Home Loans and Support

Reports Show That Maine Housing Had Failed to Meet Federal Quality and Standards

(Source: HUD) — A final report from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General (IG) finds that the Maine State Housing Authority mismanaged its program and failed to ensure that participants in its Housing Choice Voucher program were living in decent, safe, and sanitary conditions.

In December, Senator Susan Collins wrote to David Montoya, the HUD IG, and requested a review of Maine State Housing Authority’s oversight of its Section 8 program. Her request came after the Fire Chief in Paris, Maine wrote to her to report serious safety violations in units that receive federal payments under the Section 8 program. Specifically, Senator Collins, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, wanted to know whether taxpayers were subsidizing properties that not only violated fire safety codes but also failed to comply with Housing Quality Standards required by HUD.

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General began this important work after a request by Senator Susan Collins,” said Inspector General Montoya. “The Senator was greatly concerned about the quality of public housing in the State and we immediately began our work to address her concerns.”

In its final report to Senator Collins today, HUD IG finds that 53 of 61 units, or 87 percent, of the units it inspected did not meet Maine State Housing’s housing quality standards. More than half of the failing units had defects serious enough that landlords should be required to remedy within 24-hours, and three units had conditions so bad that residents were moved due to eminent health and safety risks. The IG report concludes that Maine State Housing did not have adequate oversight of its contractors or their inspectors and it did not have effective internal quality controls for its own inspectors. As a result, taxpayers paid at least $194,956 in housing assistance payments for tenants who were living in units that failed to meet quality standards. In addition, the report concludes that Maine State Housing officials did not always comply with either HUD or their own policies on procurement and expenditure practices.

“Unfortunately, this final report is only further proof that, under its previous leadership, Maine State Housing Authority failed to live up to its own mission-to help Maine people obtain and maintain decent, safe, and affordable housing. No one should ever be living in federally subsidized housing that fails to meet basic safety and health standards, and certainly taxpayers should not be footing the bill,” said Senator Collins. “I am hopeful that the unacceptable conditions revealed by this investigation are being corrected by its new management. Going forward, it is absolutely essential that Maine State Housing not only be steadfastly committed to ensuring safe and healthy housing for qualified residents, but that it is also uses taxpayer dollars prudently.”

The final HUD IG report recommends that units deemed deficient in its investigation be repaired and that Maine State Housing improve its inspection quality control to better ensure that all units always meet housing quality standards. In addition, Maine State Housing should repay $194,956 from non-Federal funds that it paid for units found not to meet acceptable housing standards.

Source: HUD


About Alex Ferreras

LoanSafe.org is America's #1 consumer mortgage forum with over 32,000 members. Get the latest news, information and tips from an online community you can trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Get free unbiased help with your tough questions. Start your own threads and post replies with over 60,000 people just like you.

LoanSafe Forums

TESTIMONIALS

"Hello Moe, I just wanted to tell you, your website has saved my life (literally), I stumbled on your site in the middle of losing my home, I was able to network with people going through the same thing as I am. I didn't feel alone anymore, I have tried to give back and counsel those that haven't walked in my shoes yet. We hear so much about what is wrong with America, I just wanted you to know, you are whats "right" with America."

Nina Mitchell
Loansafe & MoeSeo Inc. © 2014 | LoanSafe.org is not a bank, lender, mortgage broker, law firm or affiliated with the US Government. Privacy Policy