As requested by Congress, the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) evaluated alternative approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of the local public housing agencies and private providers who implement HUD programs. The Academy Panel responsible for the study examined HUD’s system as well as several other approaches for assessing HUD-assisted housing providers. The congressional mandate for this study also required an evaluation of whether HUD’s monitoring and oversight activities “should be eliminated, expanded, modified, or transferred to other entities (including governmental and private entities) to increase accuracy and effectiveness and improve monitoring.” The Academy submitted an Interim Report in June 2000, as required by QHWRA. That report summarized the data collected to that point, but it did not make recommendations. In this final report, the Academy presented its findings and recommendations.
The Panel found that HUD’s monitoring and oversight role was an essential core function that could not be delegated to others. However, the Panel did recommend that the department modify its oversight system, in effective consultation with customers and partners—including the industry that provided the housing, the residents who lived in the housing, and the communities where housing was located. Elements of other systems, such as accreditation, could usefully supplement a modified HUD system, but could not replace it.
These findings led the Panel to recommend HUD modify its evolving quality-assurance system significantly, using elements of other approaches to make it more complete, more acceptable to the housing industry, and less burdensome. The Panel also recommended that HUD make certain urgent operational improvements to the system that was being used and refine the system by making a series of longer-term systemic improvements to achieve greater simplicity and flexibility, and increase the focus on results. Finally, the Panel recommended HUD transform the governance of the quality-assurance system into a highly consultative process in partnership with the housing industry and residents.