oversight

Congressional Complaint, Hoboken Housing Authority, Low-Rent Housing Program, Hoboken, New Jersey

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2000-09-25.

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                        U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
                                               New York/New Jersey Office
                                         Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
                                             26 Federal Plaza - Room 3430
                                            New York, New York 10278-0068

                                                           OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                                                                       Office of Audit

September 25, 2000                                                     Audit Memorandum
                                                                       No. 00-NY-209-1803

TO:    Carmen Valenti, Director, Office of Public Housing, 2FPH


FROM: Alexander C. Malloy, District Inspector General for Audit, 2AGA


SUBJECT:       Congressional Complaint
               Hoboken Housing Authority
               Low-Rent Housing Program
               Hoboken, New Jersey

In response to a Congressional Complaint, we performed a limited review at the Hoboken
Housing Authority (HHA). The review was conducted to determine the validity of complaints
made regarding possible improprieties at the HHA. The complaints allege improprieties in the
areas of: Admission and Occupancy; Procurements; Personnel; and Maintenance and Repairs.
The specific complaints are discussed in the Summary and Results of the Review sections of this
audit memorandum. The review covered the period October 1, 1997 through September 30,
1999. The review was conducted from December 7, 1999 through June 2, 2000.

To accomplish our objective we: interviewed the complainant and reviewed the documentation
that was provided; met with HUD staff and reviewed the issues raised in the complaint;
interviewed appropriate HHA officials; reviewed pertinent HHA files; and obtained and
reviewed specific New Jersey Department of Community Affairs requirements.

Within 60 days, please furnish this office, for each recommendation cited in this memorandum a
status report on: (1) the corrective action taken, (2) the proposed corrective action and the date to
be completed, or (3) why action is not considered necessary. Also, please furnish us copies of
any correspondence or directives issued related to this review.

If you have any questions, please contact Edgar Moore, Assistant District Inspector General for
Audit at (212) 264-8000, extension 3976.



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                                          SUMMARY

We performed a limited review at the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) to determine the
validity of complaints made regarding possible improprieties at the HHA. The issues raised in the
complaint are as follows: (1) excessive vacancies and slow turnover rate; (2) over-expenditure of
the amounts of the Comprehensive Grant Program (CGP) contracts (i.e. contracts amounting to
$8 million); (3) unsatisfactory renovation work in the bathrooms of units; (4) elimination of Civil
Service status for HHA employees; (5) tenant leases were used for voter registration purposes;
(6) requirements pertaining to waiting lists are not being adhered to; (7) HHA Executive Director
and Site Managers are not certified; (8) vacant units were converted into office suites; (9) a
conflict of interest exists between members of the HHA Board of Commissioners; and (10) HHA
buildings are in poor physical condition.

Based on the results of our review we concluded that three of the ten complaints are valid and
considered significant; therefore, the HHA should be instructed to implement the necessary
corrective action to address deficiencies pertaining to those complaints, as recommended in this
memorandum. The remaining seven complaints are considered invalid.

Our review disclosed that complaint Nos. 1, 3, and 10 are valid. Specifically, we concluded that
the HHA needs to improve on the amount of time it takes to renovate vacant units so that the
units can be leased timely. We also found that the contractor performing the bathroom renovation
work was performing poorly in that units were left unfinished, which may have contributed to a
pre-existing insect and rodent problem in some units. In addition, we noted that HHA resident
buildings are in poor physical condition. As a result, we recommend that the HHA be instructed
to develop procedures, which would ensure that: (a) the vacant unit turnaround time is reduced to
HUD’s standard of 30 days per unit; (b) the HHA continues to implement procedures to ensure
timely and satisfactory completion of the bathroom renovation work; and (c) a workout plan is
developed highlighting the procedures that will be taken to improve the physical condition of
HHA buildings and units.

We found that the information in complaint Nos. 4, and 8 is factually true, however, the
complaints are considered invalid because requirements and regulations were not violated.
Specifically, we found that New Jersey State Statutes and New Jersey Department of Personnel
regulations allow for Public Housing Agencies (PHA’s) to eliminate Civil Service status for its
employees. Additionally, HUD regulations allow PHA’s to take some apartment units off line to
be used for other housing related purposes (such as office suites).

