Yes- this is absolute click bate. The reason for writing this blog is less about how to compare your housing authority to others but more about a trend I have noticed developing in the sector. Bench marking is completely normal and healthy because it allows housing authorities and associations to know if they are meeting industry standard goals and practices. However; I have noticed a strange behavior where some staff at some housing authorities like to let everyone know how much better their housing authority is than the neighboring housing authority down the road. I also see it on a national level where housing authorities of similar sizes gloat over various metrics as if there is a market share to be gained.
I must ask those out there who do this, what is it you are hoping to gain? Is disparaging other organizations with the same mission helpful in any way shape or form? Will your agency take over the ones in which you disparage? Will any out-performance and subsequent measure-sticking bring you more wealth, resources or glory? Do not get me wrong here. If your agency is well run, please sing it’s praises from the mountain tops! We need all the positive publicity we can get in the affordable housing industry. However; I do not see the point in belittling or speaking poorly of other agencies that might be struggling for whatever reason.
If your agency is a well oiled smooth operating machine, go ahead and tell the world. However; instead of putting down other agencies, get your hands in there and help. We are not selling mortgage backed securities we are helping low-income families get housed. If your agency has some secret sauce, bottle it up and get it to those who need it. If you see someone struggling, don’t throw rocks throw life preservers. Ego is everywhere and always will be. I would like to think in our industry we can do a little better at tempering this a bit and rallying together.
I can promise you if the Capital Funds budget is cut 10% next year, both the struggling and the high functioning PHAs will receive equal treatment under our current system. We are in this together, for better or worse……