Birmingham Office of Public Housing Conducts Workshop to Assist Housing Authorities Management Effectiveness

The Birmingham Office of Public Housing recently hosted the "Maximizing Your MASS Workshop" to over 200 housing authority attendees. MASS is a tool by which HUD measures the Housing Authority's management performance. The purpose of the workshop was to provide tips, pointers and tools that the Housing Authorities can utilize to increase their MASS scores and to get the full MASS points for each Indicator.

[Photo: Area housing authority attendees]
Area housing authority attendees

Debra Bean, Program Analyst and Carol Fleck, Financial Analyst, gave an overview of each MASS Indicator and discussed in detail how the points for each Indicator are calculated. Angela Miclette, Executive Director of the Leeds HA and Steven Sides, Executive Director of the Cullman HA told of the actions that they had taken at their Authorities to increase their scores for their Occupancy Rate. The Occupancy Rate Indicator measures the Authority's performance in keeping available units occupied. A lively discussion ensued as various PHAs exchanged ideas and shared experiences in maintaining a great Occupancy Rate.

Holly Poteete, Public Housing Revitalization Specialist, discussed the PIC system and various reports within the system that the Authorities could utilize to report the status of a unit and to determine the correct status of each Public Housing unit in PIC. Anita Johnson, Financial Analyst demonstrated the financial impact of a unit that is occupied versus a unit that is unoccupied. The audience was surprised to see how the occupancy rate affects the Authority's financial position.

Greg Price, Director of the Northern Division, discussed a range of occupancy strategies that the Authorities could bring into play to increase the amount of units months leased. Members of the audience commented on activities that their PHA had put in place in order to maintain a good occupancy rate. David Griskey, Bill Cosgray and Steven Taylor, Engineers, talked about Procurement and Contract Administration and items that should be included in a Contract that will allow for a quick return to occupancy for units that are undergoining modernization.

Rhonda Lindquist, Labor Relations Specialist and Dondra Merrell, Regional Labor Relations Officer, gave a detailed overview of the Davis Bacon wage rate laws. The audience listed intently as the presenters discussed examples of PHAs that failed to comply with the Davis Bacon wage rates and the penalties that ensued as a result of the Authority's violations.

At closing, the audience was asked if they had learned at least one new procedure that they would take back to their Authority to implement. The audience responded with a loud yes. Our staff received many positive comments regarding the workshop and the information provided concerning how the MASS score is computed and the many new procedures, strategies and tips that they had learned. There were requests made to the Education Association and HUD staff to do more learning workshops of this type. Everyone agreed that the workshop was beneficial, informative and especially helpful in increasing their MASS score.


Content Archived: March 2, 2014