Lax inspections criticized

first_imgPALMDALE – Subsidized housing will come to the forefront Tuesday when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear a report from its housing authority on hundreds of delinquent inspections that Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich says leaves them open to fraud. At the request of Antonovich, the county’s housing authority will report on actions it is taking to address delinquent housing inspections that numbered 2,633 on Jan. 31. The delinquent inspections were among the reasons the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development listed the county program as “troubled.” “The supervisor has been directing the housing authority to do a better, more timely and higher-quality job of inspections,” said Antonovich aide Norm Hickling. “Fraud will not be tolerated.” In asking for the report, Antonovich pointed to a case of potential fraud in which an Antelope Valley home valued at $750,000 to $800,000 was being subsidized by the Section 8 program. Jackson said the agency has established a goal of having less than a 5 percent delinquency rate in its annual inspections by June 30. After hitting 34 percent as of July 1, the agency has since reduced the rate to 10 percent – which meets HUD standards. “Presently, our inspections are being completed two months in advance of the required timeframe of 12 months,” Jackson wrote. Jackson said the agency has a goal of conducting 95 percent of all annual re-examinations by June 30. On Oct. 1, there were 4,700 delinquent re-examinations – a number that has since been cut in half. A team was established to work exclusively on eliminating the delinquent re-examinations, Jackson wrote. In regard to the Antelope Valley property cited by Antonovich, federal regulations state rents must be determined on fair-market rents, not home value. The house in question has a monthly contract rent of $2,057, which is within the HUD allowable rent for a four-bedroom house of $2,256, Jackson wrote. The agency is holding monthly meetings with HUD staff to go over progress. HUD is expected to issue a report this spring on the agency. [email protected] (661) 267-5743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The supervisor’s office has been aware of this house for some time,” Hickling said. “Reports were coming back that there were things that needed to be investigated.” Hickling said he could not provide more details on the home, citing investigations “into many different areas.” The home is located on the Antelope Valley’s west side. “We can confirm there is an investigation going on with that particular house, but we can’t talk about specifics at this time,” said Tricia Tasto, spokeswoman for the housing authority. In an update provided to the supervisors in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, the executive director of the housing authority, Carlos Jackson, said the agency has made strides in addressing the issue. “I am confident that the major steps that we have undertaken will result in the housing authority becoming a satisfactory performer,” Jackson wrote to the board. last_img