Homes and Community Renewal, Housing Finance Agency

 

Skip to Content

Login   Subscribe   Site Index   Contact Us   Google Translate™

NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Homes and Community Renewal
Office of Rent Administration
Administration of Tenant Complaints (Follow-Up)


Issued: June 20, 2018
Link to full audit report 2018-F-3
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine the extent of implementation of the four recommendations in our initial audit report, Administration of Tenant Complaints (Report 2013-S-72).

Background
Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) consists of all the State’s housing and community renewal agencies, including the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (Division), which is responsible for the development, supervision, and maintenance of affordable low- and moderate-income housing in New York State. The Division’s Office of Rent Administration (Office), the subject of this follow-up audit, is responsible for administering New York State’s rent laws. These laws are designed to provide decent, affordable housing for millions of New Yorkers, as well as afford owners an adequate return on investment while protecting tenants from unlawful rent increases, harassment, and illegal evictions. As the administrator of the laws and custodian of all rent regulation records, the Office is responsible for responding to owner and tenant applications, inquiries, and complaints regarding the nearly 1 million regulated apartments in the State. According to available records, for the two-year period ended December 31, 2017, the Office received 16,412 tenant complaints. We note that the number of complaints received by the Office has increased, as our initial audit found that there were 19,653 complaints for the three-year period ended December 31, 2012.

Our initial report, which was issued on December 11, 2014, examined whether the Office addressed tenant complaints in a timely manner. We found the Office had not established criteria for how long it should take to assign, address, or resolve tenant complaints. Our review of Office records determined that a significant number of tenant complaints may have been unresolved for anywhere between one to four years; taking an average time of 6.7 months just to assign an incoming complaint to an examiner. We found that Office officials had not performed any examiner staffing or productivity analysis to determine what the examiners’ workload should be and whether current staffing met Office needs. Also, we found the Office’s computerized database did not readily provide meaningful information for decision makers.

Key Finding

HCR has made some progress in addressing the issues identified in our prior report. Of that report’s four recommendations, three were partially implemented and one was not implemented.

Key Recommendation

Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up report to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this report.

Other Related Audit/Report of Interest

Office of Rent Administration: Administration of Tenant Complaints (2013-S-72)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Kenrick Sifontes
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