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					                                                           Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                                                                        Harvard Design School



                    Harvard Unive rsity Graduate School of Design
                        Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                              Large PHA Focus Group
                                Discussion Questions
                            December 14th and 15th , 2000


Try to identify and estimate the cost of various differences between the way this typical
PHA operates and the conventional private housing market does. You can make use of
the matrix (see attached list of topic headings) to help in this analysis.

Organize your discussion and conclusions according to the following general categories:


I.     Federal cost drivers. This would include those factors attributable to law,
       regulation, and HUD internal organization and practices.

II.    Local cost drive rs. This would include factors attributable to local mission, the
       fact that the PHA is a public agency, and the largely centralize d organizational
       arrange ments most PHAs operate under.

III.   Other items which may be outside “normal” private industry operating costs.
       These include such items as security, resident services and programs, non
       routine maintenance attributable to insufficient capital investment and
       distressed properties.

Concentrate your discussion on the major cost drivers which account for the difference in
operating costs. Try to estimate the cost PUM of the specific cost driver, and, to the
extent you can, suggest ways the Public Housing Operating Cost Study might attempt to
verify such a cost differential.




December 14, 2000                                                                       1
                                               Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                                                            Harvard Design School


                                  WORK SHEET

I.         Federal Cost Drivers                                  Cost PUM

     1.

     2.

     3.

     4.


II.        Local Cost Drive rs

     1.

     2.

     3.

     4.


III.       Other Costs

      1.

      2.

      3.

      4.




December 14, 2000                                                           2
                                                            Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                                                                         Harvard Design School

                                       Matrix (Headings)


1.0 Physical Attributes                           7.0 Other Property Management Attributes
         1.1 Location                                     7.1 Management approach
         1.2 Building Type/Configuration                  7.2 Reporting/performance monitoring
         1.3 Land/Co mmon Area                            7.3 Utility expenses
         1.4 Amenit ies                                   7.4 Security
         1.5 Square Footage
         1.6 Average number of units              8.0 Resident Programs and Participation
         1.7 Materials and fin ishes                     8.1 Resident Part icipation
         1.8 Building Age                                8.2 General
         1.9 Utility systems                             8.3 Resident self-sufficiency
                                                         8.4 Co mmunity work requirement
2.0 Financial Attributes                                 8.5 Other required programs
        2.1 Financing structure
                                                  9.0 Personnel Requirements and Approaches
3.0 Resident Profile                                      9.1 General
       3.1 Resident income profile                        9.2 Collective Bargaining
       3.2 Resident turnover rate                         9.3 Local Gvt. Status of LHA

4.0 Local Govern ment Status of PHA               10.0 Regulatory Attributes
       4.1 General                                       10.1 Fair housing
       4.2 Governance approach                           10.2 Lead paint
                                                         10.3 Annual Recertifications/tenant
5.0 Leasing and Marketing                                     incomes
       5.1 General                                       10.4 Section 3
       5.2 Marketing/Business                            10.5 MBE/WBE
       Develop ment Costs                                10.6 Davis-Bacon
       5.3 Resident Selection                            10.7 Monitoring of HUD regs
       5.4 Unit assignment                               10.8 Co mpliance reporting
       5.5 Assignment/number of bedrooms                 10.9 Financial audit requirements
       5.6 Waiting list requirements                     10.10 Other
       5.7 Waiting list implementation
       5.8 Mixed populations                      11.0 Procurement and Purchasing
       5.9 Unit transfers                                11.1 Federal requirements
       5.10 Grievance process                            11.2 Purchasing/Use of Warehouses
       5.11 The lease
       5.12 Lease enforcement                     12.0 MIS Systems
       5.13 Rent collections                             12.1 General
       5.14 Vacancy rates                                12.2 Basic Mgt. and Accounting
                                                              systems
6.0 Maintenance                                          12.3 Resident Profile/inco me/subsidy
        6.1 Work order management                             tracking systems
        6.2 Routine Maintenance                          12.4 Property based budgeting/ cost
        6.3 Service contracts                                 awareness
        6.4 Capital expenditures and
            renovations




December 14, 2000                                                                         3
                                                            Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                                                                         Harvard Design School




                    Harvard Unive rsity Graduate School of Design
                        Public Housing Operating Cost Study
                              Large PHA Focus Group
                            December 14th and 15th , 2000



Attached you will find a summary of the portfolio of the hypothetical 3,000 unit PHA as
well as the estimated operating costs for each development based upon cost work ups by
a highly regarded private property management firm. Also attached is a cost work up of
the central office costs for a 3,000 unit property management portfolio made up of these
units done by the same property management company.

Working as a group, try to determine what the central office staffing and organizational
chart would look like for the PHA to manage its own units. Use your own PHA budgets
and experience as benchmarks.

Where functions are typically centralized, either reduce the staffing levels from the field
staff or add additional central staff as appropriate. Ditto for functions you think are
understaffed in the private model or where you determine additional services are
appropriate.




December 14, 2000                                                                        4

				
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