NJ Local Housing Authority and Redevelopment Agency Training Program

The New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law of 1992 requires all commissioners and executive directors of local public housing authorities and redevelopment agencies to complete a comprehensive training program consisting of required and elective courses. Under N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-45, commissioners must complete their training within 18 months of appointment and executive directors within two years of appointment. A certificate of recognition is awarded to participants who successfully complete the program.

The complete course of study provides commissioners and executive directors with the opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to oversee and administer the operations of housing authorities and redevelopment agencies. This series of courses is designed to clarify the scope of authority and the decision-making responsibilities of both positions. It also familiarizes commissioners and executive directors with state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for managing public housing units and redevelopment activities.

Required courses are tailored specifically to the needs of either commissioners or executive directors, while most of the electives are designed for both audiences. Many of the topics also should be of interest to housing authority and redevelopment agency staff members, including counsel, and they are encouraged to attend relevant sessions.

Program Requirements

 

Housing Authority Executive Directors

This program involves 10 courses, all of which must be completed within two years of appointment. Executive directors for housing authorities that also are redevelopment agencies must complete an eleventh course, Principles of Redevelopment.

Required Courses:

  • Ethics
  • Executive Housing Management
  • Financial Management
  • Maintenance Management
  • Procurement and Contract Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • PHM Certification*

*This course is not offered by Rutgers. Credit will be awarded for completion of a Public Housing Manager training program offered by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), Nan McKay and Associates, Inc., National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), National Center for Housing Management, or another nationally-recognized provider approved by NJDCA. The PHM program may be completed in a classroom or online. To receive credit, a copy of the certificate of completion from the sponsoring organization must be submitted to:

Christine Cicio
Program Coordinator
Center for Government Services
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
303 George Street, Suite 604
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2020-5541

Electives (participants choose three)

  • Asset Management
  • Design Principles for Redevelopment Projects
  • Legal Issues
  • Planning and Development of Affordable Housing
  • Principles of Redevelopment
  • Public Housing Assessment System and Section 8 Management Assessment Program (PHAS and SEMAP)
  • Public Relations/Communications
  • Tenant-Based Assistance Programs

 

Housing Authority Com​missioners

Housing authority commissioners must complete five courses within 18 months of appointment. Commissioners for housing authorities that also are redevelopment agencies must complete a sixth course, Principles of Redevelopment.

Required Courses:

  • Ethics
  • Financial Issues and Procedures
  • Public Housing Assessment System and Section 8 Management Assessment Program (PHAS and SEMAP)
  • Skills for Commissioners

Electives (participants choose one):

  • Asset Management
  • Design Principles for Redevelopment Projects
  • Legal Issues
  • Planning and Development of Affordable Housing
  • Principles of Redevelopment
  • Procurement for Commissioners
  • Public Relations/Communications
  • Strategic Planning
  • Tenant-Based Assistance Programs

 

Redevelopment Agency Executive Directors

This program includes four courses, all of which must be completed within two years of appointment.

Required Courses:

  • Ethics
  • Planning and Development of Affordable Housing
  • Principles of Redevelopment

Electives (participants choose one):

  • Design Principles for Redevelopment Projects
  • Negotiating Redeveloper Agreements

 

Redevelopment Agency Commissioners

Redevelopment agency commissioners must complete two courses within 18 months of appointment.

Required Courses:

  • Ethics
  • Principles of Redevelopment

Electives:

  • None
 

Course Descriptions

Asset Management

6 Hours
This course provides an overview of asset management as a business model in the multi-family housing industry. HUD’s asset management mandate is explained, and the numerous decisions and actions that must be taken by public housing authorities to comply with the requirements contained in 24 CFR 990 are discussed. This course is an elective for housing authority (HA) executive directors and HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Design Principles for Redevelopment Projects

3 Hours
This half-day or evening session provides a brief introduction to state planning policies, past and present. It focuses on “bricks and mortar” policies that promote compact, mixed-use, human-scale, and pedestrian- and transit-friendly development in our downtowns and neighborhoods. The presentation, which combines slides, lecture, and hands-on exercises, is particularly relevant for redevelopment agency executive directors. This course is an elective for HA executive directors, redevelopment agency (RA) executive directors, and HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Executive Housing Management

12 Hours
This two-day program offers executive directors the opportunity to improve their administrative and leadership skills. Organizational and behavioral issues are analyzed in the context of the key functions of the position, including planning, staffing, and managing. Personnel management is emphasized and topics such as time management, conflict resolution, and team-building are covered. This course is required for HA executive directors. It is offered once per year.

Ethics

6 Hours
This full-day session focuses on the nature of the public trust and the “rules” for ethical behavior that are relevant for public housing authority and redevelopment officials. New Jersey law and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations are examined and applied to ethical issues using a case study approach. This course is required for all executive directors and commissioners. It is offered four or more times per year.

Financial Issues and Procedures

6 Hours
Financial issues are central to the public housing commissioner’s responsibilities. This one-day program covers the basic accounting and legal requirements imposed by HUD and NJDCA in plain language so that commissioners will clearly understand their fiduciary obligations on behalf of the housing authority. The budget preparation process, as well as reporting and audit requirements, are reviewed in detail. This course is required for HA commissioners. It is offered four or more times per year.

