Monday, February 12, 2024

METRO SHS Funded Workforce: 1,042 Full-Time Equivalents (FTE)/$78 Million Annual Cost.

My last post.

In August I pointed out to the Metro SHS Oversight Committee that METRO had not published any data on the size of the SHS funded workforce. Instead, annual reports had information on pay equity for different job classifications. Pay equity reports included counts of employees surveyed by job category but did NOT break out SHS funded positions.

Even the recent Metro SHS audit had ONLY Metro government FTE counts with NO data on non governmental or county FTE counts funded by SHS. 

In response to my August request for FTE information,

  • Metro provided counts for their staff.
  • Over the next several months the three counties provided counts (following my public record requests). 
  • Clackamas County required me to pay $250 for their FTE information. I likely would have prevailed if I appealed to District Attorney, but with my health condition time was more valuable then money. 

The two tables pasted below show the FTE counts by county and an estimate of the annual cost for these FTE using a $60,000 average salary and 25%/$15,000 fringe benefits.

The tables show a total SHS funded workforce of 1,042 FTE positions at an annual estimated salary and fringe cost of $75 million.

780/75% of these positions are in non-governmental organizations with 262/25% in government agencies.

As a point of reference, OHCS has a statewide authorized budget, for ALL of its programs, of about 450 FTE. That's about 1.7 the size of the 262 SHS funded government positions. (This does NOT include non governmental positions funded by OHCS). 

I consider these estimates the lower bound of actual SHS funded FTE authorized as they do not include estimates for City of Portland funded SHS positions and executive positions are also likely excluded. Indirect admin costs, which often exceed 25%, are also NOT included. 

On the flip side, not all authorized positions are filled. 

Is this the "Homeless Industrial Complex" ?

It’s inevitable that some will reference these FTE counts as illustrative of the "homeless industrial complex". I look at it instead as representative of the inevitable cost of high touch programs like SHS that combine services with housing and mix assistance for chronic homeless persons with assistance for households who may be in danger of homelessness. 

Instead of shying away from tracking and sharing this information, the counties 

  • Need to do a better job of informing the public of the size of the SHS funded workforce and NOT just on pay equity issues currently found in annual reports. The simple Excel spreadsheet provided by Clackamas County is an good starting point.
  • Need to do a better job of informing the public of the metrics they are using to track workload and progress, including per person workload expectations. How many PSH placements were made with 1,000+FTE"s?

And METRO should require the public posting of ALL SHS funded service contracts, including FTE counts.  

I have consolidated the public record responses from the counties into a single 4 page PDF file HERE, with the two tables below as a initial page.


Created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog, 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

26 Year History of HUD OCAF's by State, Territory, and the US.

Following HUD's publication of the FY 2024 OCAF, I have created a 6 page PDF file HERE with the 26 year OCAF history for every state, territory, and the US from FY 1999-FY 2024. 

The PDF file also includes columns showing for each state, territory, and the US: 

  • Their average OCAF over the 26 year period, and for the last 3 years.
  • Their FY with the highest OCAF.
  • Their rank of the FY 2024 OCAF change among the 26 years.

HUD does not publish this data and I haven't found it elsewhere. 

I also pasted below the Oregon OCAF's from FY 1999 to FY 2024. 

Note that the Oregon FY 2024 OCAF is lower than FY 2023 but still above the average for the last 26 years, and the 4th highest in this 26 year period. 

As I noted previously increases in OCAF do NOT increase tenant rents, but do increase subsidy needs. 

Also OCAF increases exclude debt service so a 4.9% OCAF increase does NOT apply to the full contract or Fair Market Rent, but only to the operating expenses for that project.  

Courtesy, Oregon Housing Blog

HUD FY 2024 Oregon OCAF DROPS TO 4.9%%, Still 4th Highest in 26 Years.

HUD has published the FY 2024 operating cost adjustment factors (OCAF) HERE

The PDF file includes an explanation of the sources used to calculate OCAF as well as state and US OCAF's. The effective date is for contracts with a contract anniversary on or after February 11, 2024

HUD uses the OCAF to adjust annual subsidized rents in project based section 8 developments, and also for many public housing developments whose public housing operating subsidy has been converted to the Rental Assistance Program (RAD). 

The FY 2024 OCAF for Oregon is 4.9%, the fourth highest in 1he last 26 years (the 2009 Oregon OCAF was the highest at 7.1%).  The Oregon 2023 OCAF was higher at 5.6%.   

The US OCAF was 5.3%, higher than the 5.1% projected by HUD in its fiscal year 2024 congressional budget justification, but still LOWER than the 2023 US OCAF of 6.1%. I count only 7 states with a 2024 OCAF higher than their FY 2023 OCAF.  

Since OCAF is NOT applied to debt service, over time rent increases using OCAF can total less than rent increases using HUD FMRs.(This can change if budget based or rent comparability studies are used). Generally HUD rent increases increase subsidy needs, NOT the tenant share of rent

More to come in an upcoming post. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

Monday, October 16, 2023

FY 2022 and FY 2023 Congressional Earmark Data: Who Knew? HUD Budget Had 18%/$4.5 Billion of Total $24.4 BILLION in Earmarks.

By any name ("Community Projects") Congress loves their earmarks. 

Finding detailed earmark information is another story. 

Earmark reform was supposed to increase transparency by requiring publication on a members website, but finding comprehensive data has continued to be virtually impossible. And, when posted, virtually all of it is in the form of PDF files with tables listing earmarks that are difficult to convert to useable spreadsheets. 

Thankfully, the General Accounting Office has begun the process of tracking those earmarks with a new website HERE.

Last month the GAO finally posted data for FY 2023 which started 11 months earlier. To find out comprehensive data for FY 2024 (which started October 1st) it seems likely that GAO will not publish that data until September 2024. [Congress has yet to pass appropriations bills so that is another reason why FY 2024 data is not available]. 

GAO has provided the data in a variety of formats and I decided to compile my own Excel workbook that included all of the GAO FY 2022 and FY 2023 data PLUS

  • A breakout of HUD earmarks for their Economic Development Initiatives program. 
  • HUD guides for their earmark program, Economic Development Initiatives 
  • USA spending data on HUD earmarks nationwide that includes city and county data that is missing from the GAO data. That data has totals lower than the GAO data, likely because while budgeted, funds have not yet been obligated. 

That Excel workbook i created is HERE and it opens to a listing of all worksheets, which include multiple pivot tables.   I have yet to find a similar workbook with as much earmark data in one place. 


Images from three worksheets pasted below show for FY 2022 and FY 2023 

  • A nationwide breakout of earmarks by agency. 
  • And the same breakout for Oregon.  
  • AND a comparison of Oregon HUD CPD formula allocations vs HUD earmarks. 

Nationally HUD earmarks for the two years cost $4.5 BILLLON and in Oregon $80 Million. 

TOTAL earmarks were $24.4 BILLION nationally and $439 Million in Oregon. 

BOTH in the US and in Oregon HUD represented 18% of all earmark dollars. In comparison OMB budget documents indicate that HUD averaged only 3.6% of discretionary budget authority in FY 2022 and FY 2023. 

The graph in the third image shows that the $80 Million in HUD earmarks was MORE that the EVERY ONE of the HUD CPD formula allocation programs (CDBG, HOME, ESG, HOPWA, and the Housing Trust fund. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog