Control: Economic Development and Human Services Committee
File Name: 2ND STATUS REPORT ON US HUN/COUNTY WORKPLAN
Requester: County Manager
Agenda Date: 5/20/2008
Agenda Item Number: 14B1
REPORT RE: SECOND REPORT ON US HUD/COUNTY WORKPLAN
Board of County Commissioners
Mr. Donald LaVoy, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Oversight Administrator, Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA), provided an overview of the Second Progress Report of the HUD/County Settlement Agreement and Work Plan. He noted the affordable housing situation was improving everyday. He pointed out the County Commission needed to be trained on its role as the Board of MDHA. Mr. LaVoy explained MDHA had submitted a balanced budget for fiscal year 2008-09. He noted MDHA had completed transferring programs from MDHA to the County.
Mr. LaVoy pointed out the primary task specifically prescribed for HUD was to review Work Plan Submissions, to verify completion of Work Plan Items, and to review the County’s petition for release of MDHA from HUD oversight. He noted he was responsible for completing Work Plan Items related to the MDHA budget. He noted some budget issues needed to be resolved for fiscal year 2007-08. He explained nothing in the Findings and Judgment Work Plan Item was an issue.
Mr. LaVoy explained the MDHA Customer Service Center located on Coral Way was moved to the vicinity of Ward Tower, and the level of service was increasing. He pointed out a new Chief Financial Officer, Information Technology (IT) Director, Assistant Director of Housing, and Section 8 Director were hired. He noted employee training was on-going. Mr. LaVoy suggested the necessary changes to the MDHA business model were made to provide housing that was affordable. He explained Asset Management would be to manage property by cost allocation. He noted a number of technology problems arose before HUD arrived, and MDHA was working with the County to upgrade the level of technological support.
Mr. LaVoy noted MDHA Procurement was good. He pointed out the Scott Carver Request for Qualifications (RFQ) received five responses, and the goal for the Scott Carver project was to provide affordable housing and commence building.
Mr. LaVoy expressed concern regarding the MDHA financial statements. He noted the audit of fiscal year 2005-06 had an adverse opinion, which meant the books for that year could not be audited. He suggested fiscal year 2006-07 would also have an adverse opinion. Mr. LaVoy explained Deloitte & Touche was under Federal contract to get the MDHA financial management system to work as a tool that would provide the County the ability to look at the financial reporting within MDHA at all times. Mr. LaVoy noted Section 8 was improving, and the depository agreement had no issues.
Mr. LaVoy noted the Public Housing Plan for Fiscal Year 2008-09 would advocate changes to make the funding stream for finances healthier, to collect rent sooner, and to start evictions proceedings sooner than 90 days. He pointed out the Adker Consent Decree said a new housing waiting list should be made every three years. Mr. LaVoy noted MDHA would redo the waiting list in a user friendly way that anyone could go online and electronically register in 90 seconds. He suggested the waiting list could increase from 35,000 to 100,000 people.
In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s request for a response to Mr. LaVoy’s presentation from the County Administration, Senior Advisor to the County Manager Cynthia Curry noted Mr. LaVoy’s report was a joint presentation of the HUD Oversight Administrator and the County Administration.
Responding to Commissioner Edmonson’s request for the presentation of the Second Quarter Progress Report Narrative, Mr. LaVoy noted the Narrative included an introduction that explained why HUD took over MDHA, what HUD was doing at MDHA, and the role of the HUD Oversight Administrator. Regarding Contract Support, Mr. LaVoy explained HUD had invested over $6 million in contractors for financial and Section 8 support to ensure the recovery of MDHA.
Mr. LaVoy noted the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Division was reorganized to be more customer friendly, and to avoid any evictions or foreclosures from payment problems. He clarified, notwithstanding the progress in the Section 8 HCV Division, the Division had to make much more progress. Mr. LaVoy noted HUD would provide all property managers a week of on-site training in July 2008 on the inspection processes used internally by HUD. He explained the Section 8 HCV Program was changed to ensure all of the 14,600 available vouchers were used by the end of 2008. Mr. LaVoy pointed out Mr. Jeff Worley and the MDHA Crime Reduction Committee were working with the police departments throughout the County to reduce crime in public housing. Mr. LaVoy explained the goal for the Section 8 HCV Home Ownership Program was to have 20 new home owners in the next 30 days.
