For Immediate Release -- August 2008
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) held its 2008 Moving to Work (MTW) Conference representing 28 MTW agencies, as well as several industry groups such as the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA). Optimal was responsible for facilitating selected workshop sessions, coordinating information that was presented to conference attendees, and advising HUD on the conference's overall agenda.
Ron Atkielski, senior research associate at Optimal and a former public housing administrator, facilitated a session on using MTW flexibilities to provide effective project-based management. HUD's main objective was to discuss the controversial agency-wide shift to asset management, a form of project-based budgeting and accounting. Optimal staff led Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), HUD staff, and industry groups in small group discussions, in order to develop possible ways of addressing portions of the new rules that would help tackle the fundamental challenges associated with the interaction of asset management and the funding fungibility that MTW allows. Other topics discussed during the conference included strategies for implementing alternate rent policies, development flexibilities, working with residents and stakeholders, homeownership programs, and reporting requirements. As a result, a consensus was reached on the types of flexibilities needed to make an asset management model work.
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