When called upon to complete an assessment of a troubled housing authority with more than six ongoing real estate development projects, Griffon assembled its team of five professionals. The team planned two one week visits to gather the necessary information. On the first day team members’ combined experience made it possible to clearly identify the issues central to the authority’s ongoing problems. On the second day the team clearly identified the accounting problems that had allowed monthly losses of $50,000 to go unnoticed. Gathering several times a day to discuss their findings, each team member contributed to the broadest possible understanding of the situation and a clear assessment of the authority’s current status.
Speed and efficiency, however, are only part of the picture. The quick completion of the assessment significantly reduced PHA staff anxiety and prevented the departures of frustrated key staff members. The team was also able to reach out across all of the departments in the PHA within the first week and begin to lead the staff to communicate with the goal of identifying, understanding and resolving their own problems. For the Griffon team it meant one of its primary objectives had been met, leaving behind increased PHA staff capacity.
This quick, efficient and accurate assessment allowed the rapid creation of a workout plan before the financial condition of the PHA could deteriorate; making the plan irrelevant. Griffon continues to assist that authority in implementing that workout plan which has been proceeding precisely as planned. The result has been the systematic reduction of losses for the authority and the return of more than one million dollars of misspent Capital Fund monies.
Griffon also provided board and staff training for this PHA in an effort to further enhance capacity. Collateral efforts were focused on finding ways to increase staff morale, communication and efficiency.