HUD returns Miami-Dade housing agency to local control – cites improved management and county cooperation
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HUD returns Miami-Dade housing agency to local control – cites improved management and county cooperation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 11, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — January 09, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today returned control of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) to the Miami-Dade County after 15 months in HUD possession. HUD cited accomplishments by the HUD oversight team and the County to complete critical tasks to improve the performance of MDHA.

“We are pleased to announce that the Miami-Dade Housing Agency is a more efficient institution than it was a little over a year ago when HUD took possession,” said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. “It was my intention to work cooperatively with Miami-Dade’s leadership and Congressional representation to resolve any matters that stood in the way of providing Miami families and taxpayers the best possible customer service.”

In a meeting today with County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and County Manager George Burgess, HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi signed documents acknowledging the return of possession to the County, noting HUD will continue to monitor progress as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the County and HUD negotiated last month.

In a revised settlement agreement executed in August 2008, HUD identified three priorities MDHA had to address before the agency would be returned. Over the past four months, HUD and the County focused on instituting financial and accounting controls; reorganization of its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program (Section 8); and jumpstarting the long-stalled redevelopment of the Scott-Carver public housing development.

HUD’s oversight team and Miami-Dade County officials worked together to accomplish the priorities and tasks agreed to in August. Through HUD-funded financial contract support, MDHA has financial books and records that conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and HUD requirements. In addition, the County and HUD worked together to outsource MDHA’s HCV program for two years; and MDHA has procured the services of a developer to begin the redevelopment of Scott-Carver. MDHA received a $35 million HUD HOPE VI grant in 1999 to redevelop the old public housing complex into a mixed-income community.

In the MOU, which was negotiated between HUD and the County and approved by the Board of Commissioners last month, MDHA will accomplish specific tasks and objectives with HUD providing oversight. The MOU, which is for a term of two years, includes tasks to continue progress in the redevelopment of Scott-Carver; to ensure proper and effective administration for HCV programs; and increase performance, capacity and efficiency of MDHA’s finance division.

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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