Feds chastise city oversight of Community Development dollars

November letter had four negative finds about city’s policies and procedures

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MONDAY, June 20 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a chastising letter to the city of Lansing after a review of its policies and procedures for the use of Community Development and Block Grant dollars.

The Nov. 12, 2021, letter found four violations of federal grant oversight related to the use of the federal dollars  low income housing repair assistance. All four findings required the city to rectify the issues within no more than 30 days. 

“As a grant administrator, the City of Lansing regularly receives communication on many programs,” said Scott Bean, communications director for the Mayor’s Office. “After a review, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development found some areas of general process improvement in the administration of this program. The City accepted these findings and moved to successfully implement those changes at that time with no further input from HUD.”

HUD did not withdraw any grant dollars or fine the city for the findings. Nor did HUD find the city’s response inadequate in addressing the concerns, Bean said. 

The four findings were that the city failed:

 — to have a process to address contractors who improperly completed rehabilitation projects under the CBDG program;

 — to monitor low/moderate income rental housing to assure those using the housing meet income eligibilities;

 — to follow its own dispute resolution policy related to CBDG grant dollars and housing rehab;

— to have sufficiently aggressive contractor bidding process. 

The letter was the response to complaints to HUD by two unidentified individuals over how the city had addressed a failure by contractors to properly complete roofing projects. 

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