Complaint Nos. 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9, are also considered invalid. Although there are indications that
the prior HHA Administration did not properly manage the HHA’s Comprehensive Grant
Program (CGP) funding, we determined that the HHA did not spend over the allotted $8 million
of CGP funds, as indicated by the complainant. Additionally, we were not provided with
sufficient evidence showing that: (a) HHA management provided tenant leases to outside sources
for voter registration purposes; and (b) requirements pertaining to waiting lists were not adhered
to. Furthermore, the HHA Executive Director is certified as a Public Housing Manager and the



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HHA site managers are not required to be certified. Also, the evidence provided did not indicate
that a conflict of interest exits between members of the HHA Board of Commissioners.

The results of our review were discussed with HHA officials during the course of our review and
at an exit conference held on August 28, 2000 attended by:

HHA Officials

E. Troy Washington, Executive Director
Spencer Miller, Board Attorney

HUD-Office of Inspector General

Edgar Moore, Assistant District Inspector General for Audit
Karen A. Campbell, Senior Auditor
Sheila E. Murray, Financial and Program Evaluator

HHA official provided us with their written comments on the complaints we considered to be
valid; they did not comment on the invalid complaints. We summarized and evaluated the HHA
comments at the end of each valid complaint and included their written comments, in its entirety,
as Appendix A to this memorandum.

The specific details of each complaint are discussed below in the Results Of The Review section
of this memorandum.


                                       BACKGROUND

The HHA operates 1353 units of low-income housing under Consolidated Annual Contributions
Contract NY-432 and administers 308 units under its Section 8 Program, Contract NY-1288. It is
governed by a seven member Board of Commissioners.

In January 1999, E. Troy Washington was appointed permanent Executive Director after serving
on an interim basis since October 1998. The HHA Administration had previously been in a
fluctuating state, with two different Executive Directors serving during the period of February
1997 through October 1998.

The financial and accounting records of the HHA are maintained at its administrative office,
which is located at 400 Harrison Street, Hoboken, New Jersey.




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                                RESULTS OF THE REVIEW

COMPLAINT NO. 1

The complainant alleges that there are over 50 empty units, most of which have been empty for at
least 4 months. The complainant states that the renovation of a vacated apartment unit should
only take 30 days.

OBSERVATION NO. 1

This complaint is considered valid. Our review disclosed that at January 31, 2000, the HHA had
a total of 58 vacant units (this includes 10 units which were not listed on the Executive Directors
vacancy list). Using Public Housing Management Assessment Program (PHMAP) criteria the
HHA’s vacancy percentage was 4.2 percent. Under PHMAP Component No.1 entitled “Vacancy
Percentage and Progress in Reducing Vacancies,” this score would give the HHA a ranking or
grade of “B” (score between 3% and 5%). Accordingly, for a mid-sized (1000 to 1500 units)
Public Housing Agency (PHA) such as the HHA, 58 vacant units are within HUD standards.

Nevertheless, our review revealed that the vacant unit turnaround rate needs improvement. We
found that the number of days it took for a vacant unit at the HHA to be renovated and made
ready for lease and/or to be leased to a tenant, is high. HUD’s goal in turning around vacant
units is 30 days; however, the HHA is turning vacant units around in 85 days. Although, this is
not within HUD standards, it represents an improvement for the HHA. Under the prior HHA
Administration, it took an average of 175 days to lease a vacant unit. That increased slightly to
205 days until the current HHA Administration hired an outside contractor to perform the repair
work, at which point the average turnaround time decreased to 85 days. Although, this is a
significant reduction in the HHA vacant unit turnaround time, more improvement is needed.

AUDITEE COMMENTS

The auditee generally agreed with Observation No. 1, in that the memorandum recognizes the
steady improvement that has been made by the current HHA administration regarding the number
of vacant units and the turnaround time for units to be made ready for leasing. According to the
Auditee Comments, for the approximate 8-month period since January 2000 there has been only
about 20 vacant units at any given time and the turnaround time has been reduced to an average
of 45 days during that time period. The Auditee Comments state that it is true that the HUD goal
of a 30 day turnaround time for a vacant units has not been achieved; however, the progress of
the HHA in the two areas (number of vacant units & the vacant unit turnaround time) has been
dramatic and impressive. Accordingly, the comments suggest that the current HHA procedures,
involving the use of private sector contractors who are supervised by in-house staff, is rapidly
leading to the desired result.




