HUD takes over Highland Park Housing Commission programs, citing mismanagement, neglect
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that it has taken over the Highland Park Housing Commission programs, projects and assets.
The move aims "to reverse years of financial mismanagement, increase occupancy rates and improve physical conditions," the department said in a statement.
“The safety and health of HUD-assisted families is one of our highest priorities,” said Dominique Blom, general deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Public and Indian Housing.
“The decision for HUD to take possession of a public housing authority is exercised with great restraint out of respect for local leadership, and only when the law permits. We will work closely with the community, local leaders, and the residents to reach a positive outcome.”
Highland Park officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
HUD, which notified the housing commission of the move on April 29, said the decision follows "a decade of neglect, a high number of unit vacancies, poor physical condition of units and properties, un-auditable financials and records."
As of Monday, a HUD recovery administrator began serving as the board and is slated to handle fiduciary responsibilities, establishing internal controls, procurement actions and repositioning strategies; work with third-party management agent, Continental Management, to perform day-to-day operations for its public housing program; and assess options to reposition HPHC’s public housing.
"The completion of the Recovery Agreement/Recovery Action Plan will serve as the platform for improved service delivery to residents towards the ultimate goal of ensuring decent and safe housing for HPHC families," HUD said Tuesday.