- Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017

DALLAS (AP) - Federal inspectors have found problems with how Dallas runs its housing department.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has reviewed housing records from 2011 to 2015 to see how the Dallas Homebuyer Assistance Program used federal money, The Dallas Morning News reported .

The newspaper obtained a letter the department sent to the city in April. It said the program didn’t properly vet families’ income levels, kept inaccurate records of the number of households the program helped and didn’t document property inspections.

The program has spent about $2 million to help an average of 130 families a year, city officials said.

The city’s housing department has struggled for decades to comply with federal rules and maintain documents about funding and expenses.

City Hall has halted the program as it works to fix the issues, leaving nearly 60 families that applied for assistance in limbo. The city must receive federal approval before continuing to assist families, and it many have to refund money to the department if the city can’t account for its errors.

The city is working with the department to restart the program, but it’s unclear when that will happen, said David Noguera, Dallas’ new housing director. The city has submitted a plan on how to fix the issues, but it’s waiting for federal approval, he said.

In the meantime, it can’t use several hundred thousand dollars meant for mortgage assistance, some of which is slated to expire in September, Noguera said.

“Our goal isn’t to punish the city,” a department spokeswoman said. “It’s to work with them to correct the problems.”


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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