DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: REDUCE NUMBER OF PUBLIC HOUSING BUILDING MONITORS
The agency spends about $2.0 million annually on approximately 125 ‘building monitors’ to maintain 24-hour security in buildings for the elderly (i.e., security guards, and related support staff). This amount is in excess of the $1 million – $1.25 million necessary to maintain good security at senior buildings.
Reduce coverage to two, and in most cases one, shift a day. Allow the private firms to hire their own security firms and then hold the private firms accountable for the performance of the guards/monitors. Additionally, the agency should invest in security equipment to further reduce the need for actual security personnel.
Estimated Annual Impact:
Assuming a per-shift cost of approximately $666,000 (three shifts at $2 million), savings to the agency would be between $600,000 and $1 million annually (depending on reduction to one or two shifts/day). More savings would accrue over the long-term after investment in appropriate security hardware.
Estimated Implementation Costs:
Barriers to Implementation:
90 days for staff reductions; contracting timeline consistent with that for privatization (1 year).
Reduce to one or two shifts (depending on property) immediately; phase out existing agency-supplied building monitors as properties are turned over to private managers. Commission a survey of security hardware needs in senior buildings.
Except in the rarest circumstances, the use of security monitors during daytime hours, particularly when management/maintenance personnel are available at the property, is excessive. Most properties need only one, and at most two, shifts a day, depending upon the special needs of the property.
Also, the housing managers should have an ‘arms-length’ relationship with the security guards. Once the agency privatizes property management, it should allow the private firms to contract with appropriate security firms.