[Hpn] FW: Dallas: City risks losing millions for homeless programs

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sat, 20 Jan 2001 14:06:17 -0700


> This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand
this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

--MS_Mac_OE_3062844377_456997_MIME_Part
Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit


----------
From: DaytonBear@aol.com
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 01:56:01 EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Dallas: City risks losing millions for homeless programs

City risks losing millions for homeless programs

01/20/2001 

By Gromer Jeffers Jr. / The Dallas Morning News

Federal housing officials have given the city of Dallas 60 days to retool
its 
programs to aid the homeless or risk losing $12.5 million in federal grants.

The decision follows an audit of Dallas' homeless programs by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The audit found that the city did not properly match federal funds provided
to aid the homeless. The city also failed to spend grant money in a timely
manner, the audit found.

"Overall, the city administered its homeless grants poorly," the audit said.
Mary Kay Vaughn, director of the city's Environmental and Health Services
Department, said city officials were working to correct the deficiencies and
ensure that Dallas doesn't lose federal grant money.

"We've got to fix it," said Ms. Vaughn, whose department manages federal
grants for the homeless. "We're continuing to work with HUD to show them
what 
we're doing." 

William W. Nixon, acting district inspector general for HUD, said the
housing 
agency was conducting nationwide audits of its grant programs to benefit the
homeless. 

"We've completed audits in several different cities, including Houston and
Austin," he said. "Dallas is the only city that received this kind of a
recommendation." 

City leaders expressed confidence that Ms. Vaughn - who has headed the
Environmental and Health Services Department for less than a year - could
correct its shortcomings.

"You can't make any excuses," City Council member Lois Finkelman said. "I
hope the local HUD office will see the changes we have made and continue
giving us grants." 

Some who work with the homeless in Dallas said they were shocked by the
audit. 
"How could this happen? There is no reason for it. The city knew what the
regulations were for this HUD grant," said Clora Hogan, founder and
publisher 
of Endless Choices, a newspaper sold by the homeless.

Stadiums or people?
"It shows how Dallas is more concerned about major stadiums and a
world-class 
image than they are about people."

The auditors' findings will be reviewed by HUD regional officials, who will
recommend to the agency's Washington headquarters whether to cut off the
grants in question. HUD will consider the city's response to the findings
before making a decision, officials said.

The audit report, completed in December, found that the city had mismanaged
a 
1996 grant of $1.5 million for its "Shelter Plus Care" program and a 1997
grant of $749,670 for its "Supportive Housing Program." Both programs
provide 
housing assistance and supplementary services to homeless people and
families. The Shelter Care Plus program, in particular, aids homeless people
with physical disabilities.

Since 1996, Dallas has received more than $10.8 million in Shelter Plus
grants and $1.7 million in Supportive Housing grants.

The audit found that the city failed to come up with $250,00 in matching
funds, as required, to be used for services in support of the grants.

It also found that the city failed to provide $1.1 million for similar
purposes when it received a separate grant of more than $2 million in 1994.

"Without the required match, the city not only violated its grant agreements
but also hindered the success of any participants and the program," the
audit 
said. Dozens of potential aid recipients may have been affected, it said.

Ms. Vaughn said that in some cases, the city did come up with the required
matching funds but failed to provide proper documentation. She said city
officials were correcting the problem.

The city also failed to spend $259,295 in grant money in a timely manner,
the 
audit found. 

That money was to provide up to 50 apartments for the homeless.

Because the city wasn't spending the funds promptly, by December 1998 - two
years after the money was awarded - only 24 of the 50 apartments were
filled, 
the audit said. 

"The city had several waiting lists to get into the program," it said. "The
city had no excuse for not spending its funds timely."

Ms. Vaughn said the city has since spent the money and brought the program
to 
full participation.

The audit also found that the city did not file accurate progress reports
for 
two programs, including reports on the progress that participants had made.

64 percent cutback 
And, according to the report, the city did not inspect the apartments used
to 
house the homeless.

News of the audit came at the same time the city and social service agencies
received another blow: a 64 percent cutback in HUD funding for homeless
assistance for the city and five agencies.

