This topic describes recommended steps for monitoring activities under each of the four eligible HOME activity types.
Click on any of the program areas below to learn the recommended steps, and to view, print, and/or download useful checklists to assist monitoring staff
Reasons to Monitor Program Performance
Participating jurisdictions are concerned with maximizing housing production and assistance activity with limited resources. Ultimately, a well-designed monitoring system should generate information to PJ staff so that HOME Program compliance, productivity, and efficiency can all be evaluated on an on-going basis.
Monitoring serves many significant purposes including ensuring accountability, responding to community needs, and maximizing the use of resources.
Foremost, effective HOME Program monitoring must determine whether or not housing and housing-related services are being delivered in accordance with the HOME requirements. The most significant of these require that funds be used to provide housing and housing-related services for low- and very-low-income residents; that any housing produced with HOME funds meets quality standards and is decent, safe, and sanitary; and that the housing opportunities created with these funds are available and affordable for some period of time. Non-compliance with HOME Program requirements can be costly to a PJ, as it can lead to HUD requesting the repayment of HOME funds.
This level of accountability is necessary to ensure that the housing policy objectives of Congress and HUD are met and to protect against fraud and misuse of public funds.
Responding to Community Needs
Within the context of implementing regulations, the HOME Program is a block grant that provides considerable flexibility to state and local governments in implementing housing programs that are most appropriate to meet local housing conditions and needs. Monitoring programs in relation to those needs can help a public agency determine whether or not HOME funds are being used to address the highest affordable housing priorities of the jurisdiction. In addition, for large jurisdictions, where program staff carries out single components of HOME activities, monitoring often provides the "big picture" of all the funded activities. This broader perspective is useful in evaluating the overall impact of the program.
Utilizing Resources Efficiently and Effectively
Public agencies must be concerned with the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Monitoring systems can help determine how well services are being provided and at what cost. This is important because it is possible for a PJ to use its HOME funds in accordance with all of the HOME requirements, and address the jurisdiction's highest priority housing needs, and still be able to improve the effectiveness of its HOME program.
Few PJs have the staff resources and expertise to implement HOME activities exclusively with in-house staff, and thus they rely on outside entities to assist with the complex task of providing affordable housing opportunities to their low-income residents. PJs are obligated to monitor these partners to ensure program compliance. However, monitoring can also serve to provide PJs useful information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of its partners. With this type of information, a PJ can make sound decisions about when and how to call on its partners to implement future HOME program activities. Furthermore, monitoring can assist the PJ in tailoring technical assistance efforts to specifically address the weaknesses of its partners and strengthen their impact on the program.
Overview of the Module
HOME Check-up provides general guidance on creating a systematic approach to monitoring HOME-funded activities, as well as specific recommendations on monitoring compliance with and reporting results on HOME program-wide requirements.
HOME Check-up also provides detailed guidance and tools such as checklists list of monitoring checklists for monitoring each category of eligible HOME Program activities in order to help monitoring staff verify program compliance and ensure the effective use of HOME funds.