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OIG EVALUATION OF AUDITEE COMMENTS

We agree that there has been a significant reduction in the HHA vacant unit turnaround time as a
result of using private sector contractors who are supervised by in-house staff. However, we still
believe that more improvement is needed to reach HUD’s goals. Accordingly, we reiterate that
the HHA needs to develop additional procedures that will ensure that its vacant unit turnaround
time meets HUD’s standard of 30 days per unit.

RECOMMENDATION

We recommend that you require the HHA to develop procedures that will ensure that its vacant
unit turnaround time continues to be reduced until it meets HUD’s standard of 30 days per unit.


COMPLAINT NO. 2

The complainant alleges poor management and spending of $8 million in Federal dollars,
specifically, over-expenditure of contracts.

OBSERVATION NO. 2

This complaint is considered not valid. Our review disclosed that the HHA has not expended
more than the $8 million provided for in contracts under the CGP. We noted that it was well
publicized in the local media that the previous HHA Administration poorly managed its
Comprehensive Grant Program (CGP) by failing to proceed in obligating and expending funds
for funding years 1993, 1994 and 1995. Accordingly, the HHA was in jeopardy of losing
unspent CGP funds. However, by working with the HUD Troubled Agency Recovery Center
(TARC), the current HHA Administration was allowed to retain the $8 million under imposed
spending and time constraints. At Program Year Ending June 30, 1999, HHA had fully
expended the ’93 grant funds, and obligated ’94 & ‘95 grant funds meeting the September 30,
1999 deadline date imposed by the HUD TARC. The current Administration of the HHA intends
to fully expend the ’94 - ’95 CGP funds by September 30, 2000. It appears that the HHA is now
adequately managing its CGP. We noted an active pursuit of progress in both the obligation of
funds and the work-in-progress. Accordingly, since there has been significant progress under the
current HHA Administration to correct the mismanagement of CGP funds, which occurred under
the prior Administration, we believe that the above Complaint No. 2 is currently not valid.


COMPLAINT NO. 3

The complainant alleges that poor work by a contractor in renovating bathrooms in various units
has compounded an insect and rodent problem. The complainant contends that the contractors
and HHA management have left the bathrooms in deplorable and unsanitary condition.




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OBSERVATION NO. 3

This complaint is valid. The HHA has a $1.6 million contract for bathroom renovation work at
three HHA developments. Our review disclosed that HHA has numerous documents, i.e.
correspondence and photographs, which revealed that the contractor was performing poorly. The
contractor was to ensure that any bathroom that had been dismantled during the day was fully
restored at the end of the day. However, the contractor on one occasion left 18 units unfinished at
the end of a Friday, without functioning sinks, etc. We believe that this may have contributed to
any pre-existing insect and rodent problem in some units. In an attempt to correct this problem
the contractor was ordered to make repairs and correct the deficiencies. The HHA also delayed
payment on two occasions until the contractor adhered to contract stipulations.

Our review revealed that HHA is now closely monitoring the renovation work and that the
contractor is adhering to the contract specifications. We were informed that the bathroom
renovation work has been split into two phases. During the first phase, the contractor will only
install the new bathroom equipment (sink, tub, toilet). This phase is almost complete, as $1.2
million has already been disbursed. Regarding the second phase a new contractor will be used to
complete the installation of tile work in the bathrooms. Although, it appears that the bathroom
renovation problems are being addressed, the HHA should be reminded that it should continue to
implement proper corrective actions to assure that the bathroom renovation work is performed in
a satisfactory manor.

AUDITEE COMMENTS

The auditee agreed with Observation No. 3, in that the memorandum notes that the bathroom
renovation problems are being addressed; renovation work is being closely monitored; and the
contractor is adhering to contract specifications. The Auditee Comments state that the
construction work to the bathrooms virtually by definition would not cause the existence of an
insect/rodent problem. In the auditee’s opinion, providing that the living units were maintained in
a clean and hygienic fashion, the incomplete nature of a bathroom installation at the end of any
given day should not, in theory, contribute to an insect/rodent problem unless there were other
more important causative factors present. The Auditee Comments indicate that the auditee
disagrees with the number of occasions when bathrooms were left incomplete at the end of the
day as stated in the memorandum. According to the Auditee Comments, the memorandum
comment regarding numerous occasions where at the end of any day a bathroom unit was
incomplete, overstates the prevalence of this problem. The Auditee Comments state that there
was one occasion (April 9, 1999) when HHA staff discovered that the contractor had not
completed various units at the end of the day. The contractor was advised in no uncertain terms
what his contract obligation was. As a result, there was compliance by the contractor from that
point on without a recurrence of a situation where units were left incomplete at the end of the
day. The Auditee Comments further provide that HHA has already demonstrated their dedication
to ensure that this project is completed in an expeditious manner pursuant to the terms of the
contract with the contractor.