Financial Management

6 Hours
This one-day course offers executive directors a “big picture” approach to fiscal resource management, including guidance on the implementation of HUD’s asset management rules. The implications of HUD funding requirements are considered along with New Jersey’s Local Authorities Fiscal Control Act. Budget preparation, financial reporting and the audit process are discussed in practical terms. This course is required for HA executive directors. It is offered once per year.

Legal Issues

6 Hours
This seminar is intended to provide a practical overview of state statutes and federal legal requirements pertaining to housing authorities. Six major topic areas are covered: tenancy and evictions, Section 8 contracts and leases, personnel rights and responsibilities, contractual agreements, general litigation and liability, and the federal Fair Housing Act. This course is an elective for HA executive directors and HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Maintenance Management

6 Hours
Maintenance management includes such diverse topics as budget preparation, staffing, quality control, workorder systems, resident involvement, and insurance and liability. This one-day program addresses each of these issues and uses examples of well-maintained public housing authorities to illustrate the concepts learned. The impact of HUD’s asset management approach on maintenance operations is discussed. This course is required for HA executive directors. It is offered once per year.

Negotiating Redeveloper Agreements

3 Hours
Every redevelopment project is different, and the terms that an agency may be able to negotiate with a potential developer vary greatly. In this three-hour session the nuts and bolts of negotiating agreements with redevelopers are discussed, and agreement language is analyzed. The extent to which various types of projects can support specific developer contributions or require governmental assistance also is evaluated. This course is an elective for RA executive directors. It is offered once per year pending availability of content and instructor.

Planning and Development of Affordable Housing

6 Hours
Nontraditional development opportunities for housing authorities and redevelopment agencies are explored in this one-day course, including housing provided under the state’s Mount Laurel requirements. Strategies for developing housing within a wide range of affordability are discussed, and the household income levels established by various federal and state programs are described. Specific attention is given to “how-to” tips for establishing and working with nonprofit corporations. This course is an elective for HA executive directors and HA commissioners; it is a required course for RA executive directors. It is offered once per year.

Principles of Redevelopment

6 Hours
Housing authorities and redevelopment agencies have a stake in the creation and maintenance of safe, livable neighborhoods and the expansion of economic opportunities in their communities. This course offers a comprehensive overview of the redevelopment process along with the planning and financing strategies that are essential to successful revitalization efforts. This course is required for RA executive directors, executive directors of HAs that are also RAs, and RA commissioners; it is an elective for executive directors of standard HAs and for HA commissioners. It is offered two or more times per year.

Procurement and Contract Management for Executive Directors

6 Hours
This one-day course familiarizes participants with the “Model Statement of Procurement Policy for Public Housing Authorities Operating in New Jersey.” This policy provides a comprehensive approach to implementing federal and state procurement regulations and merges them into a single handbook. Participants learn how to use the model policy as well as other sources of procurement law and regulations. Procurement and contract officers as well as PHA counsel are encouraged to attend. This course is required for HA executive directors. It is offered once per year.

Procurement for Commissioners

6 Hours
This one-day course provides commissioners with a basic understanding of their role in establishing procurement policy and monitoring the housing authority’s expenditures. HUD regulations and New Jersey procurement laws are reviewed with a focus on the oversight responsibilities of the board of commissioners. This course is an elective for HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Public Housing Assessment System and Section Eight Management Assessment Program

(PHAS and SEMAP)

5 Hours
This session covers the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and the Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP). The indicators in both evaluation systems are explained in detail, including how each is measured and graded. The use of PHAS and SEMAP as management tools for improving housing authority performance is highlighted. This course is required for HA commissioners; it is an elective for HA executive directors. It is offered four or more times per year.

Public Relations/Communications

6 Hours
When should a housing authority hold a press conference? Who are the local media, and what do they want? This useful program addresses these questions and more, including image building and managing the media during a crisis. The roles of the commissioner and the executive director in dealing with the media are discussed, and many “how-to” tips are given. This course is an elective for HA executive directors and HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Skills for Commissioners

6 Hours
This one-day seminar clarifies the commissioner’s role and focuses on the management and communication skills required to be an effective board member. Topics include the history of public housing, ethical considerations, setting policy vs. administering policy, and the board’s relationship with the executive director. General board development issues such as effective communication, cooperative decision-making, and problem-solving techniques also are covered. This course is required for HA commissioners. It is offered four or more times per year.

Strategic Planning

6 Hours
This course provides a basic understanding of strategic planning concepts and the critical elements of a successful planning process. The requirements of HUD’s 5-Year Agency Plan and Annual Plan are reviewed, and a step-by-step approach to developing both plans is presented. The executive director’s leadership role and the board’s responsibilities are identified and discussed in practical terms. All of the topics are presented in the context of asset management and project-based accounting requirements. This course is required for HA executive directors; it is an elective for HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

Tenant-Based Assistance Programs

6 Hours
This full-day course provides an overview of the Housing Choice Voucher program and presents basic information about the operational requirements. It is intended to offer BOTH executive directors and commissioners guidance on how to design and implement a tenant-based assistance program, and covers such issues as tenant selection priorities, the calculation of subsidies, and housing quality standards. This course is an elective for HA executive directors and HA commissioners. It is offered once per year.

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Downloads​

  • Spring 2017 Brochure:

  • Fall 2016 Brochure:

  • Spring 2016 Brochure:

Contact Information

Priscilla Hamilton
Program Assistant
732-932-3640, ext. 646
Email