Kylie Johnson, the Housing Manager at Ecumen Lamplighter Manor in Detroit Lakes, braced herself. The government auditor has just finished an extensive examination and was ready to report.
Lamplighter Manor is government-supported housing for the elderly, and the never-ending paperwork required on each of the 68 residents is voluminous. Once a year, an auditor comes from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for a “Management Occupancy Review” on behalf of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
When this year’s review was over, Kylie sat down with the auditor, who opened the conversation something like this: “I don’t quite know what to say since I’ve never been in this situation before. I don’t have anything to go over with you. I did not find anything. Everything is in compliance.”
It was a perfect audit — every signature on every document, every date, every report in impeccable order.
“In my 11 years of doing this, I have never seen a perfect audit,” said Rose Lenzner, Ecumen Regional Manager of Subsidized Housing and Kylie’s supervisor. “What Kylie accomplished is absolutely amazing. This is the kind of thing you have to be on top every day. You can’t wait until a week before the auditor comes to get your act together. What an awesome job!”
Kylie, who has been the Housing Manager at Lamplighter Manor for eight years, says auditors in the past haven’t found major problems, but after going through the mounds of paperwork, they usually always find a few glitches to discuss. For every tenant, HUD requires constantly updated documentation for things like income eligibility, asset reports and background checks. The reports are complex, detailed and on wide-ranging schedules.
Kylie says she’s a detail person by nature, but keeping up with all the deadlines and submissions is a constant challenge. “I have a very active Outlook calendar reminder system,” she says. “You have to be meticulous about all the documentation.”
Of course, being a housing manager is about much more than paperwork. Rose points out that Kylie also consistently gets high marks on customer service surveys.
“I love what I do,” Kylie says. “I’ve made a career out of helping people. What could be better?”