By Amy Julia Harris.
Things were supposed to be on the up-and-up at the Richmond Housing Authority.
For years, the San Francisco Bay Area public housing agency had been stuck on the federal government’s list of the worst agencies in the nation for financial mismanagement and other bad behavior.
Federal officials put the Richmond Housing Authority on a strict improvement plan. In 2014, Richmond was removed from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s worst-of-the-worst list by promising to make a host of changes, including:
- Repaying the city of Richmond more than $6 million, using money that wasn’t meant to help public housing residents.
- Redirecting $2 million to its public housing program for previously misspending the money.
- Not accumulating any new debt.
Now federal authorities say housing officials lied when it came time to follow through on those promises.
In a new report, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general said housing officials falsified documents to federal officials that made it look like the agency had repaid the $2 million it owed. The report said the agency also misused funds to repay the city and was racking up more debt.