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OIG EVALUATION OF AUDITEE COMMENTS

Our review of the auditee’s Progress Meeting Report, dated April 12, 1999, disclosed that on
Friday April 9, 1999, there were 18 units at the end of that day that did not have a functioning
sink, and that the contractor was not complying with the agreement of installing functioning
sinks, toilets and bathtubs in a unit on the same day. As a result, we revised Observation No. 3 to
say that we believe that this condition “may have contributed to any pre-existing insect and
rodent problem in some units.” During our review we did not note any other occasion where this
occurred. Accordingly, we further revised Observation No. 3 to avoid overstating the prevalence
of this problem. The phrase “on numerous occasions” has been replaced with the phrase “on one
occasion”; however, we mention that on that one occasion 18 units were left unfinished at the
end of that Friday, without functioning sinks, etc. Furthermore, although HHA has demonstrated
their dedication, we reiterate that HHA must continue to implement actions that will ensure
timely and satisfactory completion of the entire project.

RECOMMENDATION

We recommend that you instruct the HHA to continue to implement the actions necessary to
ensure timely and satisfactory completion of bathroom renovation work at the three HHA
developments.


COMPLAINT NO. 4

The complainant alleges that Civil Service status for HHA employees was eliminated. On
August 15, 1999, HHA employees were fired and then re-hired the same day as non-civil
servants.

OBSERVATION NO. 4

Although the information in this complaint is true, the complaint is considered invalid because
neither HUD nor New Jersey (NJ) State personnel regulations were violated. Our review
disclosed that Civil Service status for HHA employees was eliminated as of August 15, 1999.
The reason for withdrawal from Civil Service System was to improve efficiency and
effectiveness of the HHA. We found that it is not a violation of NJ Statutes or NJ Department of
Personnel regulations to eliminate Civil Service status. The New Jersey Statutes allow a county
or municipal housing authority to determine whether or not it will be subject to Title 11A (Civil
Service Act). In accordance with New Jersey State Law a housing authority may, through an
official resolution of its commissioners, withdraw from the Civil Service System leaving the
Executive Director as the appointing official for hiring and firing of employees (New Jersey
Statutes Annotated (NJSA) 40A: 12A-18). Furthermore, our review disclosed that the withdrawal
plan was reviewed and approved by the NJ Department of Personnel. HHA employee rights,
protection and entitlements are not affected by the withdrawal. Permanent employees are to be
given all career service rights as long as they remain in permanent titles held as of December 9,



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1998. If appointed to a different title, the employees retain their rights to a Merit System board
hearing upon separation from service for disciplinary reasons or layoff. Our review has disclosed
that the Civil Service withdrawal of HHA employees was done legally and in accordance with
requirements.


COMPLAINT NO. 5

The complainant alleges that the losing 4th Ward City Council candidate obtained the leases of at
least 200 HHA tenants for purposes of cross-referencing with voter registration lists. The
complainant alleges that tenant leases were obtained with the full knowledge of HHA
management.

OBSERVATION NO. 5

This complaint is considered not valid. Our review disclosed that HHA Executive Director is the
only official who can approve written or oral requests for resident information. As such, the
HHA Executive Director has denied providing tenant leases to anyone. We learned that an
investigation was conducted by the Hudson County Board of Elections (HCBOE) concerning
voter registrant residency. In June 1999, HHA Executive Director met with an HCBOE
Investigator who was verifying residency status of specific registrants claiming to be tenants of
the HHA. We confirmed with both the Executive Director and the HCBOE Investigator that at
no time were tenant leases or any other written HHA documents provided to the Investigator.
We believe this is the origin of the complaint. Furthermore, the HHA Executive Director
received assurances from the site managers that leases were not provided to outside sources.
Accordingly, since we were unable to substantiate that HHA tenant leases were used for voter
registration purposes, we believe that this complaint is not valid.


COMPLAINT NO. 6

The complainant alleges that HHA is not maintaining and using the apartment waiting lists
properly. Applicants on waiting lists are not provided numbers; tenants who are not on the
waiting lists have been granted transfers; tenants are not formally notified about available
apartments; and tenants who have medical needs are being skipped over on the lists. The
complainant contends that HHA does not use the correct selection procedures when providing
applicants available units.

