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Über dieses Buch

This is a study of how a bureaucracy allocates a commodity or a service­ in this case, public housing. In the broadest sense, it seeks to understand how bureaucrats try to resolve two often conflicting goals of regulatory justice: equity (treating like cases alike on the basis of rules) and respon­ siveness (making exceptions for persons whose needs require that rules be stretched). It analyzes the extent to which such factors as bureaucratic norms, the task orientation of workers, third-party pressure, and outside intervention affect staff members' use of discretion. Many of the rules under consideration were intended by federal officials to achieve such programmatic objectives as racial desegregation and housing for the neediest; in this regard, the study is also an examination of federal-local relationships. Finally, the study examines how the use of discretion changes over time as an agency's mission shifts and reforms are attempted. This book is directed at the audience of administrators of programs who offer services to the public and struggle with how to allocate them. The book is also intended for those concerned with housing policy, partic­ ularly the difficult problems of whom to house. Finally, it is hoped that students of public management, social welfare, government, and urban planning, who are interested in how public policy is administered through a bureaucracy, will find the book insightful. The case chosen for study is the Boston Housing Authority.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter One. Bureaucracy and Public Housing

Abstract
Despite its many well-known problems, public housing is still the government’s major housing program for low-income Americans.1 More than three million people live in its units; and most large cities maintain long waiting lists with names of those applicants anxious for apartments.2 Understandably, with the demand for the public housing so great and the supply so limited, the process by which vacancies are allocated is a vital issue.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Two. The Emergence of Rules

Abstract
Public housing began as a response to economic problems: In order to increase employment and provide low income housing, the federal Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1934 started to build and manage housing projects. The 1,018-unit Old Harbor Village in South Boston (later renamed the Mary Ellen McCormick project) was one of the first of these developments. The role of the PWA was short-lived, however. After several court decisions denied the federal government eminent domain to acquire and clear slum property, the PWA extricated itself from the program. Since that time, the federal government’s role has been to provide debt financing to localities for the purpose of building projects, operating subsidies, and guidelines for construction and management through the Public Housing Administration.1
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Three. Breakdown of the Rule System

Abstract
Priority and assignment procedures arose in response to charges of discrimination on the part of BHA staff. Since the discrimination appeared to be the result of bureaucratic norms and pressures where discretion was great, reformers attempted to decrease discretion by imposing strict rules and regulations on bureaucratic behavior.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Four. Discretion, Staff Norms, and Outcomes

Abstract
As discussed in Chapter 3, the rules imposed by the Boston Housing Authority did not place effective limits on decision making and therefore the staff had considerable freedom to choose among possible courses of action in aiding individual applicants. This chapter describes the discretion available to staff members, develops a bureaucrat typology to predict how various staff members are likely to use discretion, and examines the outcomes of discretionary decision making for several broad categories of applicants. Because the typology could not be tested directly against the outcomes, the analysis does not empirically verify the causal links between different sorts of bureaucrats and the results of their decisions for applicants. Nevertheless, the separate pieces take us a long way in understanding how discretion is used and provide a good picture of the outcomes.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Five. The Influence of Third-Party Sponsors

Abstract
Third-party sponsors played key roles in affecting how Tenant Selection Department staff used discretion and thus influenced which applicants were admitted into projects. Although many third-party sponsors intervened between clients and the Boston Housing Authority, three types were the most active: social agencies, politicians, and board members. Social agencies included the Red Cross, little city halls (neighborhood-based offices of the mayor), community organizations, and local welfare offices. Politicians included city councilmen, state representatives and senators, congressmen, and United States senators. These third-party sponsors provided referrals, information, access, and services that influenced the type of client that the authority attracted, the demands made by applicants on the system, and the speed with which applications were processed. They also intervened directly as advocates on behalf of individual applicants or groups of applicants. In this mode, third-party sponsors’ ability to aid clients depended on the resources they had to exchange with staff.1 These exchanges could be either of a personal nature or related directly to the survival of the organization.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Six. Project-Level Discretion

Abstract
Rule implementation encountered difficulties at the project level as well as at the central office. According to the procedures, project managers were required to accept all applicants sent to them by the Tenant Selection Department. However, unlike central office staff, managers were in a position that called for sustained interaction with the same tenants, and therefore they resisted central office policies that negated their power personally to select applicants whom they considered “good” tenants.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Seven. Federal Intervention

HUD Monitoring, Feedback and Evaluation
Abstract
The tenant selection and assignment rules were designed by the federal government to limit bureaucratic discretion and to achieve the reformers’ version of equity. Previous chapters have demonstrated that such factors as work conditions, client rejection, bureaucratic norms, third-party influence, and lower-level resistance undermined the implementation of the rules. As is evident in the following discussion of the feedback and control mechanisms which operated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the strength of the enforcement powers of the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the Boston Housing Authority were never fully defined or tested. Significant but often officially unacknowledged compromises apparently developed as a direct result of the unwillingness of either party to provoke an outright showdown.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Eight. The Later Years

Court-Initiated Reform Efforts
Abstract
In the late 1970s and early 1980s tenant selection and assignment issues again came to the fore as outside parties began to play a larger role in promoting change at the BHA. However, unlike past years, during this period the major force was neither HUD nor politicians; it was the courts. Following suits brought by legal service attorneys representing BHA tenants to improve general operations and conditions, a master was appointed by the court to plan and monitor BHA activities. Later, when progress was judged inordinately slow, further suits resulted in the court’s actually taking over the BHA through an appointed receiver. As a result of the court’s involvement, issues which had lain dormant for several years suddenly gained new attention and several major new thrusts in tenant selection and assignment emerged.
Jon Pynoos

Chapter Nine. Summary and Implications

Abstract
A major purpose of this study has been to examine attempts to introduce predictability and fairness into the allocation process of a major public bureaucracy. In order to do this, the experiences of the Boston Housing Authority were examined. One must be careful in generalizing policy implications which arise out of a specific case study. However, to the extent that generalizations can be made, the BHA is a valuable example because of its representative structural and historical characteristics.
Jon Pynoos

Backmatter

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