Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


This article presents a case study of efforts of a workforce development unit within a local public housing authority to recraft its image as separate from the larger housing authority, in order to better attract participants to its optional supportive services. Using qualitative interview data with Section 8 voucher recipients and public housing authority staff, and descriptive quantitative data from a larger dataset, and drawing on theories of street-level bureaucracies and agency-client interactions, the case study finds that service recipients perceive the housing authority as a largely compliance-oriented organization that is overly bureaucratic, excessively regulating of private spheres of family life, and highly punitive. In order to attract participants to its optional supportive services, the workforce development unit recrafted its organizational identity and its external image through spatial relocation, rebranding, reallocation of workload among staff, and program redesign. The result is a workforce development unit that is highly valued and attractive to service participants, and that service seekers view as distinct from the housing authority within which the unit resides.



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