Mr. LaVoy noted the Concerns and Issues section focused on MDHA running a sustained financial imbalance. He pointed out many reasons existed for the continuous funding shortfall at MDHA. He explained HUD would focus on attaining financial balance at MDHA without reducing services to an unacceptable level.
Senior Advisor Curry noted the County Administration responded to the Second Quarter Progress Report Narrative (Agenda Item 14B1 Supplement, Legislative File No. 081533) to ensure the record reflected the County had made strides at MDHA before the HUD Oversight Administrator’s arrival, including crime reduction and key management staff.
County Manager Burgess clarified the County was not surprised with the issues raised by HUD; the County was already aware of them. He emphasized the importance of the County and HUD working together to accomplish the issues in the Work Plan.
Responding to Commissioner Edmonson’s request for a telephone number constituents could call to speak with a live operator, Mr. LaVoy reassured Commissioner Edmonson he would provide that number to every Commissioner.
Commissioner Sorenson questioned whether the intent of “Establish an Oversight Protocol for MDHA Businesses” on handwritten page 4 was to train the County Commission.
Mr. LaVoy explained the Oversight Protocol was to provide the Commission training on the 1937 Housing Act.
Responding to Commissioner Sorenson’s inquiry regarding the increased density at Scott Carver and the omission of Sector 2, Mr. LaVoy noted the RFQ for Scott Carver did not include Sector 2 for unresolved environmental issues. He pointed out the area in the RFQ was larger than the original Scott Carver area, and if the Office of Community and Economic Development worked with MDHA to provide funding, then 850 units would be possible. He noted $10-$15 million would be needed in a worst cast scenario to resolve the environmental issues in Sector 2.
Commissioner Sorenson expressed concern that the County would be liable for resolving the environmental issues in Sector 2.
Discussion ensued between Commissioner Sorenson and Mr. LaVoy regarding the funding granted by HUD for the Scott Carver area and the remediation of Sector 2.
In response to Commissioner Sorenson’s question regarding community participation in the planning for Scott Carver, Mr. LaVoy noted he held a meeting the third Thursday of every month with former Scott Carver area residents. He noted the former residents who were interested in returning to that area would select a committee to interact with the project developers.
Responding to Commissioner Sorenson’s questions concerning his comments on staff continuity, Mr. LaVoy clarified the important part of an audit was continuity and the audit process was delayed by the lack of continuity.
Following discussion between Commissioner Sorenson and Mr. LaVoy regarding funding for IT activities, County Manager Burgess pointed out the County had $13.7 million that could supplement the Scott Carver project. He noted the County would condition the use of the $13.7 million on a master plan being developed for the entire Scott Carver site, including Sector 2, and on maximizing the number of units.
Commissioner Rolle expressed concern that a plan to build the same number of housing units as existed before on the old Scott Carver site would be too dense and crime would increase. He questioned whether the plans for the same number of units applied to the old or the new boundaries. He emphasized the services and infrastructure did not exist for the same number of units within the old boundaries.
Senior Advisor Curry noted the County Manager and she concurred with Commissioner Rolle that the 850 housing units should be in the expanded boundaries.
Mr. LaVoy noted HUD did not want to create a density problem.
Discussion ensued between Commissioner Rolle and Mr. LaVoy regarding the density of the Scott Carver area without using Sector 2.
Responding to Commissioner Gimenez’s inquiry regarding additional economic issues, Mr. LaVoy noted HUD was encountering a large number of bills that were never charged and was continuously finding inappropriate accounting for other liabilities.
Commissioner Gimenez asked the Finance Department Director to provide him with a copy of the engagement letter between the County and the County’s external auditors regarding the audit of the $13 million of Housing Assistance Loan Trust Surtax funds.
In response to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiry regarding trailer parks, Mr. LaVoy explained HUD had not looked at trailer park housing; HUD was focused on affordable housing. He noted HUD would start a new waiting list for affordable housing and anyone could be added to that list. He pointed out the Federal Government was not discussing trailer park issues.