OBSERVATION NO. 6

This complaint is considered not valid. There is no evidence to support the allegation that
requirements pertaining to waiting lists were not adhered to. Our review disclosed that HHA
Executive Director recently took over the responsibility of letting apartments himself and has just
about completely eliminated the waiting lists for the elderly buildings and the 1-and 2-bedroom
family units. The 3 and 4 bedroom units are currently being filled by transfers of over-crowded



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HHA tenants and 1-bedroom units are being offered to non-residents. We reviewed the files for
6 out of 18 tenants that were placed in units without appearing on the waiting lists, and in each
case the placement was justified. Our review disclosed that the HHA’s preference policies and
the guidance provided in HUD’s Occupancy Handbook No. 7465-1 REV-2 Chapter 5 were
adhered to.


COMPLAINT NO. 7

The complainant alleges that HHA Executive Director and site managers are possibly not
certified as required.

OBSERVATION NO. 7

This complaint is considered not valid. From date of employment, PHA Executive Directors
have two years to complete 10 training courses required by the NJ Department of Community
Affairs (DCA). One of the 10 courses is a Public Housing Managers (PHM) Certification course.
Our review revealed that in addition to the 10 courses required by the DCA, NJ State Law
requires Executive Directors to have a college degree and 5 years experience in Public
Administration, Finance or other similar experience (a Masters will substitute for 2 years
experience). We learned that the HHA Executive Director has met the education requirements
and has obtained certification as a PHM from the National Association of Housing and
Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), effective as of October 9, 1998. Additionally, the Executive
Director has completed all except one of the 10 DCA required training courses. The HHA
Executive Director was appointed as permanent Executive Director on January 4, 1999, after
serving on an interim basis since October 21, 1998; therefore, he has until October 2000 to
complete the last training course. Since he is taking the remaining training course and is still
within his time limit, we do not consider this to be a problem. Furthermore, our review revealed
that DCA does not require site managers to be certified as a PHM. Nevertheless, 3 out of 5
HHA site managers are certified as a PHM by either the NAHRO or the National Center for
Housing Management (NCHM). Accordingly, we believe this complaint is not valid.

COMPLAINT NO. 8

The complainant alleges that vacant apartment units have been converted into site manager office
suites.

OBSERVATION NO. 8

Our review disclosed that the information in the complaint is factually true, however, the
complaint is considered not valid because HUD regulations have not been violated. We found
that three apartments units were taken off-line for other housing related purposes. This is a
practice that is permissible by HUD, whereas Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) can request
that some apartment units be used for other PHA purposes. One of the units at HHA is used as a
site manager’s office and a second is used to provide social services such as AIDS counseling to



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HHA tenants. HHA received approval from the HUD Troubled Agency Recovery Center
(TARC) to convert the third unit to non-dwelling use. It is used by the Hoboken Organization
Against Poverty and Economic Stress, Inc. (H.O.P.E.S.), to assist HHA residents in becoming
more self-sufficient. We do not consider the use of 3 units for other housing related purposes to
be a problem.


COMPLAINT NO. 9

The complainant alleges a possible conflict of interest between HHA Board of Commissioners,
specifically, between the Vice-Chairperson and a fellow Commissioner. The Vice Chairperson is
a board member of H.O.P.E.S.; an employee of the Hoboken Parking Authority; and is also an
employee of Riverside Realty, which is owned by a fellow Commissioner.

OBSERVATION NO. 9

This complaint is considered not valid. Our review determined that a conflict of interest between
HHA Board of Commissioners does not exist. There is no indication that a violation of HUD’s
Annual Contributions Contract (ACC), Section 19 entitled “Conflict of Interest” has occurred.
In conducting our review we learned the following:

•   In 1988 the HHA Vice Chairperson was recommended by the Hoboken City Council to serve
    on the H.O.P.E.S. Board of Directors. This is not an appointment, and there is no length of
    term to her involvement. The Vice Chairperson receives no monetary compensation from
    H.O.P.E.S. Moreover, there was no evidence presented that showed that the Vice
    Chairperson was involved with or voted on HHA issues concerning H.O.P.E.S.

•   In 1996 the Vice Chairperson began full-time employment with the Hoboken Parking
    Authority (HPA). Considering the evidence provided, the Vice Chairpersons employment
    with the HPA does not appear to be a conflict of interest with being a Commissioner of the
    HHA.

