Since 1968, the Marion Housing Authority (MHA) has served the City of Marion, Indiana and surrounding communities of Grant County. With 968 units and vouchers under management, MHA oversees Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, VASH, and HOME subsidies, as well as market rate single family homes and multifamily properties.
Correcting a Costly Change in Direction
MHA Chief Executive Officer Steven Sapp made a decision in 2015 to switch from Yardi Voyager PHA to another software system in an attempt to cut costs. “It was among the worst decisions we’ve made at MHA. We thought we would save money, but in fact the costs were much greater when we left Yardi, considering the overtime and other inefficiencies that we faced with the other system,” says Sapp. MHA returned to Yardi Voyager PHA a year later.
Yardi Voyager PHA
Yardi Voyager PHA integrates compliance, accounting, and property management in one complete system for Public Housing Authorities.
Getting Back on Track with Yardi
Sapp has nothing but good things to say about the people MHA worked with during their short stint with another software vendor. However, the software was significantly lacking in its ability to support a successful PHA.
According to MHA, financial management was the biggest challenge the PHA faced when it was not operating with Yardi software. “We could not spread costs over multiple properties without making a separate entry in each set of books. That added a lot of extra steps to basic accounting functions. We would also have to cut multiple checks for something as simple as trash service because the software could only make payments on a per-property basis,” says Sapp.
MHA has also simplified its accounting structure by switching back to Yardi. “Our Chart of Accounts went from three pages with Yardi to more than 300 with the other system. We are much more streamlined now that we are back on Yardi.”
Yardi Voyager has proven to be better at reporting for MHA. “The financial reports we ran were not in real time. We would have to consolidate data and closeout the system just to run an individual report. Also, there was no easy way to group properties for HUD Financial Data Schedule (FDS) reports,” said Sapp.
The Yardi Difference
Efficiency is MHA’s biggest gain with Yardi Voyager PHA. “Our core PHA workflows are at least three times faster with Voyager,” says Sapp. “The processes necessary to get a household on the wait list, conduct screening, calculate rent, and submit the 50058 are much more efficient with Voyager. Improving those basic PHA functions with Yardi makes my staff happier and better able to serve our clients.”
The switch to another system and subsequent return to Yardi provides MHA with unique insight into the state of PHA software. “Yardi is by far the best and most comprehensive PHA software I’m familiar with. The cutting edge technology of Voyager sets it apart from the competition,” says Sapp.