Choosing the Rowers:Are Private Managers of Public Housing more Successful than Public Managers?
AbstractDetermining which functions can best be performed by public or private organizations most efficiently, effectively, or equitably is a fundamental issue in privatization theory. The purpose of this article is to examine this question relative to the privatization of public housing management. The implications of privatization are substantial in terms of public employment patterns and operating procedures and processes related to U.S. public housing. Based on the data from a study of the privatization of public housing management in a major U.S. metropolitan area, it is concluded that the privatization of U.S. public housing management will likely produce substantial cost savings because of rigidities in the purchasing and personnel systems of local housing authorities. These savings can be gained without a decrease in housing quality. The true cost of greater efficiency in this case appears to be in terms of equity to clients, that is, a decrease in the availability of social services.