4 Elements of an Effective Housing Authority Agenda

  • By: Tara Astbury
  • June 14, 2023

The local government often creates independent bodies to exercise the legislative, judicial, regulatory, or administrative functions of the state. One of these bodies is the housing authority, which is responsible for providing decent, safe, and affordable housing.

To do this, members of the housing authority usually hold city council meetings to discuss practical solutions for inadequate housing. Participants are issued a housing authority agenda beforehand, which serves as a roadmap for the meetings and provides a clear set of objectives and topics. 

While a housing authority meeting agenda is a critical document for government meetings, many officials don’t know how to create an effective one. In this article, we discuss the four key elements of an effective housing authority meeting agenda and how you can leverage technology to improve the effectiveness of housing authority meetings.

What Is A Housing Authority?

A housing authority is an independent government agency that is responsible for the management and administration of affordable housing programs. They have the power to construct, acquire, and operate property and can also rehabilitate, lease, or sell property. 

Housing authorities usually work closely with planning commissions to guide land use and development within a city. This agency is responsible for a range of activities, including the development and management of public housing, the administration of rental assistance programs, and the provision of support services to tenants.

Some housing authority meetings are open to the public, and citizens can attend to share their thoughts, opinions, and challenges. This level of civic engagement encourages a sense of community while ensuring everyone’s voice is heard. Other housing authority meetings are private and only open to board members or standing committees, but this doesn’t mean citizens aren’t considered when making vital housing decisions.

In order to positively impact a city’s progress in providing safe and affordable housing, the housing authority must hold effective meetings. And one way authorities can ensure they conduct productive meetings is to develop and distribute an agenda. 

With an effective housing authority meeting agenda, authorities can:

  • Give participants prior notice of topics to be discussed
  • Give participants time to prepare for the meeting
  • Issue a clear set of objectives and set clear timeframes
  • Keep participants focused on the topic at hand
  • Set a pace for the meeting

Housing Authority Meeting Agenda

Let’s take a look at the four elements that make up an effective agenda:

1. Agenda Header

The agenda header is the foundation of your meeting. Without it, you and other attendees won’t know crucial details of the meeting, such as the date, time, location, and purpose of the meeting. As a result, some people may miss the meeting, others may come unprepared, and others may show up late.

You can easily avoid all this chaos by including an agenda header in your housing authority document. Be sure to identify the following in your agenda header:

  • The entity or organization calling the meeting
  • The date, time, and location of the meeting
  • The type of meeting
  • The name of the assembling body (housing authority) and meeting participants

2. Meeting Objective

Holding a housing authority meeting without a clear goal or objective is simply a waste of valuable time. You won’t have a benchmark for establishing whether the meeting was successful and will fail to issue resolutions to housing challenges citizens face. Develop a meeting objective that clearly answers the following questions:

  • Why are we meeting?
  • What do we want to accomplish?

This can be in the form of one or two sentences that help participants prepare for the meeting. Ensure your meeting objective is clear and specific. 

3. Agenda Body

The agenda body is the main element of your meeting agenda. In other words, it lists everything you wish to accomplish and allocates time for each activity. For example, one activity may be to review the last meeting’s minutes and another to get feedback on the new housing plan proposal. When creating the agenda body, start with the most sensitive or time-consuming items and finish with the least sensitive or low-impact items.

4. Post-Meeting Action Items

This section covers any tasks participants should complete during or after the meeting. It keeps attendees aware of what they must do, eliminating confusion and frustration.

eScribe Powers Effective Boards

Technology helps to optimize and streamline meeting management, ensuring the process is simple, seamless, and effective. For example, instead of creating your meeting agenda from scratch, use a platform with customizable agenda templates to fill in your agenda header, objective, and post-meeting action items. Use a meeting management software solution to organize, prepare, and book housing authority meetings with ease.

eScribe has closely studied government meetings and created innovative meeting management solutions that help authorities lower the administrative burdens of organizing, preparing, and running meetings. Some of the eScribe features purpose-built for government agencies include:

  • Meeting Manager: Create, share, modify, and collaborate on meeting materials without printing anything or chasing anyone down.
  • Meeting Minutes: Streamlines the capturing of accurate meeting minutes, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring all critical points are noted.
  • Reporting and Workflows: Manage deadlines, track statuses, save time, and handle reports and approvals with ease.
  • Collaboration Tools: Make it easy for housing authority members to work together, regardless of their physical location by providing secure access for searching for and reviewing content, downloading meeting materials, and keeping track of comments, notes, and action items. 

At eScribe, we provide affordable and flexible pricing for our meeting management solutions to ensure you create effective housing authority meeting agendas. If you’re interested in seeing how eScribe’s features help improve the effectiveness of housing authority meetings, check out the City of Greensboro case study or request a quote for your organization.