Increased Efficiency and Resident Choice
On July 11, 2014, Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a proposed rule that would create an additional type of consortium for public housing agencies (PHAs).
The proposal would allow two or more PHAs to join to carry out the planning, reporting, and other administrative and management functions of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This new type of consortium would be called a “single-Annual Contributions Contract consortium,” or “single-ACC consortium.”
An ACC is the contract between HUD and a PHA setting out the terms and conditions under which HUD funds the PHA. The single-ACC consortium would become a separate legal entity, considered a single PHA with a single jurisdiction and a single set of reporting requirements for the purpose of the HCV program.
The proposed rule states two primary goals for single-ACC consortia:
- Increased administrative efficiency and
- Increased resident choice in locating housing in a broader geographic area, without the administrative burden entailed when a resident seeks to move from one PHA jurisdiction to another, known as voucher portability.
HUD anticipates greater administrative efficiency because there would be one set of reporting and audit requirements, consolidated operations, a centralized waiting list, and a single set of policies and procedures. According to the preamble, PHAs could choose to form a consortium advisory board or other mechanisms to provide for a greater level of local control.
The proposed rule requires PHAs to remain in a consortium for at least five years. After that period, a PHA could decide to withdraw from the consortium, or the consortium could choose to dissolve.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has long supported the use of consortia to administer the voucher program for both improved service to applicants and greater efficiency in operating the program.
Comments are due September 9, 2014.
Click here for the proposed rule.
Click here for more information from the NLIHC.