Public Housing: New Assessment System Holds Potential for Evaluating Performance
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD spends nearly 7 billion annually to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-income households in about 14,000 rental properties administered by over 3,000 public housing authorities nationwide. Yet despite expenditures of this magnitude, many public housing properties have been unsafe and unsanitary for several decades. To identify and correct these and other problems at public housing properties, HUD has begun to implement a new tool-the Public Housing Assessment System PHAS-for evaluating public housing authorities performance. Although HUD is still testing and revising PHAS, it has begun to use the results of the PHAS analysis to designate certain housing authorities as troubled and to assign them to recovery centers, where they receive technical and other assistance to correct their problems. In addition, HUD established the Public and Indian Housing Information Center PlC database to collect information about funding, compliance, and other problems that fall outside the scope of PHAS. PlC generates a risk assessment for HUD field offices to use in planning their monitoring strategies and targeting their monitoring resources. Both PHAS and PlC collect data for all public housing authorities, and these data are used for different but complementary purposes.
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