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Look For Public Housing Executives’ 2014 Salary Data Soon

HUD will begin collecting information in August and will publish it online in the fall.

The Housing and Urban Development Department will begin collecting in late summer the fiscal 2014 salary data of the top officials running the country’s 4,000 public housing authorities.

HUD hasn’t set a deadline for public housing authorities to submit their executive compensation data yet, because the department first has to review feedback on its information collection process. The current comment period ends on July 2. HUD spokesman Jerry Brown said HUD expects to collect the data from PHAs in August and publish the information online in September or October. “The publication timeframe could slip a little depending upon any verification issues that may have to be resolved with the submissions,” Brown said in an email.

The department extended the 60-day comment period, which began in March, on its proposed information collection process for gathering the compensation data for 30 more days, according to a June 2 notice in the Federal Register.

In 2013, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register asking public housing authorities for more comprehensive data on how they pay their executive directors, including a breakdown of base salary, bonus and incentive compensation, and which payments are made with federal funds. More than 4,000 PHAs nationwide manage public housing programs.

After reports surfaced in 2011 of excessive compensation at some PHAs, Congress imposed a $155,500 salary cap for fiscal 2012 on the amount of federal funds that can be used to pay PHA executives. HUD decided to extend that cap and close a legislative loophole so that total cash compensation, not just base salary, falls under it. PHAs can pay their executives more than the $155,500 cap using nonfederal funds if they choose.

HUD reported in May 2014 that 100 percent of public housing authorities complied with the congressionally-mandated executive salary cap in 2013. PHAs -- which are state and locally-run entities that receive a significant amount of federal funding -- were prohibited in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 from using federal Section 8 and Section 9 funds to pay the salaries of their top officials in excess of $155,500. Lawmakers extended the prohibition in the fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 HUD appropriations laws. The cap is based on Level IV of the Executive Schedule pay scale. For fiscal 2014, the cap was $157,100; for fiscal 2015, it’s $158,700.

The latest compensation data available now is from 2013 before the loophole in the statute was closed, so some top PHA officials earned more that fiscal year in federally-funded salary and bonus than the then-cap of $155,500. The highest paid public housing authority executive in 2013 to receive compensation from federal funds was the chief finance officer of Atlanta, Georgia’s housing authority, who received $218,750 in federal funds. The total compensation for this position in 2013, including federal and non-federal funds, was $305,350. The highest-paid PHA executive overall in 2013 was the city manager of the Santa Monica Housing Authority, who received a total compensation of $353,484 (salary, no bonus). That figure does not include any Section 8 or Section 9 funds.

Click here to see a list of top PHA earners in 2013.

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