Affordable Housing Document Management Compliance
The Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Department (AHD) was established to increase affordable housing in Hillsborough County, Florida. They achieve this goal through the administration of two federal grants; the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Home Investment Partnership Grant (HOME) and one state grant; the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Grant.
These grants make approximately $15 million available to the county and allow the AHD to fund a wide variety of housing, social-service and economic-development programs.
The Single-Family programs offered through AHD help families jump an underwriting hurdle in qualifying for mortgage loans. Currently, the county has helped pay for approximately 40 existing and planned affordable-housing projects that include more than 6,000 units.
To administer the grant money to the eligible county citizens, the AHD must process and approve a significant amount of paperwork each year, including forms and applications that have anywhere from 50 to 100 associated documents. To mention a few:
- First Time Home Buyers Down Payment Assistance
- Housing Rehabilitation
- Refinance Assistance
The AHD also needs to process payments to contractors who bid on the rehabilitation projects, which adds to the high volume of documents stored. It is necessary that these documents are tracked carefully through the approval and retention process as the county is responsible for keeping the documents 30 years or more.
Due to the long-term nature of the projects and significant amount of documentation, the annual file-storage requirement continued to grow without the benefit of files being purged as their retention schedule expired. The AHD has over 1,000,000 pages of application documents filed with another 30,000 to 50,000 pages being added each year.
Response to status requests from applicants became increasingly difficult. The AHD’s 25 employees that were responsible for tracking were spending one to two hours per day searching for documents and retrieving documents without secure electronic access. Often times, the search ultimately led to locating documents that were on an employee’s desk.
Document Management Solution
In the initial phase AHD wanted to tackle the First Time Homebuyer and Homeowner Rehabilitation program documents. DocuVantage OnDemand® provides a low-cost, secure, easy-to-use solution to track First-Time Home Buyer and Homeowner-Rehabilitation documents through rules-based workflow.
Electronic and paper files are captured and stored so that all 25 permissions-based users have access to the documents anytime, from anywhere. The rules-based workflow automates the business process ensuring that everyone in the office is aware of the status of an application or payment request. Notifications are also used to alert the appropriate staff if tasks have not been completed, increasing the number of deadlines that are met.
To comply with the legal-retention requirements, DocuVantage OnDemand provides Records Management within the software to ensure that documents are properly retained and managed throughout their lifecycle. And with the dynamic archiving capabilities within DocuVantage OnDemand, time spent searching for each document is reduced to seconds.
All of these enhancements lead to increased customer-service response times, secured records storage, auditing compliance and disaster-recovery protection. The next step is the Neighborhood Stabilization Program documents..