Modernizing Workflows for the Massachusetts DHCD
The Bureau of Housing Development and Construction (BHDC) of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) oversees and distributes over $110 million in annual financing to 232 local housing authorities for redevelopment and capital rehabilitation projects that help residents live in comfort and safety. In 2016, the BHDC started updating its capital project procedure. A change in how funding was distributed resulted in the number of active projects increasing from a few dozen to over 1,200 per year! Traditional methods for seeing projects through from start to finish proved highly time-consuming.
To handle the complex process of authorizing projects, in-house workers, project managers, external design consultants, and in-house architects relied on traditional mail, phone, fax, and email. The teams frequently suffered delays owing to missing mail and process-based barriers due to a lack of visibility for stakeholders.
“Before CapHub, we couldn’t answer questions right away. It required digging and research that took a lot of time, and that was a fumble for us. Now, when we get an inquiry, we can provide all the details because the information is right at our fingertips. This helps us provide greater and more efficient transparency.”Fatima Razzaq, Director of the Bureau of Housing Development and Construction
The Bureau of Housing Development & Construction needed a cloud-based solution to simplify the bureau’s complicated procedures, function as a flexible and interactive communications hub, and serve as a historical record for transparency. As a result, Tallan assisted in developing a Microsoft Azure application. BHDC and Tallan have been continuously creating features and modules to support new commercial operations related to capital building since its launch in 2018.
CapHub is now used by the BHDC and its extensive network of partners and service providers. CapHub enables the BHDC team to collaborate via dashboards with role-specific access, giving insight into project progress, activity ownership, and built-in workflows. This significantly reduced the need for manual correspondence.
“CapHub is a highly interactive system that houses the entire lifecycle of our projects,” said Fatima Razzaq, Director of the Bureau of Housing Development and Construction. “We can now take a project from conception through the end of construction and manage all the phase approvals along the way. It all moves so much cleaner and faster.”
The BHDC’s decision to use Azure was influenced by its requirement for continuous flexibility to adapt quickly to legislative mandates and finance changes. The Massachusetts American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies, for example, were granted by legislation in 2022, with $150 million going to Massachusetts public housing.
CapHub is an Azure based system that allows everyone involved in a capital project to collaborate within it. Dashboards with role-specific access provide insight into project progress, ownership of activities, and built-in workflows, reducing the need for human communication.
The BHDC, like most government institutions, had to adjust to operate remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic without interruption. To read how Tallan helped them pivot, read the rest of our client story!
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