The Michigan City Housing Authority (MCHA) says effective immediately, it has sufficiently improved its performance rating established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be designated as a “Standard Performer.”
Using its Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), HUD classifies public housing agencies such as MCHA into various categories ranging from “Troubled” to “High Performer.” Housing agencies are evaluated using a 100-point scoring system which includes components relating to physical condition of housing units, financial stability, management, and use of capital funds.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Sharon Hutton, in collaboration with the MCHA Board of Housing Commissioners and the Mayor of Michigan City, MCHA has increased its PHAS score sufficiently during the most recent evaluation cycle, scoring 68 points out of a possible 100, to advance from a “Troubled” designation to a “Standard Performer” designation.
The MCHA said its recent rate of advancement is noteworthy and that many agencies designated as “Troubled” first advance to a “Sub-Standard Performer” designation before reaching the “Standard Performer” designation. However, “significant improvements to the agency’s structure and management, resulting from the collaborative effort of the individuals noted above”, have allowed MCHA to bypass the “Sub-Standard Performer” designation and, effectively, move two steps up the designation ladder.
“The newly-achieved “Standard Performer” designation will allow MCHA to operate more freely and efficiently in its local operations,” the MCHA said in a press release. “Agencies designated as ‘Troubled’ are generally required to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with HUD, which lasts as long as the agency remains in that designation”
“The MOA generally requires extensive HUD oversight, which translates to greater involvement by the Federal government at the local level,” the MCHA said. “As a result of MCHA’s prior ‘Troubled’ designation, HUD oversight of MCHA has been so extensive as to place MCHA in ‘zero-threshold’ status, in which all agency functions including personnel matters, procurements, and financial expenditures greater than $1.00 required direct approval from HUD prior to being carried out by MCHA.”
“As a result of MCHA’s prior ‘Troubled’ designation, HUD oversight of MCHA has been so extensive as to place MCHA in ‘zero-threshold’ status, in which all agency functions including personnel matters, procurements, and financial expenditures greater than $1.00 required direct approval from HUD prior to being carried out by MCHA.”
“The ‘Standard Performer’ designation eliminates the intense HUD oversight requirements from
MCHA, with the ‘zero-threshold’ status scheduled to be removed effective April 1, 2023, the MCHA said. “MCHA is now able to make determinations freely at the local level in order to utilize its HUD funding to achieve the greatest possible benefit and perform the greatest possible service to the residents of Michigan City.
“This is a big step forward, and a newfound independence,” stated MCHA Board Chairman Rodney McCormick.
Executive Director Sharon Hutton, looking to the future, added, “We are a Standard Performer at this time, and I will be continuing to strive to become a High Performer agency. I would like to continue to move forward in making our residents’ home lives safe, decent, and sanitary. This was a team effort and I could not have done this alone. Much credit and thanks to the MCHA staff for their hard work and dedication to providing quality housing to the citizens of Michigan City.”