Coordination of Property Management and Supportive Services in

Report
Coordination of
Property
Management and
Supportive Services
in MHSA Housing
Anne Cory
Corporation for
Supportive Housing
March 14, 2012
www.csh.org
MHSA Housing Program
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The MHSA Housing Program makes
permanent financing and capitalized operating
subsidies available for the purpose of
developing permanent supportive housing,
including both rental housing and shared
housing, to serve persons with serious mental
illness who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness.
Define Supportive Housing
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A cost-effective combination of
permanent, affordable housing with
services that helps people live more
stable, productive lives.
Housing & Services
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HOUSING
– PERMANENT: Not time limited, not
transitional;
– AFFORDABLE: For people coming
out of homelessness; and
– INDEPENDENT: Tenant holds lease
with normal rights and responsibilities.
SERVICES
– FLEXIBLE: Designed to be
responsive to tenants’ needs;
– VOLUNTARY: Participation is not a
condition of tenancy; and
– INDEPENDENT: Focus of services is
on maintaining housing stability.
Effective Coordination
of Property
Management and
Supportive Services
Coordination of Property
Management & Supportive Services
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One of the defining characteristics of
permanent supportive housing is the
coordination of property management and
supportive services to support the goal of
housing retention for tenants.
For effective coordination, it is critical to
understand this housing model and
how it differs from other housing models
and to have clearly defined roles and
responsibilities.
Traditional vs. Supportive
Housing Property Management
Traditional Rental Housing
Supportive Housing
The property manager makes
all decisions regarding
lease violations and
evictions.
The property manager is
solely responsible for low
vacancy rate and rent
collection.
The property manager works
with resident to make
payment plans.
Collaboration between property
manager and service
provider regarding lease
violations and evictions.
Property manager works with
service provider to maintain
a stable housing
environment.
Service provider involved with
payment plans, and
“contracts” to maintain
housing.
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Mission-Driven Property
Management
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“Double Bottom Line”
Mission-driven property management practices
include…
– Development and enforcement of house rules
– Collaborative approaches to tenant selection
and screening, move-in, orientation, and crisis
management
– Resident councils
– Creation of job opportunities for tenants
– Record-keeping
– Evictions and problem-solving
Key Principle for Coordination
Establish Clear Roles
and Responsibilities
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Outline clear roles
Establish forum for discussing and renegotiating roles and responsibilities
Another Key Principle for
Coordination
Recognize Overlap and
Built-In Tension
between Roles
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Acknowledge compatible
and conflicting goals
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Compatible/Mutual Goals
– Ensuring the effective operations of the
building.
– Providing safe, secure and affordable
housing.
Acknowledge compatible
and conflicting goals
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Conflicting Goals/Tensions
– How to balance the needs of the individual
tenant with the needs of the entire
community?
– How to balance the needs of tenants and the
need to maintain the facility?
– Advocating for tenant’s rights can threaten
property management functions, for example,
creating tenants’ organization, which decides
to withhold rent.
Embracing Good Tension
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Respect the different roles of each
partner
Understand all roles are necessary and
important for a well-managed building
Acknowledge and use built-in tension
between roles and functions to ensure
stability and a sound asset
Roles and Challenges
How can we prevent this from happening again?
How can we help the resident keep their housing?
Social Services
I just want to help!
Property Mgt
Show me the money!
Find root cause
Are we going to have to evict?
Should we start processing applications?
Common Issue:
Resident can’t pay rent
Stabilization and planning
Identify services or agencies to assist
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Goal: Provide the tenants the support they need
to reach their fullest potential and to keep the
building in compliance with funding sources,
physically, and financially.
Roles and Challenges
Social Services
I just want to help!
Property Mgt
Show me the money!
Common Goal:
Keeping Residents Housed
Blended Mgt requires that
we come in from all angles.
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Goal: Provide the tenants the support they need
to reach their fullest potential and to keep the
building in compliance with funding sources,
physically, and financially.
