The Budget Department at the Boston Housing Authority is one of three departments within the Fiscal Affairs Division.
The primary work in the Budget Department revolves around coordinating the preparation and implementation of all housing development and department operating budgets and preparing the program operating budgets, which are submitted to our funding agencies and are the mechanism by which the Authority receives operating subsidy.
The Budget Department also assists the Design and Development division, the Leased Housing division, the Community Services division, and the Public Safety division in the preparation of budgets funded through federal, state and local grants. At any one time the Authority administers 20-30 different housing programs each with its own funding source. The Authority's total budget is approximately $180 million a year.
Planning/Analysis - As an entity for planning and analysis, the budget department works closely with the Operations division and central office departments to develop operating budgets and management plans. These budgets include the resources needed to achieve specific management goals and objectives during the year. The Budget department assists BHA divisions and departments by providing historical cost data and salary levels, and by reviewing budget requests to ensure that information is accurate, thorough, cost efficient and within projected and/or approved funding levels. Once this information is prepared the Budget department ensures that it is entered into the Authority's central computer system so that it can be rolled up to create program budgets which are submitted to our funding agencies.
The Budget department must also analyze and project future costs and future-funding availability to determine the Authority's financial position at any given period of time. This information is used as a tool for senior management to plan and prioritize service options, service levels, and maintain the financial health of the Authority's housing programs.
Planning and analysis in the Budget department includes costing of proposals related to collective bargaining, purchase options, staffing levels, cost standards, and other resource allocations. The Budget department monitors Federal and State regulatory and policy changes to assess financial impacts.
Information - During the preparation of program budgets the Budget department collects a vast array of information including the number of units at each development, development rent rolls, development and department staff levels, utility cost and consumption data, and capital equipment allocations. The Budget department is a repository of this information and is called upon to disseminate this information within the Authority, to oversight agencies and to outside organizations that support the mission and goals of the Authority. The Budget department also provides information to the Authority's independent auditors.
The Budget department assists the Operations division and central office departments in the preparation and analysis of management and financial reports required by our funding agencies in particular, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
The Budget department distributes detailed monthly budget/expense reports to developments and departments and provides information on how expense items should be charged in a manner which complies with funding agency guidelines and regulations.
Control - In its role as an entity of financial control, the Budget department has approval authority over personnel requisitions and the purchase of goods and services. However, final decisions on spending are made by Division Heads and final responsibility for controlling expenditures resides with them. The Budget department monitors and distributes monthly budget to expense reports, notifies management of potential or actual budget overruns, and recommends corrective actions in an effort to control costs.
The Budget department helps to ensure that costs are charged to the correct accounts and housing programs as required under federal and state law.
The Budget Department performs financial analysis in order to evaluate cost effectiveness and efficiency.
The Budget Department, in concert with the other departments in the Fiscal Affairs Division, plays an important role in ensuring the continued viability of the Boston Housing Authority's ability to provide housing services to residents of the City of Boston.