Resources related to public housing governance?
July 22, 2020 10:34 PM   Subscribe

I have applied to be on the board for my city's public housing, in the Southwest United States. Do you know of any resources that might help me in this role?
posted by NotLost to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Best answer: You may want to learn about the warranty of habitability, and the related health and housing codes, including landlord responsibilities for lead paint and other potential hazards. The website of your local legal aid (MeFi Wiki) may offer a variety of housing materials that could help, because they will be the organization most likely to sue on behalf of tenants who have the right to housing that complies with health and housing codes.
posted by katra at 11:03 PM on July 22, 2020

Best answer: I think it's important to read up on the history of public housing, and how some particular initiatives have done well, and others haven't. I think Chicago Housing Authority is a great example to look at, not because it's the one I'm the most familiar with, but there has been significant litigation and reform from when the first public housing appeared. I don't know any great resources off hand, but the Wikipedia article isn't too terrible and has some links and citations for further reading.

If you haven't actually poked through HUD manuals, head to and do so. There's alot in there.

Knowing different types of public housing and their benefits and drawbacks. There's scattered site, project based, mixed income, and more. Some public housing targets particular individuals, so knowing important things about specific demographics is useful (seniors, veterans, generalized low income, etc) which will also have localized to challenges as well.

It's hard to map out unintended consequences of regulation of public housing, especially in terms of acceptance, denials and evictions. But what happens when you develop senior apartments, and suddenly for whatever reasons someone needs to take care of grandchildren? What if a friend had a felony and let's then into the building, even if they don't know , should the renter be evicted? What happens when the initial tenant passes but relatives live with them? What happens if someone isn't on the lease for a variety of reasons? These policies impact people's lives in real ways very very quickly and the consequences of an eviction can be huge, so keep your eye out for stuff like that. These are things that will be localized so I'm not sure what to tell you in terms of this to read.

Anyway, i wish you success and luck in doing this! Public housing is so so important.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:04 AM on July 23, 2020

Best answer: Look into NAHRO the National Association of Housing Rehabilitation Officers (I think. My wife was an officer with them before we met, but hasn't been one since the 1990s). Most public housing administrators in the US are members, I believe this organization might have a lot of resources for your. They specifically are _not_ under HUD, so you get a different perspective - but definitely HUD information is important since it does govern public housing, so don't discount the previous post about that either
posted by TimHare at 10:09 AM on July 23, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you. These are all helpful.
posted by NotLost at 8:29 PM on July 23, 2020

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