Coordinating Management and
Services
 Supportive housing = coordinated property
management and supportive services
functions
 Collaborative relationships are essential
 Balance competing forces
 Financial demands of the building
 Security of larger tenant community
 Needs of individual tenants
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Service Provider Role
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Design and implement the Supportive Services
Plan
Participate in applicant tenant screening and
help applicants address barriers
Engage tenants in services to support housing
stability and life goals
Serve as the tenant’s advocate with property
management
Help tenants define how they can comply with
property management requirements
Service Provider Role (cont’d.)
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Crisis management; assist in dealing with
disruptive tenants
Participate in community building &
organizing
Participate in developing and revising House
Rules; help develop and implement
emergency policies & procedures.
Maintain records of services provided
Property Management Role
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Participate in the process of developing the
project design
Manage the rent-up process, including
marketing, outreach, interviews, and tenant
selection
Provide orientation to incoming tenants
Enforce the leasing agreement; coordinate with
the support services team and the tenant, to
address issues jeopardizing housing retention
Property Management Role
(cont’d.)
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Participate in community organizing,
including working with tenant leaders
Hire, train and supervise property
management staff
Routine maintenance and health and
safety issues
Overall fiscal management and accounting
responsibilities for project
Maintain compliance with government and
private funds and other regulatory or fiscal
compliance
Roles and Responsibilities
RESPONSIBILITIES OF
RESPONSIBILITIES OF
SERVICE STAFF
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT STAFF
Focus on service history and current needs during
Focus on ability to pay rent during management interview
service interview
INTAKE: TENANT SELECTION
Both Service Staff and Property Management conduct the tenant interview, focusing on characteristics of a good
& INTERVIEWING
neighbor. Common concerns during Intake: Who makes the final decision? How much information can be shared from
the service interview?
Help tenants with concrete needs around the move in,
Orient tenants about building maintenance issues, fire drills,
such as unpacking, getting familiar with the building
and tenant meetings
ORIENTATION OF
routine and location of laundry, neighborhood resources,
INCOMING TENANTS
staff locations and responsibilities
Provide tenants with assistance in paying their rent (e.g., Responsible for collecting rent and addressing issues of rent
arrears
RENT PAYMENT & ARREARS budgeting, addressing cost of substance abuse,
vocational services, etc.)
House rules are generally developed jointly by Services and Management. Some basic rules may be developed by staff
DEALING WITH NUISANCE &
and tenant input to add or revise these. All staff can help promote healthy cultural norms for the building; it is
DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIORS
frequently Service staff who help to structure these efforts.
Clear policies and procedures should be in place for dealing with disruptions. These should clearly spell out the chain of
PROCEDURES IN CRISES
(e.g., psychiatric, medical, physical command in case of emergency, what information to provide to EMS, when to beep staff on call, etc.
or fire)
Staff and tenants should be aware of systems for evaluating the program and the services given. Management and
TENANT GRIEVANCE
Service staff generally work together, with Service staff alerting tenants to procedures through individual case
PROCEDURES
management meetings or tenant meetings.
TENANT COUNCIL
COMMUNITY BUILDING
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Facilitate initial tenant meetings with the goal being to
Attend meeting when issues concern the building or
eventually have tenant run meetings.
maintenance.
Many issues mentioned above involve aspects of community building. The tenants as well as management and service
staffs are members of the building community and influence the culture of the community. Staff should be aware of
trends in the community and plan strategies for positively influencing the culture.
Putting Principles into
Practice
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Develop an MOU or contract between partners
Develop a guiding principle statement that
spells out the working approach
Carefully select, train, support, and supervise
social service and property management staff
Develop written job descriptions with clearly
defined roles
Schedule regular communication
Give staff parallel status and authority
Outline written procedure for resolving
disagreements
Building and managing your
relationships
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Working together requires more communication.
Clear, written guidelines are followed by all.
Coordination will always be a work in progress.
Define the situations that require shared
decision-making.
Identify the tools you will use to support the
collaborative approach.
“Predictable Crises”
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In hindsight, crises during operations often
seem predictable because they were born in
quiet acts of omission and commission.
Example.
Because social services and management were
all just ‘sort of’ working together without a
coordinated mission or procedures, they did not
have any of the steps in place to act when
needed.
