Office of Mental Health

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Office of Mental Health
Sky Light Center Inc.: Supported Housing Program


Issued: May 05,2014
Link to full audit report 2012-S-37
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether Sky Light Center, Inc. (Sky Light) officials expended funds appropriately and provided the required services under its Supported Housing Program contract with the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). The audit covered the period from February 1, 2007 to March 31, 2013.

Background
OMH's Supported Housing Program (Program) provides rental assistance for people with mental illnesses. The Program is designed to enable these individuals to live more independently in a community setting and to reduce homelessness, institutionalization and the associated costs. OMH contracts with supported housing providers, such as Sky Light, to locate apartments and negotiate leases on behalf of clients, help the clients move into their apartments, and provide necessary related services. Sky Light is authorized to service a maximum of 90 clients at an annual cost of $1.3 million.

Key Findings

  • We identified $125,302 in unsupported and/or inappropriate personal service expenses charged to the Program. These charges included unsupported salary allocations and inappropriate overtime payments to management.
  • We also identified $295,321 in unsupported and/or inappropriate non-personal service expense items, including expenses associated with the unrelated program facilities, payments to a contractor to enhance his personal property and rental payments for unoccupied apartments.
  • Sky Light officials cannot account for over $75,000 in contingency funds that were to be used specifically for client housing emergencies. Officials reportedly used these monies to purchase client "wish list" items such as microwave ovens and televisions.
  • Sky Light officials did not make all required visits to client apartments. As a result of our own visits, we identified several potential safety issues, including the lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Key Recommendations

  • Follow up on the unsupported and/or inappropriate personal service and non-personal service expenses detailed in this report and recover Program overpayments as appropriate.
  • Work with Sky Light officials to reinforce the restrictions regarding the use of Program monies and contingency funds.
  • Determine whether any contingency funds were used for the personal benefit of Sky Light officials and take corrective action as appropriate.
  • Ensure that Sky Light supported housing staff periodically perform the required apartment visits and expeditiously resolve any identified health or safety issues.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Office for People With Developmental Disabilities: Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded - Options for People Through Services Program (2011-S-11)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236