Harnessing data to drive state program performance

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    Client: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)

    Relevance to DOA: Demonstrates how our tools accelerate data analysis activities for programs required to maintain compliance with federal and state mandates. 

    The Texas Rent Relief Program (TRRP) is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). TRRP is funded through U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds passed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, which provides rental and utility assistance to qualifying applicants to prevent housing instability, potential eviction and financial hardship for tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CohnReznick processed over 100,000+ applications resulting in $555 million in payments to program participants and has received recognition from TDHCA leadership for our accurate award calculations.


    TDHCA was challenged with having to review and classify volumes of applicant documentation while maintaining compliance with evolving federal guidelines. Additionally, TDHCA was under immense pressure to perform reviews and process payments in order to help struggling constituents stay in their homes during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. TDHCA needed a vendor to help them better manage their data in order to speed relief while overseeing accurate and compliant payments.


    CohnReznick deployed our proprietary DEXTR and GovCAP and Machine Learning (ML) solutions to provide a more holistic view of TRRP data. These tools have been used to help identify patterns that indicate a payable application, indications of fraud, fine tune projections, and to create user-friendly graphical representations (layers on maps, groups versus points on charts, etc.) of substantial amounts of data. Our team uses automated ML analysis of documents to identify patterns indicative of fraud such as detecting multiple applicants using the exact same document for supporting documentation.


    CohnReznick’s deployment of DEXTR and GovCAP enabled more meaningful reporting and allowed TRRP’s operational teams to work smarter and faster. Overall, we dramatically decreased the time required to move applications to approved/ denied status. Our solutions have increased processing speed for those select labor projects which, in turn, speeds relief to those in need, while also increasing accuracy, compliance and mitigating the risk of fraud, waste and abuse. Texas is the first state in the nation to have disbursed $1B in relief funds.

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    Frank Banda

    CPA, CFE, PMP, Managing Partner – Government and Public Sector Advisory

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