Resolving Problems
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Even with a shared goal, specific
circumstances will often cause the different
priorities of property management and
supportive services to clash. Conflicts of
opinion should not be buried or ignored.
Instead, these conflicts need to be
acknowledged, discussed openly within the
context of the shared building goals, and be
resolved.
Keys to Success
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Select, train and supervise property management to
ensure knowledge of special needs issues.
Provide opportunities for training, mutual education,
clear communication and mutual responsibility
among the service providers, property manager,
and the tenant council.
Ensure that the decision-making and consultative
roles of the tenant council are clear to all parties.
Provide a clear procedure for resolving
disagreements between the management and
support services perspectives, and foster team
building among on-site staff.
Keys to Success
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Similar mission and goals
Have it in writing
Earn trust over time
Everyone contributes to the partnership
Clear and constant communication
In it for the long-haul
Sharing and collaboration
Mutual respect
Indicators of Effective
Coordination
Coordination of Property Management & Supportive Services
Core Indicators
Property management staff has a clear understanding of supportive
services, staff roles and responsibilities.
Supportive services staff have a clear understanding of property
management staff and/or landlord roles and responsibilities
Supportive services staff promptly notifies property management
staff when they observe safety or maintenance issues.
Property management staff and/or landlords know who to contact
when there is a tenant behavior related issue or need.
Services staff proactively address issues that may impact tenants’
housing stability, particularly in response to property management
and/or landlord concerns.
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Indicators of Effective
Coordination
Coordination of Property Management & Supportive Services
Core Indicators
There are regularly scheduled forums for property management
staff and supportive services staffs to discuss their roles, the
coordination of their efforts, current issues, and to address gaps in
services and operations.
Services staff advocates on tenants’ behalf with property
management and/or landlords when necessary and appropriate to
maintain tenants’ housing stability.
Property management and supportive services staff work together
to support eviction prevention practices including rent repayment
plans, procedures for addressing property damage, and harm
reduction (when applicable) to support resident housing stability.
Property management records are stored separately from
supportive services records.
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Consider Tenants’ Adjustments
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Rent must be paid every month
Adjusting to a new neighborhood
Learning to or regaining the ability to live
independently
Neighbors may have special needs
Tenants (and their visitors) are expected to
follow the house rules
Socialization
Sample Coordinated
Responsibilities List
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Sample case: A frail, mentally ill man is
beginning to decompensate and has been
screaming in the night. Service staff has
been working with his doctors to adjust his
medications and his behavior does not
warrant hospitalization. But his neighbors
are complaining and angry at both
management and services for not doing
anything about their complaints.
Confidentiality in
Supportive Housing
Principles of Confidentiality
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Why is confidentiality important in supportive
housing?
What should be shared between property
management and supportive services?
What must be shared to effectively manage
supportive housing? Why?
What should NOT be shared?
The purpose of maintaining
tenants’ confidentiality
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Protect tenants’ right to privacy.
Protect tenants from information being
disclosed, which could potentially be
used against them.
Encourage tenants to establish trusting
relationships with staff.
However…….
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Information about a tenant should be shared
with other staff members within your
organization if it is required for them to do
their jobs; namely, to protect a tenant’s
safety or to enhance their well-being.
Some Reasons to Share
Tenant Information
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Improve an agency’s ability to determine how to
work most effectively with the tenant to achieve
their goals.
Service coordination with other agencies.
Reduce duplication of services.
Avoid asking tenant for the same information
over and over again.
Evaluate the overall effectiveness of programs.
Monitor services provided and resources used.
How do we define the lines?
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Because there is a great deal of
misconception about what is confidential
information, service staff may appear
withholding or secretive when it comes to
providing information to support staff. This
may frustrate support staff.
It is important for all programs to establish
what is confidential, plus what can be shared
by all levels of staff.
What is not considered
confidential?

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Observable, public behavior.
Information obtained not in the course of
professional service (hearsay, casual
conversation).
Communication
Also, there are ways in which services can
communicate with property management,
which does not divulge confidential
information. Instead of saying, “The tenant is
on 100 mg. of methadone and seeing a
psychiatrist,” it can be said, “The tenant is
receiving treatment, and we can expect she
will stabilize soon.”
