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Property Manager Discretion in Permanent Supportive Housing

  • Author(s): van den Berk-Clark, Carissa J.
  • Advisor(s): Hasenfeld, Yeheskel
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation will examine how street level bureaucrats (in this case, property managers) use their discretion to provide access to housing for permanent supportive housing facilities. Previous research has shown that there is a rate of 15-50% turnover in permanent supportive housing (PSH) facilities. What remains unknown is how decisions about client intake and eviction are made in such facilities. Case Study-qualitative methods such as field observations, unstructured interviews, and focus groups were utilized in order to understand the meaning of property manager discretion. Findings indicate that property managers' discretion is conditioned by policy context, task environment and organizational structure. Specifically, property managers evaluate whether or not to admit or evict residents based on agency expectations of them, which affect their working conditions. Agency expectations are constructed by organizational structures, which depend heavily on task environment and policy context. The social welfare implications to these findings are discussed.

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