HUD No. 07-090
June 19, 2007
HUD EMPLOYEE IS AMONG FINALISTS FOR DISTINGUISHED GOVERNMENT AWARD
Innovative income verification system credited for eliminating $2 billion in improper rental payments and removing HUD as "high-risk" agency
WASHINGTON- A U.S. Housing and Urban Development employee, Nicole Faison, is among the 31 finalists in the running to receive the prestigious 2007 Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service. This year's finalists were announced today at a Capital Hill breakfast.
Faison, who is the Director of Public Housing Programs in HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), received the nomination for her work to create the Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV), a web-based, state-of-the-art database platform that helps public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country better manage HUD's public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs. EIV resulted in HUD's rental assistance programs being removed from the Government Accountability Office's "high-risk" agency list this year.
"Our staff set an aggressive goal to reduce improper payments," said HUD Assistant Secretary Orlando Cabrera, who heads PIH. "We are pleased Ms. Faison is among those being rewarded for protecting precious government resources."
"We are proud of Ms. Faison and all the HUD employees who had a hand in creating and implementing EIV," said HUD Assistant Secretary of Administration Keith Nelson. "Her work helped get HUD off of GAO's high risk list, ending a 13-year cycle for HUD. All of HUD has reason to celebrate her dedication and hard work."
"The best thing about this accomplishment is that I had the opportunity to work with a diversified team with many talents to make my "impossible idea' a reality," said Faison. "I'm grateful I have the opportunity to work for the good of low-income families."
Faison and the other finalists will have to wait until September to learn if they will be medal recipients. For the past six years, the Partnership for Public Service has awarded Service to America Medals (Sammies) to federal employees in eight categories who have made significant contributions to improve how America works. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact their work has in addressing the needs of the nation. Faison is competing against four others in the Call to Service category.
Faison, who joined HUD in 2002 after working at the Baltimore (Md.) Housing Authority, was selected a finalist from more than 500 nominees. She began her work on EIV soon after she joined the agency. EIV gave PHAs the tool they needed to validate tenant-reported income by giving them access to employment and income data from other federal databases. Annually, families living in public housing or receiving Section 8 assistance are required to report their household income annually. PHAs use this information to determine the appropriate level of HUD subsidy the family is eligible to receive. When families under report their income, eligible families are denied assistance.
EIV led to a 61 percent decline in gross improper payments between 2001 and 2005. With full implementation of EIV by all HUD program administrators in this year, HUD will further reduce the remaining improper payment level. The money that had been paid in error is now being used to house more low-income families.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.