Work with External Organizations

Set clear expectations

Affordable housing providers and partnering organizations need to support each other's goals and have a few mutual goals. Use this template letter to reach out to local contractors and partners. If the partnering organization is grant-funded, request a copy of the deliverables that you are helping them to meet. Make sure you understand their goals and they understand yours.

Plan the visits

If the partnering organization will work on site, provide answers to these health and safety questions:

  • What are the housing provider's hours of operation?
  • Is there a time of the month (or months of the year) when housing staff are too busy for meetings with partnering organizations?
  • When are residents most likely to be available? (At family sites, consider school schedules.)
  • Where should partners park?
  • Will they have a housing staff member with them at all times? (If not, require that they send two representatives.)
  • What are life-threatening health and safety hazards that must be reported?
  • How should partners request repairs or follow up?

Teach standard operating procedure

Explain to your partners your standard operating procedures. For example:

  • Resident behavior is dictated by the lease and accompanying standards (share a copy).
  • Residents are notified 48 hours before a contractor or representative can enter (unless a work order request has been submitted by the resident)
  • Before entering a unit, knock loudly at least three times, pausing at least 10 seconds between knocks.
  • If the resident is not home, yell “HOUSING” when opening the door.
  • Hang something on the outside doorknob while working in the unit, informing visitors that you are inside.
  • Lock the door behind you while working in the unit.
  • Be careful of guns and sharp objects when inspecting furniture.
  • Always lock the door behind you when you leave—even if you found it unlocked.