Feds raise the alarm on how millions of taxpayer dollars were spent by San Antonio under a housing grant: “The city did not understand the program rules”


San Antonio officials failed to properly administer $1.1 million in taxpayer cash provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of many problems a federal audit found.

City officials failed in areas including program monitoring, cost eligibility, and affordability requirements, the report said.

“This condition occurred because the City did not understand the program rules,” auditors ruled.

From the audit:

“As a result, it could not support more than $1.1 million in program expenditures, including more than $1 million that it used to acquire, renovate, and resell residential properties without the required affordability provisions... The City also paid more than $2.5 million for renovation contracts that it could not show were competitively procured or reasonably priced.”

Findings included:

  • Officials did not ensure that home buyers were aware of affordability provisions.
  • Official did not ensure developers didn’t receive undue enrichment from development contracts.
  • And they didn’t take steps to monitor another $2.5 million in renovation contracts at two housing developments.

HUD’s Office of Inspector General reviewed a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant that was part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. That law distributed about $3.92 billion to redevelop abandoned, foreclosed-upon and residential properties.

Auditors examined grant administration roughly covering the time span from Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2011.

The full audit and San Antonio officials’ response can be found here.

Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at@michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us onTwitterandScribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of 'San Antonio city limit' by flickr user JimmyWayne, used via a Creative Commons license.