HUD No. 07-154
October 19, 2007
HUD AND MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SETTLE LAWSUIT
HUD takes possession of housing agency, appoints senior public housing specialist to manage operations
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Miami-Dade County have reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit the County filed to block HUD from taking control of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA). This settlement allows HUD to take possession of the embattled housing agency on October 26.
HUD and the County reached an agreement that would give HUD control over all MDHA's activities, including its public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs.
"I'm pleased HUD and the County have been able to form a partnership that will best serve the residents of Miami-Dade and the greater community," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "HUD will work with the local officials to get the agency back on track to serve Miami's most vulnerable citizens."
HUD has appointed Donald J. "DJ" LaVoy, a HUD senior advisor in the Office of Public and Indian Housing, to be the oversight administrator who will be responsible for overseeing MDHA's operations. LaVoy has wide experience in assisting public housing authorities operate more efficiently, and previously headed HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center, which is responsible for reviewing all public housing authorities nationwide. He has also worked closely with housing authorities to assist them with their HOPE VI developments to ensure new mixed-income communities are completed in a timely manner.
Under the settlement agreement, HUD will return possession of MDHA to the County after the agency accomplishes specified tasks to improve operations at MDHA. Included in the principle tasks are:
- MDHA must ensure that its financial statements are accurate and
- MDHA puts in place effective financial controls and management systems.
HUD announced in August it would take control of MDHA due to a pattern of financial irresponsibility and mismanagement of its Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) and public housing programs. Miami-Dade County filed a lawsuit challenging HUD's decision, which this settlement resolved.
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 Internetw and espanol.hud.gov.