PHA Exceeds MBE/WBE Goals for Contracts

(Philadelphia, PA - December 1, 2014)  - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has surpassed goals for contracts and subcontracts with Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) for the year-long period that ended on September 30.

The agency's participating rate for MBEs was 42 percent while the rate for WBEs was 33 percent. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established goals of 20 percent for MBEs and 10 percent WBEs. PHA's performance this year greatly improves upon the previous year, when the agency awarded 30 percent of its contractual dollars to MBEs and 26 percent to WBEs.

"Expanding supplier diversity and increasing MBE/WBE participation is something our Board and PHA management are committed to," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. "We will regularly review and refine our policies and procedures, so that we can further improve upon our record. PHA is an economic engine in the City and supporting MBE/WBE businesses is an important part of our support for the local economy."

The MBE/WBE numbers are based on modernization and management contracts totaling over $81.3 million. Of that total, over $34.5 million in contracts were awarded to MBEs while more than $26.8 million went to WBEs.

Of the MBE contract awards, 31 went to African American businesses, six went to Hispanic American business owners, and seven went to Asian Pacific American companies. On the WBE ledger, 13 companies are owned by African Americans and 1 is owned by an Asian Pacific American.

Earlier this year, in an effort to debundle construction contracts, PHA awarded contracts to nine firms for small construction management services. All nine firms had MBE/WBE representation that met or exceeded HUD goals, with three of them being minority-owned, one woman-owned, and one disabled veteran-owned. The action by the Board is part of its strategy to expand and diversify the number of construction firms serving the agency. The small construction contracts also open doors to work often reserved only for large companies. PHA currently has another Request for Proposals (RFP) open to attract even more small construction management firms. This RFP is available online.

PHA has also made significant improvements to its Section 3 Program, which is a federal statutory requirement that provides jobs for residents from vendor contracts. Last fall, PHA launched the online Resident Job Bank, where residents can browse job opportunities, upload or create resumes, and receive one-on-one feedback to improve their resumes by building their skills and education.

PHA regularly holds "Doing Business with PHA" events, which are aimed at providing businesses with the opportunity to learn how to become a PHA contractor. Prospective vendors can register to be included in PHA's bid lists, learn about contract opportunities, prequalification, submitting proposals, bidding procedures, Section 3 compliance, minority and women-owned business participation, supplier financing, as well as bonding and insurance requirements. The next "Doing Business with PHA" event will take place on Wednesday, December 3 at Greater Grays Ferry Estates, 1800 S. 32nd Street, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.