On October 3 and 4, HUD held its last regional Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) listening session in Washington, D.C. The two-day session was divided into four segments: a PHAS overview, a discussion of various topics related to PHAS (e.g., resident assessments and the capital fund), a review of proposed financial indicators, and a review of proposed physical indicators. The listening session also included brief presentations on issues related to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, such as the replacement of the Housing Quality Standards with a modified form of the Uniform Physical Condition Standards. According to member feedback, it appears that the regional listening sessions were largely consistent between locations in terms of the discussion agenda and HUD presentations.
While CLPHA members appreciated HUD’s early involvement of public housing authorities (PHAs) in the development of Final PHAS, many members believed that additional input from PHAs will be necessary to develop an efficient and effective assessment system. Specifically, CLPHA members would like further discussion of the overarching goals for the system. CLPHA members found HUD’s presentations on proposed changes useful, and many members hope that HUD will provide more information on these proposals in the coming months. In general, members thought that defined goals and fuller information on proposed changes would be valuable in the discussion of the mechanics of the assessment system. Finally, CLPHA members pointed out that clearly defining the goals of Final PHAS would allow for the development of an assessment system that would be a meaningful measure of PHA performance and that would be less administratively burdensome.
The listening sessions were a good first step in developing a final version of the assessment system, and CLPHA’s membership has expressed interest in continued participation in developing Final PHAS. Questions on Final PHAS can be directed to CLPHA Research and Policy Analyst Carmen Brick.