It's good news that the Pittsburgh Housing Authority is promising wide-ranging changes in how the city's public housing is run, but the community deserves to know more.
Caster Binion, the authority's executive director since February, said Wednesday that he plans to implement recommendations made by a Washington, D.C., consultant, including improvements to how it handles its 900-camera surveillance system, maintains its 4,262 apartments, inspects another 5,430 subsidized units that are privately owned and offers career planning for residents.
Among other things, Mr. Binion said he wants to properly manage the $5.2 million security camera system and start using bar coding and computerization to ensure that authority trucks are equipped with the right tools and supplies and its repair crews efficiently dispatched.
He set a Jan. 1 deadline for himself, but until Mr. Binion discloses more details of just what he has on his agenda, it will be impossible for the public to evaluate whether he is reaching the ambitious goals.
The authority already has paid consultant Human Capital Initiatives LLC, or HCi, $166,808 on a $195,000 contract signed 15 months ago. The agency answered a Post-Gazette request for HCi's invoices and payments under the state's right-to-know law but it would not give access to the firm's reports.
That makes it difficult to know just what it believes the authority should be doing or just what Mr. Binion is trying to accomplish.
He is promising efficiency and accountability, which is laudable. Unfortunately, he is missing a key ingredient in a formula for success -- transparency.