- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City’s housing program for people with HIV and AIDS has been shoddily managed for years and needs to be overhauled, Comptroller Scott Stringer said in releasing an audit Thursday.

Stringer’s audit showed the city routinely failed to inspect housing sites and did not properly manage vendors. His study also found that the HIV/AIDS Services Administration continued to pay about $31,000 in housing benefits for 23 people who had died.

“We found a system that was not being effectively managed from top to bottom,” Stringer said. “It was putting New Yorkers at risk. There was no way to know if services were being made for the right person at the right time.”

New York City has contracts with more than 90 vendors to provide funding for more than 7,000 units of temporary and permanent housing for people with the disease or the virus that causes it.

Stringer has been an occasional critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, publicly sniping at some of City Hall’s policies and releasing scathing audits of pre-kindergarten facilities and homeless shelters.

But City Hall readily took part in Stringer’s unfavorable audit.

Steven Banks, a top de Blasio commissioner and head of the Human Resources Administration, was involved in the audit and vowed Thursday to use its findings as a starting point for overhauling HIV/AIDS Services. Banks’ office also is conducting a review of the embattled Department of Homeless Services.

Stringer said AIDS housing was an important enough issue to set aside political differences with the mayor, a fellow Democrat.

“It’s all hands on deck,” he said. “We all have to work collaboratively with our partners in government, our advocates and (improve) our relationships with state officials. We need to have everyone at the table.”


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