Following our story on a recent audit of the Pasco Housing Authority, Board Chairman David Lambert called to say he disagreed with our coverage. The audit does say that the new board is doing better, but there are still issues with the troubled agency.
Although the 10 News Investigators talked with Lambert prior to our story and asked what he disagreed with in the audit he felt we should have gone into more detail about the more serious issues we thought the audit raised. He also said should have called HUD rather than to rely on the audit that agency sent to us.
Lambert says HUD is incorrect in saying that it will force the PHA to appoint a professional management firm to take over the running of the Dade Oaks Housing if conditions don't improve. According to Lambert, the federal government doesn't have the authority to do that to PHA properties without the board's permission.
He takes issue with the finding that Tenant Account Receivable and allowance for doubtful accounts are high, as well as some expenses which do not appear to be necessary and/or reasonable have been charged to the property.
While the audit says funds from Dade Oaks have been co-mingled with those of other properties and programs and must cease immediately, Lambert says they are talking about what was done in the past.
Additionally, Lambert says HUD was wrong when it said, "Our review identified costs that do not appear reasonable and necessary."
For example, it says the property paid $500.72 to Uniferst Corporation for laundry of uniforms for employees. Lambert says the Pasco Housing Authority buys the employees' uniforms but does not pay to have them laundered.
In HUD's clarification it states that its comments on the Pasco County Housing Authority ended on page 21 and the rest of the report was about other housing agencies. However, HUD never indicated anything of that nature in its original document released to us by the authority and only made that clear through its clarification on Monday.
READ: HUD clarifies statement on Pasco Housing Authority