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City Safeguards Millions in Federal Funding for Seniors, Youth and Affordable Housing

Fixed all 2017 audit issues to protect HUD funding.

October 17, 2019

The City of Albuquerque has safeguarded millions of dollars in federal funding for seniors, youth and affordable housing. The City is back on track after a 2017 audit found 25 problems with the City’s previous management of federal grant funding. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) informed the City that all 25 audit findings from a 2017 HUD Office of Inspector General Audit Report on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) have been successfully addressed and officially closed by HUD.

“As a Mayor who was formerly State Auditor, righting the ship to protect this critical funding was a priority,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “When we came into office, we were faced with an audit that designated the City’s CDBG program as ‘high-risk,’ with a potential requirement to pay back millions in housing funds that our community relies on. We prioritized correcting these 25 issues from previous years and got the City back on track to protect this significant source of funding for our programs for seniors, youth and more affordable housing.”

Carol Pierce, Family and Community Services Director said, “The CDBG program continues to be a cornerstone for success, improving quality of life for seniors, young people, and other marginalized communities throughout Albuquerque. The success of all our efforts to bring the City into compliance with HUD regulations ensures that programs in Albuquerque will continue well into the future.”

The HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) awards CDBG funds to local government for the implementation of a variety of housing, community and economic development activities. During program year 2019, the City received $4.5 million to administer the CDBG program.

The audit looked at the department’s administration of that funding from program years 2013 - 2015. Among other things, it found that during that time the City had not consistently followed procurement requirements, complied with environmental review requirements, maintained required documentation, and other issues.

HUD’s primary objective for the CDBG program is the development of viable urban communities through the provision of decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities. CDBG projects include:

  • Senior Meals Program,
  • Emergency Motel Vouchers,
  • Early Childhood Development for Homeless Families through CLN Kids,
  • ADA sidewalk improvements,
  • Procurement of a Fire Engine for District 5, and
  • Albuquerque Housing Authority Rental Rehab.

FCS worked diligently with HUD to ensure that the shortcomings of the CDBG program were corrected, allowing the program to move forward successfully. These efforts included:

  • Development of a cross-departmental team to spearhead the effort, comprised of Family and Community Services department program staff, department and City fiscal staff, city grant experts, and the City Attorney’s office.
  • Filling vacant Community Development Division Manager and Fiscal Division Manager positions to enhance compliance with federal rules, regulations, and best practices.
  • Creating a Senior Principal Accountant position specifically for HUD compliance.
  • Participated in over 360 combined hours of HUD related training.
  • Developed a productive dialogue with the local HUD office.