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    Auditors: ATL owes $3.9M for mishandling of housing funds

     

    Blown deadlines and sloppy contract oversight may cost the City of Atlanta another $3.9 million in federal low-income housing money.

    Atlanta messed up $6.8 million in funding commitments since 2006 under the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, federal auditors said in a Sept. 28 report. That represents nearly two-thirds of all funding reviewed under the program, which is intended to renovate, acquire, build and subsidize rent for housing for extremely low-income families.

    Auditors said Atlanta mishandled:

    • $2.7 million for which written agreements were never signed,
    • $1.3 million for which Atlanta tried to substitute other money to substitute for previously disallowed spending, and
    • $2.7 million that was committed after a 2-year deadline had passed, or not at all.

    Of that, Atlanta should return $3.9 million to the feds because it could be put to better use elsewhere, the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said. The decision is up to HUD’s Atlanta office.

    Last year, Atlanta returned $1.9 million to the same program because of similar issues. Overall, HUD’s Inspector General has now called for Atlanta to return about a third of the $17 million-plus of HOME funds it has received since 2005.

    james shelbyCity officials said the refund would deprive Atlantans of 85 home rehabilitations (at $45,000 per home).

    In a response submitted by Atlanta Planning and Community Development Commissioner James Shelby, officials asked HUD to overlook the violations because of extenuating circumstances, including the city’s failure to process accounting adjustments made in the aftermath of the fed’s 2005 audit of HOME funding.

    But the Inspector General said the blame falls squarely on city officials:

    The recapture could have been avoided if the City had properly met its responsibility to ensure compliance with requirements. The recapture will deprive City residents of program assistance, and the incorrect entries compromised the integrity of commitments in the information system which HUD uses to monitor compliance with commitment requirements and to compile national program statistics.

    Atlanta is scrambling to spend another $30 million earmarked for community projects since 2003. Otherwise, the money will have to be returned to the feds when the program expires Dec. 31.

     

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    5 Responses to “Auditors: ATL owes $3.9M for mishandling of housing funds”

    1. Construction dude says:

      Wow. Just dang. Imagine how many unemployed construction contractors and workers would have jumped at the chance to have a job – building housing for the poor. Now we’re all just gonna have to be poor together. Well, all except the leaders in charge of spending (or not spending) the tax dollars entrusted to them by the very people they should have served.

    2. JOHN HOPKINS says:

      HOUSING FOR HIV INFECTED INDIVIDUALS IS ALSO IN TROUBLE. AN INVESTIGATION OF THAT AREA SHOULD ALSO BE CONDUCTED.

    3. CParkian says:

      Across the Atlanta area there are people scamming government each day and there are interesting threads that join them. Convicted bribe taker Michael Hightower is doing business with several cities in the area, Why? Marshall Mitchell is taking tons of money off cities, right at a million off of College Park. He is the husband of Davetta Johnson Mitchell, indicted last year for taking money from the Atl. Ful Rec authority. Our finance director thought the amout due him was not even a tenth of that, and that the rest was corruption. We better watch. This cabal of grifters will take us to the cleaners and damage those in need the most.

    4. james doyle says:

      I am baffled at the City of Atlanta’s mishandling of federal contract compliance. It is plainly obvious that City hall has an inability to understand the details of federal contract compliance. Our city would save a lot of money by hiring and outside consulting firm that specializes in federal contract compliance particularly compliance dealing with redevelopment, community revitalization, and job building. City Hall needs to be filled with a whole new staff to tackle these difficult issues that deprive residents of their right to live in safe affordable neighborhoods. City Hall has many people making comfortable livings who do not live in the city and could frankly care less about making the city a better place to live.

    5. Brenda Fulton says:

      It’s really ashamed that the City of Atlanta have so many dishonest politicians and how money is being mishandled by so-called officials. I now realize, all of a sudden, that all of the streets are being torn apart and repaired before the elections. Why haven’t this been taken care of earlier? Why wait until the elections are upon us? For months now, since July 2009, I put some leaves in front of my home to be picked-up by the trash company, and as of today Oct 2009, those leaves are still in front of my home. This is down right pathetic. I see city trucks all over my neighborhood wasting our tax money by goofing off and not doing their jobs. Why isn’t this problem being addressed. Why are the trash trucks not picking up the trash. They work when they get readly. Now housing, this is another subject. My zip code 30310 is leading the south in foreclosed homes. Why is that? Again, dishonest people. Take some of the allocated money and reach out to people who are in financial stress and assist them. Let people know more about all programs that are available to help the poor. Put this information out where it can be obtained. Don’t wait until the last minute to let ciitzens know about money that is not being used and will possibly be given back to the government. Stop filling the pockets of elected officials. Atlanta needs to get a mayor who is willing to work with the communities and not just for themself. Shirely Franklin by far is the worst Mayor that Atlanta have ever had when it comes to helping out communities when needed. I could go on and on, but why?

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