Utica Housing Authority failed to fol...

Utica Housing Authority failed to follow policies

Posted in the Utica Forum

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#1 Dec 5, 2012
UTICA — A recent audit of the Utica Municipal Housing Authority and its subsidiary, Rebuild Mohawk Valley, found several violations of board and federal policies.
Rebuild Mohawk Valley technically is an independent affiliate of the housing authority but is financially dependent on and run by the housing authority.

The findings identified an improper $50,000 loan to Rebuild Mohawk Valley, missing bid files and a lack of oversight on several items, including homes involved in the HOPE VI program, a federal housing program overseen by Rebuild Mohawk Valley.

“There is no effective management and/or oversight of RMV activities,” the auditor stated three times in the Rebuild Mohawk Valley audit.

The housing authority board requested the audit, which was performed by an independent CPA, board President Dave Williams said.

“The prime factor was to find out what was going on between the two organizations,” Williams said.“We were being proactive.”

On one finding, the audit suggested the housing authority sever ties with Rebuild Mohawk Valley.

Instead, the housing authority will work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a budget and plan to determine how to make Rebuild Mohawk Valley more effective, according to the housing authority’s response.

Federal funds support the housing authority and Rebuild Mohawk Valley, a community housing development organization. A HUD spokesman could not be reached to discuss the audit findings.

The audit, which was completed in September, identified five issues with Rebuild Mohawk Valley and two with the housing authority.

ä The housing authority spent $57,558, which was $2,558 more than it was authorized to spend, to repurchase and renovate a HOPE VI home on Leah Street. According to the audit, no one at Rebuild Mohawk Valley knew how much the home had sold for, who to ask or why the house had not been resold.

ä Several contract files were missing bid abstracts and all four files pulled by the auditor were missing written notices to the winning bidder.

ä Change orders in excess of 15 percent were approved without cost analysis.

Several practices have changed since the audit was finished, Williams said.

“When we became aware of the problems, we stopped doing it,” he said.

Some of the issues, such as the change orders, are directly related to the type of work Rebuild Mohawk Valley does, said Taras Herbowy, executive director of Municipal Housing and president of the Rebuild Mohawk Valley board.

“Part of home preservation is, when you deal with these older homes, you don’t know what you’re going to run into,” he said.

One finding said Herbowy improperly loaned $50,000 to Rebuild Mohawk Valley without board approval. Herbowy disputed that allegation and said the money was recoverable through program income.

The problem is that Rebuild Mohawk Valley is only reimbursed for projects once they are completed, leaving it with a low cash flow at times, Herbowy said.

Williams declined to discuss how the board addressed that issue with Herbowy, citing personnel issues.

The audit also noted that Rebuild Mohawk Valley’s board only met three times in 2011.

Herbowy said the board met only when there was business that needed board action.

In his written responses to the audits’ findings, Herbowy noted the housing authority would change its policies to prevent those problems from happening again.

One of the issues was that a budget for proceeds from HOPE VI was never prepared. The money came into the housing authority with no real plan on how it should be spent.

“As soon as the housing authority had the funds in 2008, a budget should have been developed. There were a plethora of issues with HOPE VI,” Herbowy said.“We set up policies so these things don’t happen again.”
welcome to fuckedville ny

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#2 Dec 5, 2012
Another Roefaro bungle and debacle and still no one goes to jail. Why is Herbowy which Roefaro know was the biggest thieving corrupt crook on the hope VI project be given to rebuild mohawk valley which was a spin off of GRO-WEST. Wasn't the $170,000 given to JK HAGE suppose to have taken care of these problems.

As soon as the housing authority had the funds in 2008, a budget should have been developed. There were a plethora of issues with HOPE VI,” Herbowy said.“We set up policies so these things don’t happen again.”

There always going to set up policies so things won't happen again after they get caught and you wonder why Roefaro quit and got out of dodge especially after he rapes and looted all city accounts himself and created an 8 million dollar city debt, the highest in Utica's history. Now the OD and WKTV can ask Roefaro questions about his new formed entity Rebuild Mohawk Valley not on the weather.
Pat

AOL

#3 Dec 5, 2012
Get rid of Herbowy who is never there and was appointed by his friends the Julian boys.
Dave

AOL

#4 Dec 5, 2012
Herbowy has to go.He was appointed by his friends the Julian boys.He is never there.Residents cannot stand him.
welcome to fuckedville ny

United States

#5 Dec 5, 2012
This is Utica. Isn't incompetency a requirement.
Another Roefaro bungle and debacle and still no one goes to jail. Why is Herbowy which Roefaro know was the biggest thieving corrupt crook on the hope VI project be given to rebuild mohawk valley which was a spin off of GRO-WEST. Wasn't the $170,000 given to JK HAGE suppose to have taken care of these problems.

As soon as the housing authority had the funds in 2008, a budget should have been developed. There were a plethora of issues with HOPE VI,” Herbowy said.“We set up policies so these things don’t happen again.”

There always going to set up policies so things won't happen again after they get caught and you wonder why Roefaro quit and got out of dodge especially after he rapes and looted all city accounts himself and created an 8 million dollar city debt, the highest in Utica's history. Now the OD and WKTV can ask Roefaro questions about his new formed entity Rebuild Mohawk Valley not on the weather. Hope he's supporting his love child.
Peter

AOL

#6 Dec 5, 2012
Herbowy is never there.Besides his secretary is rude and obnoxious.

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