Public Housing: HUD Has Several Opportunities to Promote Private Management Page: 3 of 71
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General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
Resources, Community, and
Economic Development Division
July 26, 1999
The Honorable Christopher S. Bond
The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on VA, HUD,
and Independent Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Americans want government that is more businesslike and better
managed, according to the Third Report of the National Performance
Review-government that can limit costs without reducing services. To
meet this demand for economy and efficiency, federal, state, and local
agencies are taking a growing interest in managing their assets as a
business, including exploring private management as a means of
maximizing their return on buildings and facilities. The nation's 1.3 million
public housing units, which annually receive appropriations of nearly
$6 billion, including almost $3 billion to subsidize the operating budgets of
nearly 3,200 local public housing authorities, are a major asset worthy of
such examination. To determine whether the resources provided to public
housing authorities could be used more efficiently and effectively, you
asked us to review the use of private contractors in the public housing
industry. As agreed with your offices, this report answers the following
* What is the basis for the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) 1998
assertion that privatizing public housing management could save
$200 million annually and for housing practitioners' and experts' belief
that adopting private management for public housing could lead to the
more cost-effective use of public housing resources?
* To what extent have housing authorities adopted private management
strategies, what experiences have they had in implementing these
strategies, and what primary obstacles have they encountered in adopting
* Are there opportunities for the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to encourage housing authorities to make more
cost-effective use of their resources by considering private management as
an alternative to in-house management?
GAO/RCED-99-210 Private Management for Public Housing
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United States. General Accounting Office. Public Housing: HUD Has Several Opportunities to Promote Private Management, report, July 26, 1999; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294169/m1/3/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.