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    HUD: DeKalb housing agency misspent $2.5M

     

    By CLAY DUDA

    The DeKalb County Housing Authority misspent $2.5 million in restricted funds intended for low-income housing subsidies, federal auditors say.

    Restricted funds were used to pay a variety of administrative expenses, as well as costs of five other housing programs, auditors for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said in a report released this week.

    For example:

    “The Authority used net restricted assets to pay salaries for Disaster Housing Assistance program temporary employees, workmen’s compensation for employees of the Housing Choice Voucher program and Disaster Housing Assistance program, rental car expenses for housing inspectors, office supplies, and rental expense for office space.”

    The Housing Authority mismanaged the money by failing to maintain separate bank accounts, failing to properly track Housing Choice Voucher funds and failing to implement proper checks and balances, according to the findings released by James McKay, HUD’s regional inspector general.

    The program, commonly known as Section 8, allows qualified low-income recipients to use vouchers to subsidize their rent for private housing or in a unit in a publicly-owned housing project. Recipients typically pay no more than 30 percent of their income.

    The DeKalb Housing Authority did not assign a separate bank account to voucher funds until January 2010, despite a 5-year-old HUD regulation requiring them to do so, the inspector general said. The agency kept funds for six different housing programs in the same account until late last year.

    In December, HUD auditors determined DeKalb’s voucher program should have had a balance of $2.5 million in restricted funds, but a Housing Authority Accountant told them the general ledger was incorrect and the balance was in fact zero.

    As a consequence, low-income families may have been shorted by as much as $2.5 million in housing assistance:

    “Due to the Authority’s poor control over its net restricted assets, we could not ensure that the funds were used for its housing assistance payments as required.”

    Auditors recommended that HUD require the authority to restore the $2.5 million with non-federal funds.

    Results of a forensic audit recommended by McKay are expected “on or around” Aug. 30, according to a response letter by Matthew McClammey, the Housing Authority’s interim executive director.

     

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    9 Responses to “HUD: DeKalb housing agency misspent $2.5M”

    1. Joe Arrington says:

      Congratulations! Another good example of news not covered by the main-stream media.
      Many of us are anxiously awaiting your follow up coverage of the final audit report on or around “August 30th.”

    2. Jack Sartain says:

      Clean house from top down starting with the rerquest for the resignations of the members of the disconnected Authority.

    3. Need Integrity says:

      This time people should go to jail. I am sure “personal gain” is involved in this
      situation. The number of tv reports on the Board of Commissioners show us the
      business culture that exist in the housing agency…personal gain instead of helping
      house the poor.

    4. tom watson says:

      DeKalb is on a losing streak lately.

    5. Neal Smith says:

      Given the deplorable state of DeKalb county government why would you expect anything less than some good old fashion corruption in the DHA? Frankly, I think that we should be grateful that it was only $2.5M.

    6. ovadyah says:

      Same old sh$$ in Dekalb County. I never in my life have witnessed ,herd and experienced such a wicked unorganized, piss poor, corrupt buch of liars and thieves as Dekalb County GA in the United States of America. You people represent what I never want to be in life, and that is dishonest. You guys take the cake. Shame, Shame, Shame. Glad I’m out of there. Good luck to you DCPD. Maybe you should do a coup or move on, the county ain’t worth a dime. Find another state to work in. They are always looking for good PO’s.

    7. patathomas says:

      “Auditors recommended that HUD require the authority to restore the $2.5 million with non-federal funds.” So, that means DeKalb tax payers will be burned for not just the 2.5 million, but the payback as well. WSB reported this week that most of the $2.5 million had been given to families not qualified to receive the funds – friends and families of DeKalb officials? We pay taxes and have to wait 30 minutes for a response to a life-threatening situation. But, DeKalb has the funding to pay for corrupt programs and the corrupt people in them. Forget expecting services. Funding difficulties? Not if Dekalb corruption were ended. Then there would be money to cover life-saving services.

    8. daisytd says:

      This is the result of sloppy accounting by the housing authority, sloppy field work by their auditors, and sloppy oversight by HUD. If separate bank accounts were required five years ago, this problem should have been brought to light much sooner, before the amount got to be so large. Why did it take five years for the “system” to ferret this out?

    9. eyemback says:

      The comment above about Cox refusing to publish this is right on! Makes you wonder who’s ox may be gored that Cox is protecting. This goes way back–before the present leadership. DeKalb’s mafia (and they ain’t black)–and Cox protects it.
      It’s gratifying to see that people are reading this outlet and commenting–especially those in cognicenti (see above) and knowledgeable of corruption.

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