A range of problems identified by HUD officials, from a lack of focus on
permanent housing help to incomplete reporting by one agency, prompted the
agency to approve funding of $1.8 million for the programs, compared with $5
million last year. 

The agencies - including Family Place, the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol
and Drug Abuse, the Housing Crisis Center, Legal Services of North Texas and
LifeNet Community Behavioral Healthcare - were scrambling to find
replacement 
funding so they don't have to cut services.

Since the audit began, Ms. Vaughn has hired a new director for the city's
Shelter Plus Care programs. She said she has developed better management
controls and met with HUD officials regularly to correct the problems.

Staff writer Kendall Anderson contributed to this report.


(c) 2001 The Dallas Morning News



--MS_Mac_OE_3062844377_456997_MIME_Part
Content-type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable


FW: Dallas: City risks losing millions for homeless programs </TITLE=
>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<BR>
----------<BR>
<B>From: </B>DaytonBear@aol.com<BR>
<B>Date: </B>Sat, 20 Jan 2001 01:56:01 EST<BR>
<B>To: </B>undisclosed-recipients:;<BR>
<B>Subject: </B>Dallas: City risks losing millions for homeless programs <B=
R>
<BR>
<H3>City risks losing millions for homeless programs <BR>
</H3><BR>
01/20/2001 <BR>
<BR>
By Gromer Jeffers Jr. / The Dallas Morning News <BR>
<BR>
Federal housing officials have given the city of Dallas 60 days to retool i=
ts <BR>
programs to aid the homeless or risk losing $12.5 million in federal grants=
. <BR>
<BR>
The decision follows an audit of Dallas' homeless programs by the U.S. <BR>
Department of Housing and Urban Development. <BR>
<BR>
The audit found that the city did not properly match federal funds provided=
 <BR>
to aid the homeless. The city also failed to spend grant money in a timely =
<BR>
manner, the audit found. <BR>
<BR>
"Overall, the city administered its homeless grants poorly," the =
audit said. <BR>
Mary Kay Vaughn, director of the city's Environmental and Health Services <=
BR>
Department, said city officials were working to correct the deficiencies an=
d <BR>
ensure that Dallas doesn't lose federal grant money. <BR>
<BR>
"We've got to fix it," said Ms. Vaughn, whose department manages =
federal <BR>
grants for the homeless. "We're continuing to work with HUD to show th=
em what <BR>
we're doing." <BR>
<BR>
William W. Nixon, acting district inspector general for HUD, said the housi=
ng <BR>
agency was conducting nationwide audits of its grant programs to benefit th=
e <BR>
homeless. <BR>
<BR>
"We've completed audits in several different cities, including Houston=
 and <BR>
Austin," he said. "Dallas is the only city that received this kin=
d of a <BR>
recommendation." <BR>
<BR>
City leaders expressed confidence that Ms. Vaughn - who has headed the <BR>
Environmental and Health Services Department for less than a year - could <=
BR>
correct its shortcomings. <BR>
<BR>
"You can't make any excuses," City Council member Lois Finkelman =
said. "I <BR>
hope the local HUD office will see the changes we have made and continue <B=
R>
giving us grants." <BR>
<BR>
Some who work with the homeless in Dallas said they were shocked by the <BR=
>
audit. <BR>
"How could this happen? There is no reason for it. The city knew what =
the <BR>
regulations were for this HUD grant," said Clora Hogan, founder and pu=
blisher <BR>
of Endless Choices, a newspaper sold by the homeless. <BR>
<BR>
Stadiums or people? <BR>
"It shows how Dallas is more concerned about major stadiums and a worl=
d-class <BR>
image than they are about people." <BR>
<BR>
The auditors' findings will be reviewed by HUD regional officials, who will=
 <BR>
recommend to the agency's Washington headquarters whether to cut off the <B=
R>
grants in question. HUD will consider the city's response to the findings <=
BR>
before making a decision, officials said. <BR>
<BR>
The audit report, completed in December, found that the city had mismanaged=
