By Brice Wildemuth, Analyst
August 16, 2023
Compliance monitoring of affordable housing units involves the engagement of jurisdiction staff or designated representatives who undertake site visits to ensure strict adherence to city Affordability Agreements based on Housing and Community Development, Tax Credit Allocation Committee, HOME, Density Bonus, or Low and Moderate Income Housing Fund regulations. This comprehensive process entails establishing communication with property managers, orchestrating on-site visits, inspecting units, engaging in constructive dialogues with tenants, and auditing property management’s file-keeping practices.
The presence of routine monitoring is instrumental in cultivating a culture of accountability among property managers. In contrast, affordable properties subjected to infrequent or negligible monitoring tend to exhibit lax record-keeping practices, fraught relationships with tenants, and substandard quality of maintenance when compared to their counterparts undergoing regular scrutiny. One challenging but fulfilling experience RSG staff enjoy is initiating monitoring after a long pause, coming back to a property the next year, and engaging with the property manager who has since become more confident in their ability to pass an audit.
For jurisdictions, compliance monitoring is a recurring way to establish an on-site presence at their affordable housing properties. The ongoing in-person engagement helps facilitate the monitoring, often acting as an intermediary representing the jurisdiction’s vested interests by bridging any gap between tenants and property owners. This connecting role supports the jurisdiction’s insights into site-specific shortcomings which can be addressed in tailored owner-training initiatives. RSG provides solutions as a complement to that role by supporting property managers in understanding the needs of the communities they serve. Certain jurisdictions have embraced collaboration with property owners through specialized training modules. These sessions are intended for instruction on best practices for income certification, file administration, expectations regarding inspections and audits, and an in-depth understanding of income and rent limitations and their respective funding sources.
In summation, compliance monitoring emerges as a framework assisting jurisdictions to understand the integrity of their Affordability Agreements. The multi-step process not only fosters a culture of compliance but also can develop meaningful collaborations between tenants, property managers, and jurisdictional authorities, collectively working towards the shared goal of sustained affordable housing. RSG is proud to play a key facilitating role in that framework and ensure that all parties are accountable in the provision of quality affordable housing.