Financial Technical Assistance Services

As one of the leading providers of financial management technical assistance in the public housing industry, TAG Associates' areas of expertise include:

TAG’s founder possesses over thirty years of practical operational experience in the successful provisioning of services to low-income, Section 8, and public housing providers (which also includes assistance to Indian housing organizations). TAG’s Vice President possesses over twenty years of professional experience in public housing financial management and oversight. TAG staff has a direct public housing experience of over 50 years combined.

TAG provides services to:

Along with extensive expertise in operations and financial management for low-income housing, TAG Associates is skilled in areas such as: HOPE VI, new operating fund rules, program planning, social and community services planning, and economic development.

Financial Management Clients and Major Projects include:

Strategic Financial Management Plans

TAG Associates, Inc. has extensive experience in conducting and directing comprehensive financial management reviews of public housing agencies (PHAs), including all areas of financial operations. TAG has developed effective financial management and work out plans to address the needs of financially troubled PHAs. TAG has developed comprehensive financial improvement programs that included the development of revised budget requests and the development of plans to close all outstanding audit findings.

TAG Associates staff have developed long-range financial improvement plans for public housing agencies in the cities of San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Detroit, Kansas City, MO, Indianapolis and St. Louis. TAG has performed such services for PHAs ranging in size from fewer than five hundred units to more than twenty thousand units. In many cases, PHAs have extended contracts for services with TAG to include assistance in implementing strategies developed in these plans.

The core of these plans is the development of long-range funding and expenditure projections, which are based on forecasts of the PHA's portfolios, along with management assumptions about key operational components. They further include the impact these assumptions will have on funding, operations, staffing, and delivery of key housing services. The plans present the goals and objectives of the subject PHA and finish with strategies designed to best enable the agency to meet those critical objectives.

Additionally, members of TAG have developed guidebooks on financial management for PHAs and Resident Management Corporations for HUD and public housing staff.

PHAS/SEMAP

One of the goals of these financial strategic management plans is to improve the scores of the PHAS and SEMAP financial indicators. TAG has direct experience in providing assistance in this area. TAG has closely followed and participated in the PHAS revised rulemaking process, through participation in the HUD Finance and Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) housing inspections rules committees. As Receiver of the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (HAKC), TAG Associates has also worked extensively with the Housing Operations and Section 8 Departments on PHMAP/PHAS and SEMAP submissions to HUD.

TAG has implemented monthly indicator and sub-indicator tracking reports that monitor HAKC PHAS scores for each Management Sub-Indicator by development. These reports allow managers and Housing Operations staff to address specific problems with sub-indicators at the development level. TAG Associates oversees all day-to-day operations of HAKC. Under TAG's guidance, HAKC improved its PHAS scores dramatically and has been recognized as a high performer.

TAG has also developed a PHAS manual and performed PHAS training for HAKC Housing Operations staff. Prior to the Public Housing Reform Act, TAG Associates performed several PHAS assessments of troubled housing agencies under contract with HUD. In conjunction with these assessments, TAG developed numerous improvement strategies for troubled public housing agencies.

Policies and Procedures

TAG was for many years responsible for all financial operations of the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), including the development of policies and procedures for all aspects of financial operations.

Additionally, TAG has developed complete financial management systems, including the development of policies and procedures for the DCHA, HAKC, the DHC, and has recently developed accounting procedures for St. Louis.

TAG staff has direct experience in the development of internal audit and control policies and procedures for the DCHA, HAKC and DHC. These policies and procedures for internal audit and quality control have been essential to ensuring that the risks inherent in the organization were adequately assessed and treated within the context of normal PHA operations.

Additionally, TAG served as coordinator of the DHC's Recovery Team. In this capacity, TAG oversaw operational improvement activities related to the recovery of this troubled housing agency, including developing policies and procedures of all areas of financial operations, including developing and monitoring budgets, developing internal controls, and conducting agency audits.

Organization and Staff Reviews

TAG has been directly involved in the reorganization of select component units, as well as entire public housing organizations for the following clients: the District of Columbia Housing Authority, the Housing Authority of Kansas City, the Quincy (MA) Housing Authority, the Indianapolis Public Housing Agency, and the Detroit Housing Commission. This experience includes developing comprehensive management policies and procedures, recruiting and hiring new staff, creating personnel management procedures and programs, and establishing communications and operational planning systems (including the selection and the installation of automated management information systems and implementation of training programs).

TAG Associates was retained by the Boston Housing Authority to assist in the development of a comprehensive financial improvement program to address financial issues and concerns in the operation of its state and federally assisted public housing program. The project included an organizational assessment of the financial areas and general advice and assistance in the recruitment of new staff.

TAG assisted in the implementation of the Indianapolis Public Housing Agency reorganization by researching and creating new job descriptions and assisting in restructuring agency functions.

Cost Allocation and Allowable Expense Levels

TAG has developed cost allocation methodologies, solicited for HUD approval of the methodology, and implemented the allocation schemes in Kansas City, Detroit and the District of Columbia. TAG also developed project-based budgets for all developments and negotiated with literally dozens of private management firms and RMCs to establish agreed upon property specific AELs and budgets.

Private Management Expense Accounting

TAG Associates has worked with several large PHAs in providing assistance in their privatization efforts. These PHAs include the DCHA, Dade County PHA, St. Louis Housing Authority, HAKC, and the Detroit Housing Commission. Perhaps more than any other firm nationally, TAG has worked with large PHAs and helped guide them through the examination of the privatization process, implementation of privatization efforts, and the establishment of in-house monitoring systems to ensure successful implementation. Additionally, TAG has developed budgets and negotiated with private management companies regarding the private developments on behalf of HAKC, DCHA and the Detroit Housing Commission.

As the Receiver of the HAKC, TAG has privatized the management of 25% of its housing stock. In order to successfully track and monitor the expense levels of the private management companies, TAG has developed accounting and reporting procedures. As a result of these thorough procedures, the HAKC has established extremely high AELs for these properties.

For the DCHA, TAG assisted with the privatization of management responsibilities for 20% of the DCHA's housing stock. TAG developed asset management guidebooks to ensure the smooth transition from PHA management to privatized management. TAG's founder directed the development of HUD's research in Project-Based Accounting and the development of the HUD Project-Based Accounting Guidebook for PHAs and HUD staff. TAG has developed Project-Based Accounting systems for the DCHA, San Francisco Housing Authority, Indianapolis Housing Authority, Detroit Housing Commission, HAKC and the Dade County Housing Authority.

TAG Associates provided technical assistance and training sessions to Dade County Department of Housing and Urban Development in developing and implementing its project-based accounting system. TAG's responsibilities included designing a project-based accounting system to meet HUD requirements, including providing assistance in developing cost centers to form the basis of the Project-Based Accounting system