 a <BR>
1996 grant of $1.5 million for its "Shelter Plus Care" program an=
d a 1997 <BR>
grant of $749,670 for its "Supportive Housing Program." Both prog=
rams provide <BR>
housing assistance and supplementary services to homeless people and <BR>
families. The Shelter Care Plus program, in particular, aids homeless peopl=
e <BR>
with physical disabilities. <BR>
<BR>
Since 1996, Dallas has received more than $10.8 million in Shelter Plus <BR=
>
grants and $1.7 million in Supportive Housing grants. <BR>
<BR>
The audit found that the city failed to come up with $250,00 in matching <B=
R>
funds, as required, to be used for services in support of the grants. <BR>
<BR>
It also found that the city failed to provide $1.1 million for similar <BR>
purposes when it received a separate grant of more than $2 million in 1994.=
 <BR>
<BR>
"Without the required match, the city not only violated its grant agre=
ements <BR>
but also hindered the success of any participants and the program," th=
e audit <BR>
said. Dozens of potential aid recipients may have been affected, it said. <=
BR>
<BR>
Ms. Vaughn said that in some cases, the city did come up with the required =
<BR>
matching funds but failed to provide proper documentation. She said city <B=
R>
officials were correcting the problem. <BR>
<BR>
The city also failed to spend $259,295 in grant money in a timely manner, t=
he <BR>
audit found. <BR>
<BR>
That money was to provide up to 50 apartments for the homeless. <BR>
<BR>
Because the city wasn't spending the funds promptly, by December 1998 - two=
 <BR>
years after the money was awarded - only 24 of the 50 apartments were fille=
d, <BR>
the audit said. <BR>
<BR>
"The city had several waiting lists to get into the program," it =
said. "The <BR>
city had no excuse for not spending its funds timely." <BR>
<BR>
Ms. Vaughn said the city has since spent the money and brought the program =
to <BR>
full participation. <BR>
<BR>
The audit also found that the city did not file accurate progress reports f=
or <BR>
two programs, including reports on the progress that participants had made.=
 <BR>
<BR>
64 percent cutback <BR>
And, according to the report, the city did not inspect the apartments used =
to <BR>
house the homeless. <BR>
<BR>
News of the audit came at the same time the city and social service agencie=
s <BR>
received another blow: a 64 percent cutback in HUD funding for homeless <BR=
>
assistance for the city and five agencies. <BR>
<BR>
A range of problems identified by HUD officials, from a lack of focus on <B=
R>
permanent housing help to incomplete reporting by one agency, prompted the =
<BR>
agency to approve funding of $1.8 million for the programs, compared with $=
5 <BR>
million last year. <BR>
<BR>
The agencies - including Family Place, the Greater Dallas Council on Alcoho=
l <BR>
and Drug Abuse, the Housing Crisis Center, Legal Services of North Texas an=
d <BR>
LifeNet Community Behavioral Healthcare - were scrambling to find replaceme=
nt <BR>
funding so they don't have to cut services. <BR>
<BR>
Since the audit began, Ms. Vaughn has hired a new director for the city's <=
BR>
Shelter Plus Care programs. She said she has developed better management <B=
R>
controls and met with HUD officials regularly to correct the problems. <BR>
<BR>
Staff writer Kendall Anderson contributed to this report. <BR>
<BR>
<BR>
(c) 2001 The Dallas Morning News <BR>
<BR>
</BODY>


--MS_Mac_OE_3062844377_456997_MIME_Part--


</pre>





<!--endarticle-->
    <HR>
    <P><UL>
        <!--threads-->
	<LI> Previous message: <A HREF="002517.html">[Hpn] Shakeup in L.A.</A></li>
	<LI> Next message: <A HREF="002520.html">[Hpn] FW: 100 Links to Bush info: A GW Bush Inaugural Special</A></li>
         <LI> <B>Messages sorted by:</B> 
              <a href="date.html#2518">[ date ]</a>
              <a href="thread.html#2518">[ thread ]</a>
              <a href="subject.html#2518">[ subject ]</a>
              <a href="author.html#2518">[ author ]</a>
         </LI>
       </UL>
</body></html>