Public housing agencies, whether on the local, state, or federal level, operate within a climate of competing challenges, ever-tightening funding constraints, and escalating compliance demands. This climate can create significant tension within an agency, ultimately hinder performance across the organization, and complicate the achievement of even basic agency objectives. Such limitations can permeate throughout an agency raising the potential for managerial and operational objective shortfalls, while simultaneously creating difficulties in meeting the more subjective challenges public housing authorities face in their roles as socially conscious organizations.
Such challenges resist being solved with current individualized expertise and require agencies to probe more mindfully into the hurdles and hindrances they face today, both internally and externally influenced. The current demands in government assisted housing at every level suggest that agencies learn to see the environment as it is—structurally complicated, financially constrained, over- or under-regulated. This environment tasks agencies to view the industry and its accompanying issues in a new way. Housing agencies at every level must think about their policies, practices, and processes differently.
Organizations as subject to direct governmental oversight and regulation as public housing authorities face technical challenges that exceed typical private enterprise. In the case of federally assisted housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the lion’s share of the agency’s operating governance maintaining varying degrees of oversight and regulation of virtually all management and execution structures – from what is expected of employees to how the organization defines priorities and manages risks. Part of the technical challenge in this instance is developing a system-wide understanding of HUD regulations, guidance, and implantation and connecting that with data from the field.
Nowhere is much of the most useful of this data potentially more available than in the inspection process. Utilizing intuitive data collection tools and methodologies helps the housing agency excel in the management of its properties. Advanced data analytics further increases the value of this data when applied to the objectives of the housing agency. The future of the inspection process centers on maintaining the quality of the data collection using the most advanced tools while subjecting the data to more advanced and applicable analysis, including the eventual use of intuitive A.I. analytics in both the web portal and the mobile platform.
Neotech has developed an inspection system, NTInspect™, to be applicable to a variety of markets. The back-end of the system is capable of collecting and compiling data, transmitting the data in real time to a predetermined system (and location), and creating user reports based on the customer’s reporting requirements. Our software is currently being utilized by a number of housing inspectors certified by HUD. Each of the inspectors using our system is proficient in meeting all requirements for both conventional and Section 8 units. Additionally, these inspectors are members of a Neotech user group that has been instrumental in providing “real world” feedback for system improvements and enhancements.