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Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #18

Posted by NMA on May 10, 2013 9:26:51 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 #18: Watch the little things.

What about utility usage? Are lights turned off at night and on the weekends? What about cutting down slightly on office hours?

Look at cutting down on cutting down all those trees! Reduce the amount of paper your PHA uses. So many agencies have over-documentation of certain items in the file. For example, unless you're changing the lease contents, a new lease doesn't have to be signed every year — that's a lot of pages saved right there!

Make it a priority to find savings in the certification and recertification policies and procedures. Not only are you saving paper, you're saving time.

Next: Working with sequestration in the public housing program: Tip #19

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: Budget Cuts, Recertification, Sequestration, Utilities

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