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Strengthening Construction Management in the Rural Rehab Line of Business


Strengthening Construction Management in the Rural Rehab Line of Business

Author(s)/Creator(s): Paul Webb, Robert Santucci

As part of our rural initiative, we outlined best practices in rural rehab construction management that categorize, analyze and correlate diverse rehab management practices gathered from rural housing rehab organizations across the United States. 

This analysis surfaced five key observations: 

  1. Rural rehab success emanated from positive thinking and persistent implementation. 
  2. Almost every RHRO would benefit from a substantial increase in the per unit funding available, especially in light of the forthcoming HUD HOME requirement to establish written rehab standards in ten subcategories.
  3. A smartphone and tablet with 20 to 40 apps is the rehab specialist's Swiss Army knife. They are our, GPS, calculator, spec writer, office lifeline in case of danger, camera, clock, cost estimator calendar and a hundred other single-purpose but very important uses.
  4. NeighborWorks® Rural Initiative could provide a clearinghouse for success techniques targeted to rural rehab. Each month it might focus on a specific aspect of rehab management; inspection checklists in January, green specs in February, feasibility checklist in March, contractor qualification questionnaires in April and so on.
  5. Even with most components of in-house contractor success formula in place, per the Statistic Research Institute 53% of construction firms go out of business with in the first 4 years. It remains a very risky model that requires significant; funding, staff experience, administrative support and risk tolerance.

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