•   In 1984/1985 the fellow Commissioner became the owner of Riverside Realty, Inc. Thirteen
    years later on August 11, 1998, the Vice Chairperson began part-time employment as a real
    estate agent with Riverside Realty, Inc. Prior to employment at Riverside Realty the Vice
    Chairperson had worked for another Realtor. We found no evidence that indicates that one
    Commissioner influences the actions of the other; therefore, no conflict of interest exits.

•   The Vice Chairperson was appointed to the HHA Board of Commissioners approximately
    one month before the fellow Commissioner (on April 2, 1997, and May 21, 1997,
    respectively). Again, there was no evidence presented that indicates that there is any conflict
    of interest.

Discussions with the HUD Office of General Counsel revealed that they support our
determination that a conflict on interest does not exist. Their decision is based on the following


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facts: (1) neither the Vice Chairperson nor the fellow Commissioner has an ownership interest in
HHA property; (2) the Commissioners are not family related; and (3) the fellow Commissioner
had nothing to do with the Vice Chairpersons appointment to the HHA Board. The Vice
Chairperson was appointed to the HHA Board before her employment with Riverside Realty.
Furthermore, upon the completion of our review, we learned that the Vice Chairperson resigned
from the HHA Board in April 2000, and has already been replaced. As a result, we reiterate that
this complaint is not valid.


COMPLAINT NO. 10

The complainant alleges poor physical condition of HHA resident buildings i.e. broken
doorways, poor elevators and lighting.

OBSERVATION NO. 10

This complaint is considered valid. The complainant provided us with numerous photographs of
the poor physical condition of the HHA buildings. This was further supported by the 1999
Inspection Survey Report prepared by officials of the HHA Office of Risk Management. The
inspection results indicate that a significant number of units failed HUD’s minimum Housing
Quality Standards (HQS). Specifically, 82.26% of the total 1353 units failed the HQS inspection,
while only 15.08% of total units passed the inspection. The remaining 2.66% of the units were
classified as inconclusive (the inspector could not gain access to the units during the inspection -
e.g. tenant not home). Furthermore, in September 1999, HUD conducted Section 8 inspections
on a limited number of units, which yielded similar results with 70% of total units failing
inspections, 20% passing inspections, and 10% were inconclusive.

HHA management advised us that most of the units fail for trivial reasons (e.g. cracked light
switch etc.). Nevertheless, the current HHA Administration is now aggressively trying to upgrade
the physical condition of all project buildings. We learned that the HHA is planning to use
Comprehensive Grant Program funds to upgrade all common areas in the buildings. Funds are
being allotted to paint and plaster hallways, renovate laundry rooms, install a new fire alarm
system and to repair bathrooms (toilet, tubs and sinks). However, we remind the HHA that the
National Housing Act requires that tenants be provided with decent, safe and sanitary housing.
Therefore, until the unsightly conditions of the grounds, buildings and common areas are
repaired and until units are upgraded to meet HUD’s minimum HQS, we question whether the
HHA is providing suitable housing to all of its tenants.

AUDITEE COMMENTS

The auditee states that this complaint is an extremely vague, wide ranging, ambiguous allegation
and it is extremely difficult to respond to in any coherent fashion. According to the Auditee
Comments, when the new administration began at the HHA, both the Executive Director and the
then Board of Commissioners were faced with an appalling legacy of benign neglect that had
occurred under the prior 14+ year period. Efforts to prevent recapture of Comprehensive Grant



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Program (CGP) funding and implement a whole series of new contracts and substantial
development planning have been successful. The Auditee agrees with Observation No. 10 in
that the memorandum states that HHA is now aggressively trying to upgrade the physical
condition of buildings. However, the auditee is sensitive to the requirement that tenants be
provided with decent safe and sanitary housing. The Auditee Comments state that this is not
something that can be physically accomplished overnight. The progress has begun in a very
substantial fashion; however, an on-going process will require time, development of future CGP
planning and funds to address all the needs of all HHA buildings. The Auditee comments
mention that the HHA has recently undergone a project-wide site physical inspection, which
occurred during July 24-26, 2000, for which the HHA is currently awaiting the formal results.
The Auditee believes that this recent physical inspection will confirm HHA is on the right track
towards meeting HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and will satisfy the thrust of the
OIG’s Recommendation.

