February 11, 2005
HUD DENIES HOUSING AUTHORITY APPEAL, TROUBLED STATUS HOLDS
Federal agency sees brighter future for HACS residents with increased HUD guidance
SARASOTA - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designated the Housing Authority of the City of Sarasota (HACS) a troubled agency today, denying the agency's appeal request to reverse the designation. HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu issued the final score and performance report at a public meeting today with the HACS board of commissioners, staff and city and county officials at City Hall.
"After a thorough look at this housing authority, HUD has determined there is a lot of room for improvement in both the financial and physical condition of the agency," said Liu. "We are ready to work closely with the agency to give the residents of Sarasota's public housing the services they need and a housing authority that makes a community proud."
HUD denied HACS' appeal based on several factors, but specifically pointed to the housing authority's inability to produce documentation that illustrates its financial solvency. In addition, the physical condition of the public housing continued its decline during the HUD review period.
HUD first designated HACS a troubled housing authority in November 2004, when the housing authority scored a 51overall on HUD's Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), the assessment tool HUD uses to rate public housing authority performance. Housing authorities must score at least 60 points out of 100 to be designated standard or high performing. Scores below 60 result in the troubled designation. Housing authorities are scored on four performance indicators - financial, management, physical condition and resident satisfaction. Scores in these areas are combined to produce an overall score.
HACS submitted an appeal to HUD December 2004 to raise its overall score. HUD reviewed HACS' appeal, which resulted in a one-point increase in the agency's physical condition score. Despite the increase, HACS' remained a troubled housing agency with a PHAS overall score of 52.
After two comprehensive reviews of HACS' operations that began August 2004 and included on-site review of management operations, financial status, physical condition and resident satisfaction with living conditions, HUD found numerous problems with the overall condition and management of HACS. This resulted in its troubled designation.
In the coming weeks HUD will work with the housing authority management to develop a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between HUD and HACS. This MOA will include a timetable and clear steps HACS will take to raise its PHAS scores to remove the troubled designation.
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 as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.