Glossary of Terms

Accounts – The lowest level within the Authority’s chart of accounts that identifies the expenditure type. Examples of Accounts are: supplies, equipment, contracts, travel, and utilities.

Adopted Expense and Revenue Budget- A financial plan for the City and its agencies for a fiscal year, setting forth operating expenditures and anticipated revenues, following due authorization through the charter-mandated process.

Blanket Order – is a purchase order issued to a vendor by an agency with a “not to exceed” amount and without specific quantities and delivery dates. This enables the agency to make purchases at different times and in varying amounts from a requirement contract by means of shipping instructions, the total expenditures not to exceed the amount of the blanket order.

Blanket Purchase Agreement – A Blanket Purchase Agreement is a contract with specific item and unit prices but no specified quantities or delivery points. Blanket Purchase Agreements are set with an effective date and an expiration date. There is no accounting set up for a BPA until a Blanket Release is created against the Blanket Purchase Agreement.

Blanket Release – An actual order of goods or services against a blanket purchase agreement. The blanket purchase agreement determines the characteristics and prices of the items. The blanket release specifies actual quantities and dates ordered for the items. You identify the blanket release by the combination of the blanket purchase agreement number and the release number

Budget - Proposed plan of revenue and expenditures over a given period of time.

Budget Calendar - The schedule of key dates or milestones that the Authority follows in the preparation and adoption of the budget.

Budget Development - The process for preparing, modifying, and adopting a budget.

Budget Hierarchy - Communicates the roles and responsibilities of the Budget Responsibility Groups (BRGs), as well as the workflow for review and approval.

Budget Responsibility Group (BRG) - A department or office that is managed by a director or an equivalent managerial title that is responsible for budgeting for the activities of a responsibility center or a group of responsibility centers.

Capital Fund Program (CFP) - Formerly the Comprehensive Grant Program (CGP) is a HUD program which provides fungible modernization and reconstruction funds on a formula basis to the Housing Authorities with 250 or more public housing units.

Capital Projects - The purchase of land, renovations or construction of a building or facility.

Chart of Accounts - The complete listing of all accounts listed in the General Ledger that Accounting tracks. Each account is accompanied by a reference number which indicates the account type. Such categories include revenues and expenses.

Commitment (Encumbrance) - The total value of encumbered funds associated with requisitions, or standard or planned purchase orders submitted but not yet approved.

Comprehensive Plan - A plan prepared by the Authority and approved by HUD setting forth all of the physical and management needs of the Authority and its housing developments. It indicates the relative urgency of needs, with cost estimates and includes the PHA’s Action Plan. The Plan may be revised, as necessary, but must be revised at least every sixth year. It is the focal point of the PHA’s modernization strategy.

Consolidation - A group of developments that is managed by one office.

Development - A low-income housing project that consists of a building or group of buildings housing NYCHA residents. Each has a unique name and responsibility center number.

Expenses - Represents the total cost of operations during a period, regardless of the timing of related expenses.

Fiscal Year - for NYCHA, it is the same as the calendar year. This 12-month period begins with January 1, and ends on December 31.

Fund - A fiscal and accounting tool with a self-balancing set of accounts to record revenue and expenditures.

Grant - A contribution by a government or other organization to support a particular function. Grants may be classified as categorical or block, depending upon the amount of discretion allowed by the grantee.

Grants - The Oracle module used by Capital that allows the Authority to maintain a five-year capital plan. It is intended as the means for collection and storage of capital project financial information.

Hard Costs - The physical improvement costs in the development accounts 1450-1475, which include Account 1450 Site Improvements, Account 1460 Dwelling Structures, Account 1465 Dwelling Equipment, Account 1470 Non-Dwelling Structure, and Account 1475 Non-Dwelling Equipment. These are costs directly associated with the construction of a development, including labor, materials, overhead, profit, and contingencies.

Headcount (HC) - The Authority’s full-time headcount plan accounts for all authorized employees that can be sustained by the amount of projected revenue, as approved by the Board, and broken down by department for current year as well as for out years.

Housing Choice Voucher (HCVP/ Section 8) -A federally-funded housing assistance program that provides housing assistance payments to participating owners on behalf of eligible tenants to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low income families in private market rental units at rents they can afford. This is primarily a tenant-based rental assistance program through which participants are assisted in rental units of their choice; however, a public housing agency may also attach up to 15% of its certificate funding to rehabilitated or newly constructed units under a project-based component of the program. All assisted units must meet program guidelines. Housing assistance payments are used to make up the difference between the approved rent due to the owner for the dwelling unit and the family's required contribution towards rent. Assisted families must pay the highest of 30% of the monthly adjusted family income, 10% of gross monthly family income, or the portion of welfare assistance designated for the monthly housing cost of the family. In NYC, the program is administered by NYCHA and HPD.

