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President’s Forum: PHADA Encourages HAs to Explore Accreditation

System Promotes High Performance and Continuous Improvement

 

John Hodge, PHADA President

I recently met in Washington with leaders from the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), HAI Group, and the National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) to discuss the industry’s accreditation system. Other PHADA participants included Executive Director Tim Kaiser and Vice President Josh Meehan (Keene Housing, NH), the association’s representative to the Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHAB). Josh has devoted a considerable amount of time to this initiative, which other PHADA leaders and I sincerely appreciate. We are also very grateful to HAI Group, which has underwritten this important endeavor.

 

Why Accreditation?

We all know the HUD tools that are used to determine performance: The Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and its Section 8 equivalent, SEMAP. In addition to some serious flaws in these two systems, what has been missing from them is a methodology for establishing standards of excellence, not just minimum standards. Going back to the early part of this decade, industry leaders saw this as problematic and came together to form AHAB, the accrediting body made up of individuals with years of field experience combined with professional expertise from the public housing organizations.

AHAB was created in 2013 to establish and advance standards of excellence in the affordable housing industry and has been making steady progress ever since. The three associations and HAI agreed at the outset that establishing and communicating standards recognizing excellence in service delivery and business operations, provides the industry with a benchmark for best practices.

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