Landlords’ Group Honors PHA Executives with Public Service Award

(Philadelphia)-The Homeowners Association of Philadelphia County (HAPCO) has chosen two Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) executives to receive the organization's Public Service Award.

PHA Administrative Receiver/Executive Director Michael P. Kelly and Charles Lanier, General Manager of Client Services, were honored based on their efforts to address longstanding problems and concerns.

"The participation of private landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher program is critical to its success, so we are committed to working with them in an expedient, efficient manner," Kelly said. "It's both gratifying and humbling to receive this honor from HAPCO and we intend to further improve our service and relationships in the future."

Victor Pinckney, Sr., President of HAPCO, said Kelly has done a lot to make it easier for landlords to resolve issues, some of which have been going on for years.

"We really appreciate his willingness to listen and do something about it," Pinckney said. He recalled the group's first meeting with Kelly saying, "Before we could put our complaints out, he was addressing 'em."

Pinckney also had high praise for Lanier who had asked the landlords' group to work with him and the agency to clear up outstanding issues including damage caused by residents, rental rates, and the servicing of landlords' accounts.

Lanier was pleasantly surprised by the award. He believes PHA's use of information technology has greatly increased satisfaction among participating landlords.

"Our Landlord Data Center made everything pretty much transparent," he said. "It allows them to look at the results of their inspections and to look at the appointments for recertification and inspection."

In addition, the agency has set up a Facebook page where landlords can ask questions and get tips, and established a direct call center for landlords. PHA has also contracted with a private firm to study rental rates in the city and make recommendations.

Lanier believes PHA and landlords are better off working together for everybody concerned, including residents. He thanked Kelly for his help in making changes to the program that have led to a stronger partnership with landlords and improved service.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program serves over 16,000 families in Philadelphia.