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Between the Lines
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What types of information may be shared
across supportive services and property
management teams without violating
confidentiality?
Between the Lines
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Generally, property management staff should
only have information related to an applicant or
tenant's ability to meet the terms of tenancy.
When supportive services staff and property
management staff need to share information,
staff should first obtain the tenant's consent.
Between the Lines
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Supportive housing programs present unique
privacy challenges for the service provider and
the housing provider. Although sharing
information between the two may occasionally
allow for a more informed treatment program,
some information sharing may violate privacy
laws.
Between the Lines
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A housing provider should never reveal to other
tenants that a particular tenant has a particular
disability, unless such disclosure is specifically
authorized by the tenant with the disability.
However, this prohibition does not mean that the
provider may not reveal in marketing materials
that the project or some units in the project are
targeted to specific populations or limited by
funding sources to tenancy by a particular group
of disabled persons. Moreover, if one application
is used, applicants are likely to notice questions
that pertain to MHSA eligibility.
Guidelines and Tools for
Sharing Information
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If a non-support services staff member observes
a tenant’s behavior that he or she believes
indicates a problem or a need for services,
recommended strategies for addressing the
issue include:
Guidelines and Tools for
Sharing Information
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The staff member may offer to introduce the
tenant to a services team member.
If the tenant’s behavior occurs regularly in a
public area, the staff member can ask a member
of the services team to be present to observe
the behavior.
When a non-support staff member shares
information with a services team member,
information about an incident or problem should
be limited to direct observation, not judgments,
hearsay, rumor, or interpretations.
Guidelines and Tools for
Sharing Information
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Property management may report to a services
team member a disruptive episode involving the
tenant that occurred when the team members
were not there.
Tenants who are bothered by other tenants’
behaviors sometimes ask for information about
how other tenants’ issues are being dealt with.
Staff will need to assure tenants that issues are
being addressed without sharing protected
health information. Staff must consistently
express to all tenants what information is
confidential and what is not.
RESOURCES
Resources
Supportive Housing Property Management
Operations Manual
 Created by CSH and partners in 2003
 Designed specifically for supportive housing
 Managing and operating supportive housing is
different
 The core mission of supportive housing is to
provide quality affordable housing for people
with disabilities who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness.
48
Toolkit
CSH’S TOOLKIT
FOR DEVELOPING AND
OPERATING SUPPORTIVE
HOUSING @
WWW.CSH.ORG/TOOLKIT2
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Toolkit
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HOUSING OPERATIONS
Introduction to Property Management in
Supportive Housing
Tenant Screening, Selection, and Move-In
Leases, Lease Enforcement, and Rent
Collection
Reasonable Accommodations in Supportive
Housing Operations
Safety and Security
Maintaining the Physical Plant
Toolkit
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SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
Designing the Supportive Services Plan
Essential Service Strategies for Supportive
Housing Settings
Preparing for Tenants’ Service Needs
Resource
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BEST PRACTICES MANUAL: INTEGRATING
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND SERVICES
IN SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
Resource
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Not a Solo Act: Creating Successful
Partnerships to Develop and Operate
Supportive Housing. Updated edition, 2012.
Supportive Housing Training
Series
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Produced for HUD by CSH and CUCS
Introduction to Supportive Housing
Development
Financial Management and HUD Compliance
Coordinating Property Management and Social
Services in Supportive Housing
Developing the Program
Supportive Housing Training
Series (continued)
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Community Building in and Around Supportive
Residences
Services for People with Special Needs
Case Management Services
Crisis and Conflict
Issues in the First Year
Making the Transition to Permanent Housing
Employment Services in Supportive Housing
•
The Seven Dimensions of Quality
for Supportive Housing:
•
Definitions and Indicators
•
Quality Assessment Tools
Additional Materials and Resources
Dimension #5: Property and Asset
Management
56
For MHSA Housing
Program TA
Anne Cory
510.251.1910 x208
Alan Saunders
510.251-1910 x214

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