Presentation on theme: "Integrating Housing and Social Services PADM 521—Fall 2011 Professor Mario Rivera."— Presentation transcript:
Integrating Housing and Social Services PADM 521—Fall 2011 Professor Mario Rivera
Case The case highlights a Housing Authority that worked collaboratively with nonprofits and local government agencies to develop an innovative program, Project Self- Sufficiency (PSS), originally a federal demonstration project. The program has successfully graduated four hundred motivated families from public assistance. Housing Authority Director Steve Holt then needs to respond to a new national mandate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called “Family Self-sufficiency,” which resembles PSS in name only. PSS must now provide universal access to all welfare families rather than just those the program operators define as “motivated.” Program operators believe strongly that the use of motivation as a selection criterion has led directly to the overall success of PSS.
PSS The PSS initiative involves provision of a broad range of social and community supports to participants, and it also involves other policy areas – mental health, family support, education. The program achieves its goals through a networked, collaborative, partnering approach with a broad range of human service, governmental, and advocacy agencies. The PSS collaborative focuses on creating more stability for low-income families so that they can successfully use public housing subsidies to transition off public assistance. Steve Holt has to wrestle with how to respond to mandated change in program implementation without destroying the essential (individual motivation based) elements of PSS.
PSS The defining feature of PSS is its ability to leverage Section- 8 housing certificates for families in poverty. These valuable certificates offer publicly-funded vouchers which can be used to access housing in the rental market. As in many communities in the U.S., in Snohomish County there are long waiting lists to access these vouchers. Additional funding for PSS comes from the Community Services Block Grant Program of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Funds are administered locally by the county’s Division of Community Services and the Housing Authority. In addition to the County Housing Authority, HASCO, the Everett Housing Authority (the housing authority of the county’s largest city), the members of the Human Service Coalition, other nonprofit health and human service agencies, and the county council all have gained national visibility from the innovative PSS program.
Funding, management, and stakeholders Funders and government agencies at multiple levels vertically shape the task and institutional environment of PSS. The HUD regional office is significant, as well as the state’s Department of Social Services. The county council likely has considerable influence. Numerous organizations also are involved in the horizontal provision of services: human service coalition members make referrals, local United Way funds supplement public dollars, partners are found with corporations, nonprofits, and universities as well as other educational institutions. These may be characterized as stakeholders. A stakeholder is any affected person, group, or organization that can place a claim on an organization’s attention, resources, or output.
How would stakeholders and their actual & potential roles & influence be identified? HUD’s interest in this issue is fulfilling its Congressional mandate. Federal law gives HUD formal authority to mandate local compliance with the new FSS regulations (which amount to a return to old regulations). These constrain the eligibility-determination process. However, there are multiple levels within HUD, and staff at the regional office have an interest in sustaining the innovative work of PSS. These staff might have some ability to influence how federal laws are interpreted. Also, the Human Services Coalition has an interest in helping deliver a full set of services to get families out of poverty and maintaining the current PSS program. Its power is based upon the six years of experience with PSS but some agencies have board members who might be tapped to leverage other local philanthropic resources for supplemental funding.
Stakeholder analysis—mapping relationships Stakeholder analysis focuses on areas of competing interests and expectations, as well as points of convergence that actors might make use of to reach their programmatic aims. Clearly HUD has power and legal authority in this case – its policies allowed for the development of the Project Self-Sufficiency pilot and its new mandate precipitates the crisis depicted in the case. HUD’s eventual inaction also allows PSS to continue functioning. The County Council has significant power and exercises legal oversight of the county’s administration. The county’s Housing Authority developed PSS and led a community response to salvage PSS, identifying and mobilizing new resources and establishing new vectors of collaboration.
Stakeholder analysis What is Steve Holt to do? How can he counter the new procedural constraints and address conflicting goals (recall Wright). He can take advantage of formal professional and organizational ties. And he can make use of the informal ties and shared commitments that have arisen among organizations. The HUD Regional Office has gained a great deal of positive, national attention from its involvement in PSS in Snohomish County. In the end, that office supports Holt in his effort to save PSS. Holt secures sustainable funding from the county and redirects resources such as VISTA volunteers. He can draw on a broad coalition of diverse players—a collaborative network—of individuals and agencies which can advocate for ongoing support, drawing upon PSS’s solid program record.
Emergent networks Social network analysis and Action-Network Theory suggest that organizations at the center of a large number of ties to other organizations are significant (Provan and Milward 1994; Provan and Milward 1995). There are different kinds of ties and functions. Organizations might be tied to others through joint programs, shared resources, clients, or funding, as well as shared mission. They might function conjointly at various governance, administrative, or operational levels, Some ties are formal—e.g., created by legislative authority or from formal contracts. Others are informal– they emerge out of social relationships. Often, there is an emergent quality to networks, as seen in Katrina as well as in this case.
What is required for emergent organizations to obtain and to be sustained? Emergence is likely when members perceive a present threat, when the social climate is supportive of emergence, when social ties are in place – at least to some degree – before the mobilization, when the social setting legitimizes the groups, and when resources are available (Quarantelli et al., 1983). Compare conditions in the Katrina, Integrating Housing, and Drilling cases. Did networks emerge to address the challenges that arose. What conditions fostered and constrained this emergence? Quarantelli, E.L., with K.E. Green, E. Ireland, S. McCabe, and D.M. Neal. 1983. Emergent Citizen Groups in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Activities: An Interim Report. Newark DE. University of Delaware, Disaster Research Center.
Implementing Networked Government The transition from a traditional approach to public administration to networked governance is very challenging. Such governance requires a different set of managerial and leadership skills, including the following: Identify and maximize core values; develop and manage strategy; develop and manage relationships; bargain and compromise; negotiate and mediate; act as a broker or “boundary- spanner” bridging organizations; understand stakeholder and constituent needs; solicit and incorporate best ideas and best practices; design new or integrate existing networks; organize and coordinate network activities; establish accountability; contract for outside advice or otherwise secure it when necessary. What other skills are required?
Principal-agent issues in IG administration In intergovernmental contexts, local (county, city, housing authority) decisionmakers have two simultaneous roles. They are both Agents for their local constituencies, so they have incentives to provide at least acceptable—preferably very good— public services and agents for higher government levels (in this case, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development), so they are expected to obey the injunctions of federal agencies to which they must respond, even if these are detrimental to local constituencies. State and local government managers are therefore often compelled to engage in competitive, zero-sum games, for instance with regard to intergovernmental transfers. However, in the present case, the housing authority manager acted as a leader, turning the usual, zero-sum game into a variable-sum one—in which he enlisted the support of the regional HUD office in defense of his responsive local program from HUD HQ, in such a way that everyone emerged a “winner.”
What Accounts for Successful Networked Programs in Intergovernmental Settings? What accounts for the creation, development, and maintenance of sustained collaborative-network organizations and programs, such as those sustaining Project Self-Sufficiency? Leadership? Community support? Do collaborative programs need to reach a certain level of complexity and functionality in order to attain sustainability? Why or why not? Does good political management engender program sustainability and success or, conversely, does sustained and demonstrable success engender a supportive political environment? Mutual causation, circular causation. This case indicates the need for both external and internal supports, and for their integration, in network formation.