OIG EVALUATION OF AUDITEE COMMENTS

Our review noted that there has been significant progress under the current HHA Administration
to correct the mismanagement of CGP funds, which occurred under the prior HHA
Administration. However, our position is unchanged. Accordingly, until HHA improves the
conditions of the grounds, buildings and common areas, and until units are upgraded to meet
HUD’s minimum HQS, we question whether the HHA is providing suitable housing. We are in
agreement that an on-going process to improve physical conditions will require time, planning
and funds to address all the needs of HHA buildings; accordingly, we reiterate that a plan of
action needs to be developed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

We recommend that you instruct HHA to submit a workout plan showing the procedures it will
take to ensure that HHA buildings and apartment units meet HUD’s minimum HQS. Your office
should then periodically monitor the progress of the HHA.




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                        Appendix A
Auditee Comments




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     Appendix A




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     Appendix A




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     Appendix A




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     Appendix A




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                                                                                  Appendix B

Distribution
Executive Director, Hoboken Housing Authority, Hoboken, New Jersey (2)
U.S. Congressman, 13th District, New Jersey
Councilman, City of Hoboken, 4th Ward, Hoboken, New Jersey
Deputy Secretary, SD, Room 10100
Chief of Staff, S, Room 10000
Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary for Project Management, SD, Room 10100
(Acting) Assistant Secretary for Administration, S, Room 10110
Assistant Secretary for Congressional & Intergovernmental Relations, J, Room 10120
Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, S, Room 10132
Director of Scheduling and Advance, AL, Room 10158
Counselor to the Secretary, S, Room 10234
Deputy Chief of Staff, S, Room 10226
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, S, 10226
Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Policy, S, Room 10226
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, W, Room 10222
Special Assistant for Inter-Faith Community Outreach, S, 10222
Executive Officer for Administrative Operations and Management, S, Room 10220
Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Pine Ridge Project, W, Room 10216
General Counsel, C, Room 10214
Office of Deputy General Counsel, CB, Room 10220
Director, Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, O, 9th Floor
Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner, H, Room 9100
Office of Policy Development and Research, R, Room 8100
Inspector General, G, Room 8256
Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, D, Room 7100
Government National Mortgage Association, T, Room 6100
Assistant Secretary for Fair and Equal Housing Opportunity, E, Room 5100
Chief Procurement Officer, N, Room 5184
Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, P, Room 4100
Chief Information Officer, Q, Room 3152
Director, Office of Departmental Operations and Coordination, I, Room 2124
Chief Financial Officer, F, Room 2202
Director, Enforcement Center, V, 200 Portals Building, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW,
       Washington, DC 20024
Director, Real Estate Assessment Center, X, 1280 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 800,
       Washington, DC 20024
Director, Office of Multifamily Assistance Restructuring, Y, 4000 Portals Building,
       1280 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024

Secretary’s Representative, New York/New Jersey, 2AS (2)
Senior Community-Builder Coordinator, 2FS (2)


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                                                                                Appendix B

Director Office of Public Housing, 2FPH (2)
Assistant General Counsel, New York/New Jersey, 2AC
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Field Policy and Management, SDF, Room 7108
Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Finance, FF (Room 2202)
Director, Office of Budget, FO (Room 3270)
CFO, Mid-Atlantic Field Office, 3AFI (2)
Office of Public and Indian Housing, PF (Attn: Management Analyst, Room 5156)
Departmental Audit Liaison Officer, FM, Room 2206 (2)
Acquisitions Librarian, Library, AS (Room 8141)



Deputy Staff Director
Counsel Subcommittee on Criminal Justice
Drug Policy & Human Resources
B373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


The Honorable Fred Thompson
Chairman
Committee on Governmental Affairs
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
Ranking Member
Committee on Governmental Affairs
706 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Dan Burton
Chairman
Committee on Governmental Reform
2185 Rayburn Building
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515




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                                                       Appendix B

The Honorable Henry Waxman
Ranking Member
Committee on Governmental Reform
2204 Rayburn Building
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Subcommittee on General Oversight & Investigations
O’Neil House Office Building - Room 212
Washington, DC 20515
(Attention: Cindy Fogleman)


Director, Housing & Community Development Issue Area
US General Accounting Office
441 G Street, NW, Room 2474
Washington, DC 20548
(Attention: Judy England-Joseph)


Steve Redburn, Chief
Housing Branch
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW, Room 9226
New Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20503




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