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Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) Makes Sweeping Community Improvements

Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) Makes Sweeping Community Improvements

Challenge: Harrisburg Housing Authority’s (HHA) Resources Strained Following Pandemic Restrictions

Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) provides affordable housing options to more than 5,000 residents, many of whom are on the extreme low end of the income scale. As the city’s largest residential property owner, HHA prides itself on delivering safe places to live and services that support self-sufficiency, so residents have opportunities to excel.

This worthy mission was challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandated lockdowns and other restrictions brought HHA’s community improvement projects to a standstill. As the days and weeks turned to months, projects started to stack up. Each day was a lost opportunity to address serious needs, including leaking roofs, unstable balconies, dangerous porch decks and other threats to resident safety.

HHA needed a way to act quickly once restrictions were lifted. They turned to their cooperative purchasing program, the Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN), in search of a turnkey solution for tackling these urgent projects and found Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC). To ensure the work was done well, they partnered with awarded contractor Lobar Associates, a construction company with a successful track record that spans decades.

See more about how Gordian helps housing authorities across North America provide safe, high-quality homes.

Solution: Gordian JOC Provides Cost Control, Collaboration and Speed

Gordian’s Job Order Contracting solutions have been used to deliver mission-critical projects at every level of government — from enormous federal agencies and state offices all the way to villages, towns and other local entities. Gordian’s JOC has such widespread appeal because it offers organizations greater transparency and cost control than traditional project delivery methods.

These dual benefits spring in part from Gordian’s Construction Task Catalog (CTC), a thoroughly researched and verified collection of preset costs for construction work. Shared between all stakeholders, the CTC empowers project owners to budget accurately for the work they need and eliminates contentious negotiations and protracted delays over pricing, improving owner-contractor relationships per a report from NIGP and Gordian. With tension over costs nullified, the entire team can focus on completing high-quality work.

The decision to access a Gordian JOC program via a co-op enabled work to begin in under two months because contract terms were already ironed out and Lobar was already competitively selected. Job Order Contracting is a construction procurement method synonymous with speed. Purchasing it through a cooperative turbo charged the process.

With a Gordian JOC contract in hand and a trusted contractor at the ready, the Harrisburg Housing Authority went about upgrading its communities. Hear project owners discuss how they collaborated to complete this all-important work.

Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) Makes Sweeping Community Improvements 1

Result: HHA Makes Sweeping Community Improvements

Serious improvements were made across three communities comprised of 1,100+ apartments and 80 houses around the city. General upgrades included tree removal, fence and railing repairs, concrete walkway replacements and the renovation of eight playgrounds. The buildings themselves needed attention as well. Lobar used Gordian’s JOC to repair and replace porches, restore siding and soffit, and fix up 20-30 entrances per campus. Every task was priced out of the Gordian Construction Task Catalog, giving HHA a holistic view of project costs, which came to just over $1.2 million.

This extensive project evolved over time, as HHA’s internal team spotted more deficiencies across its communities. Adding work in the middle of the project is historically a nightmare with traditional construction project delivery methods. Timelines push out well beyond their original end dates. Costs spike out of control. Tempers flare.

Not so with Job Order Contracting. Representatives from HHA, Lobar and Gordian went to the site of the changes and agreed on a plan for completing the work. Lobar priced the supplemental work out of the Construction Task Catalog and the project kept on rolling.

After the pandemic forced the HHA to hold off on completing necessary upgrades for over two years, they delivered exceptional projects for their communities. Their residents now have better maintained homes, nurturing environments where they can raise their children, make memories and thrive. Housing residents beamed over the improvements to the playgrounds, which are now more welcoming and modern places where their kids can be kids.

Harrisburg Housing Authority made savvy decisions to optimize their facilities quickly without sacrificing quality. This project was such an exemplary use of JOC and made such positive impacts across the community that it won Gordian’s 2022 Harry H. Mellon Award of Excellence in Job Order Contracting.

Click here to find out more about Gordian’s annual Job Order Contracting Awards program, including how to submit your project for this distinguished honor.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.

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