for inspectors
- Respond quickly to owner inquiries and complaints
- Ensure consistency in HQS inspections (the NMA Quick Check Guide is a useful resource)
- Ensure timely HAP payments
- Rehabilitate or eliminate underperforming and substandard owners
- Reach out to owners periodically for customer service feedback
We've covered a lot of ground here. To summarize, here are the 18 steps I've outlined to help your PHA maximize performance in the HCV program.
In the first five tips, we covered ways to define and communicate your agency’s goals and how you plan to get there:
- Establish and communicate clear expectations and guidelines.
- Choose the caseload model which best fits the needs of your agency.
- Create and assign realistic and equitable caseloads.
- Create a caseload and accuracy plan with specific performance standards.
- Create practical work systems and work processes to ensure consistency.
Next, we talked about how to monitor results:
- Design a quality-control system.
- Gather data using tools to clearly and quickly identify problem areas.
- Analyze results through reports.
Then, we discussed how a manager can set up a leadership system with an emphasis on production, accuracy, and customer service:
- Take timely and effective action where needed.
- Celebrate wins.
- Implement a problem response strategy.
- Ensure adequate and capable supervision.
Finally, we reviewed some methods for maximizing HCV program utilization:
- Ensure effective program utilization.
- Learn the basics of HCV financial management.
- Utilize HUD's tools.
- Learn how to reduce administrative costs.
- Develop a working relationship with the finance manager.
- Maintain a viable owner base.
Managing the HCV program is a complex task, but with a defined plan, an effective monitoring system, and a strong leadership system, your path to high performance and program utilization should be clear.
While serving as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, Nan McKay started one of the nation’s first Section 8 programs. The agency was subsequently honored with a HUD award as one of 13 outstanding Section 8 programs in the country.
Founder and president of Nan McKay and Associates, she has devoted the past two years to redesigning NMA’s HCV Executive Management course, as well as rewriting the HCV Executive Management Master Book with Bill Caltabiano. The tips and systems described above are thoroughly explored in both, with many forms available on a CD.
Nan McKay and Associates provides training and consulting solutions to improve your PHA’s program utilization, including HCV utilization assessments, compliance assessments, onsite lease-up, and program management. You can also schedule a SEMAP and Program Utilization workshop for your agency. Contact email@example.com for more information.