Housing Development Corporation (HDC) - A corporate government agency constituted as a public benefit corporation and established in 1971. HDC encourages the investment of private capital through low-interest mortgage loans and provides safe and sanitary dwellings for families and persons whose housing needs cannot be met by unassisted private enterprise. Through the issuance of bonds and notes, provides construction and/or permanent financing for multifamily residential housing.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - United States Department of Housing and Urban Development provides funds to promote homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.

Human Resource Administration (HRA) - An agency with New York City government that delivers social services that enable individuals and families to achieve their highest level of self-reliance.

Line – An identified amount allocated for a specific purpose in the expense budget supporting schedules for each budget code within a unit of appropriation.

“Spent to Date” - The total funds paid to vendors for received and invoiced goods or services.

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) - Provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate income residents throughout the five boroughs.

Operating Budget - Authorized expenditures for on-going day-to-day services; e.g. maintenance, materials, supplies, etc.

Other Than Personal Services (OTPS) - The OTPS budget pays for the non-personal costs of running the Authority, including payments for utilities such as water, electricity, heating fuels, and cooking gas for NYCHA residents, payments to outside contractors who provide painting, elevator maintenance, fire safety, plumbing and heating services, all insurance costs, consulting services, the purchase of machines and equipment used by development staff to maintain the
buildings and grounds, and payments to private landlords participating in the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Parent/Child Relationship - Describes the relationship between the Management Office and the developments within a consolidation.

Planned Purchase Order – is a long-term agreement committing to buy goods or services costing in excess of $50,000 from a single source.

Program/Phase - Unique identifier used primarily to specify Grant Year for Funding Source. Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) - Is a financial package of ideas to close a given financial deficit. They can be classified as expense reductions, revenue increases, legislative/regulatory changes, or management initiatives to improve productivity.

Project - A budget line item identifier used for external reporting and billing purposes.

Personnel Action Request (PAR) - A form submitted by BRGs to change salaries and add staff. This form is required for filling a vacancy.

Personal Services (PS) - The PS budget includes salaries and fringe benefits for all of NYCHA’s staff. Approximately 14,000 NYCHA employees are responsible for all service delivery within NYCHA’s developments, including building maintenance, rent collection, administration of the Section 8 program, annual inspections and certifications, grounds maintenance, community center staffing, social services, and administrative services.

Purchase Order – A type of purchase order you issue when you request delivery of goods or services for specific dates and locations. You can order multiple items for each planned or standard purchase order. Each purchase order line can have multiple shipments and you can distribute each shipment across multiple accounts.

Responsibility Center (RC) - A Development or Department where expenses will be budgeted and recorded.

Revenues - Funds received from various sources and treated as income that the Authority uses to finance expenditures.

Section 3 - Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that preference for employment, training and contracting opportunities generated from the expenditure of certain HUD funds is directed to local low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who receive federal housing assistance, and businesses that are owned by or substantially employ such persons.

Section 3 resident - A “section 3 resident” is: 1) a public housing resident; or 2) a low- or very low-income person residing in the metropolitan area or Non-Metropolitan County where the Section 3 covered assistance is expended.

Section 3 Business - Section 3 businesses are those that can provide evidence of meeting one of the following three criteria:

  • 1. 51 percent or more owned by Section 3 residents; or
  • 2. At least 30 percent of its full time employees include persons that are currently Section 3 residents, or were Section 3 residents within three years of the date of
    first hire*; or
  • 3. Provides evidence, as required, of a commitment to subcontract in excess of 25 percent of the dollar award of all subcontracts to businesses that meet the
    qualifications of 1. Or 2. Above

Example: John is a Section 3 resident that is unemployed. He is hired by XYZ Construction Company at a salary of $37,500 per year. The local low-income limit for a one-person household is $35,000. John can be counted as a Section 3 resident by XYZ Construction Company for up to three years towards their efforts to meet the Section 3 business criterion under definition “2” as described above.

Standard Purchase Order – Generally, a Standard Purchase Order is a one-time purchase of goods or services up to $50,000 from a single source.