New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Administration of the Article 8-A Loan Program


Issued: September 18, 2014
Link to full audit report 2013-N-4
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether the loans awarded by New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) under the Article 8-A Program are being used only for qualified projects and their intended purpose, and whether loan recipients are complying with the requirements of their loans with respect to correcting violations and making other needed repairs. The audit covers loans awarded during the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2012.

Background
HPD administers the Article 8-A Loan Program (Program), which provides low interest rate loans to owners of rent-regulated multiple dwellings in New York City. The Program’s goal is to improve living conditions and to preserve safe and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. HPD provided us with 27 projects for which a total of $43.9 million in loans had been awarded during the audit period. We selected nine of these projects for review, consisting of 942 dwelling units, with loans totaling $19.8 million.

Key Findings
We found that HPD does not verify the accuracy of building owner affidavits submitted to support their Program eligibility, and the reduced interest rates assigned to some of these owners are not supported. Over time, these interest rate reductions will cost the Program several millions of dollars in revenue. We also found that many significant building violations and agreed-upon repairs go unaddressed by owners, contrary to contractual requirements. These uncorrected conditions pose significant health and safety threats to building occupants. Lastly, one of the building owners appears to have received favorable treatment from HPD. Such treatment could result in less Program monies available for other Program-eligible building owners.

Key Recommendations

  • Require independent confirmation of owner affidavits to ensure that only eligible applicants receive loans.
  • Establish written procedures and guidelines for determining loan interest rates. Document the justification for any interest rate determinations below 3 percent.
  • Establish written guidelines for building inspections that would ensure timely project compliance with Voluntary Repair Agreements and Housing Repair and Maintenance Agreements.
  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the apparent preferential treatment afforded Quadrant, as detailed in our report.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
New York City Department of Buildings: Outstanding Violations (2010-N-5)


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