A $75,000 minicomputer is now being used by the Prince George's County Housing Authority in a effort to streamline in the agency's rent billing and accounting services for its 900 public housing units. The project is part of a national demonstration, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Kent Watkins, whose Miami-based consulting firm is directing the project, said that Tampa, Fla., and the Prince George's authority are among the first housing agencies in the nation using central computer processing.
He said the system allows agency employees to enter required data into the computer, which is used on a time-sharing basis in most areas, with a typewriter-wide video screen. At scheduled monthly dates, the equipment will automatically print out the necessary statements and HUD reports, Watkins said.
"This computer system will enable almost any size housing authority to do its electrical and operational work more economically, thus saving thousands of tax dollar every year," said Watkins. He added that nearly 3,600 local public housing authorities will be moving eventually to using computers for rent billing and accounting, a practice that has been in effect for some time with many of the large private housing management operations in the U.S.
The Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Council and the Fairfax County Housing Authority will also be major users of the minicomputer system in this area, the consultant said. The District, which has some 12,000 public housing units, will not use the system until further experience is gained, he added.