Following Commissioner Diaz’s clarification that the intent of his inquiry was to determine whether the Federal Government was interested in acquiring funds to purchase trailer parks and preserve them as trailer parks, Mr. LaVoy noted he would follow up on the trailer parks issue.
Responding to Commissioner Moss’ questions regarding the MDHA budget, Mr. LaVoy noted MDHA would have a budget shortfall. He explained HUD was attempting to remedy the projected shortfall. He clarified the fiscal year 2008-09 budget would be balanced. Mr. LaVoy noted he could provide the Commission an accurate projection of the amount of the shortfall within 45 days. He explained the fiscal year 2008-09 budget projected a slight increase in revenues, in Federal subsidy for Section 8 HCV, and in low rent housing subsidy that matched the amount of expenditures. He pointed out the increase in Federal subsidy depended on the budget adopted by the United States Congress.
Special Assistant to the County Manager Jennifer Glazer-Moon clarified the projected MDHA budget shortfall that Mr. LaVoy submitted did not account for some revenues and the projected salaries were inflated. She noted the County Administration corrected this information and MDHA should not have an operating budget shortfall for fiscal year 2007-08. She pointed out the County would only provide MDHA with Community Development Block Grant funds for disaster recovery initiatives for fiscal year 2008-09.
In response to Commissioner Moss’ request for more information on the IT issues, Mr. LaVoy explained the existing system was DOS based. He noted the business platform was not stable when the IT system was updated two years ago, and that caused a lot of information to be irretrievable. He pointed out the business platform needed to be stabilized before the new financial IT system could be installed.
Following discussion between Commissioner Moss and Mr. LaVoy regarding the contractors used to provide Section 8 services, Chairman Barreiro expressed concern regarding certain segments of the population not being able to use the online registration for the affordable housing waiting list.
Mr. LaVoy explained MDHA would provide hands on training for the online waiting list at all public libraries and other public buildings, including Commission District Offices.
Responding to Commissioner Moss’ question regarding the financial support HUD had provided MDHA to improve the situation, Mr. LaVoy explained HUD had provided funding for the multi-million dollar contract with Nan McKay and Associates for Section 8 HCV, for the financial management services of Deloitte Touche for millions of dollars, for Section 8 HCV, in addition to the Nan McKay contract, and for additional training and technical service for the Scott Carver master developer agreement. He noted the total financial support was several million dollars.
Commissioner Jordan requested Mr. LaVoy include in the next quarterly report the figures for those additional financial resources he listed. She noted some Federal Agencies included technical assistance as a regularly provided service.
In response to Commissioner Jordan’s question concerning technical resources from the County, Special Assistant Glazer-Moon noted the fiscal year 2007-08 budget included $687,000 of General Funds allocated to MDHA, and a portion was for software and the other portion was for filing cabinets. She explained the County specified those funds would be held in abeyance and they could be used when needed. Special Assistant Glazer-Moon noted the County allocated $425,000 of those funds to support Ward Towers to allow the tax credit agreement to close.
Commissioner Jordan questioned whether MDHA was on target to accomplish the Work Plan within the nine month timeline in the settlement agreement.
Mr. LaVoy noted MDHA was making reasonable progress on the Work Plan. He pointed out the financial problems may prevent HUD from relinquishing MDHA to the County after the nine months. He suggested MDHA was making adequate progress that HUD would relinquish MDHA in the one year timeline in the settlement agreement.
Hearing no other questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote.
Economic Development and Human Services Committee
Forwarded to the full BCC by the BCC Chairperson as requested
Responding to the inquiry by Ms. Cynthia Curry, Senior Advisor to the County Manager, whether the foregoing report would be waived to the County Commission along with 7A Supplement, Chairwoman Edmonson stated this report along with Agenda Items 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E and 3F not considered at today’s meeting would be waived to the County Commission for consideration, subject to Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Chairman Bruno A. Barreiro’s approval. She indicated this report and 7A Supplement would be waived to the May 20, 2008, Board meeting subject to the BCC Chairman Barreiro’s approval.
SPECIAL NOTE: Chairwoman Edmonson submitted a memorandum requesting that the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Chairman Bruno A. Barreiro waive the Board's Rules and Procedures to allow the foregoing report to be heard at the May 20, 2008 Board meeting.
Economic Development and Human Services Committee
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