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Concord Housing Authority Says Corrective Action Taken After Mismanagement

A state audit found the housing authority overcharged seniors and disabled residents.

The Concord Housing Authority's Peter Bulkeley Terrace. Credit: Concord Housing Authority
The Concord Housing Authority's Peter Bulkeley Terrace. Credit: Concord Housing Authority
The head of the Concord Housing Authority said corrective action has been taken after a state audit found several instances of financial mismanagement.

The audit found that the housing authority overcharged seniors and disabled residents who live in the Peter Bulkeley Terrace by $7,100. The housing authority reimbursed the residents, officials said.

The audit also found:

  • A $1 million dollar debt related to a loan from the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency was improperly disclosed to the state as a grant.
  • Incomplete inventories of the authority’s furniture and equipment and missing documentation related to tenant selection.
Judi Lincicum, executive director of the housing authority, issued the following statement:

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One of the issues brought to the attention of CHA staff was an error in rent calculation of the newly renovated Peter Bulkeley Terrace building. We took immediate and corrective action to rectify the minor error in rent calculation for our tenants. This building is unique in that elderly and disabled residents pay their own electricity. As a result, they pay a lower percentage of rent than at our other elderly developments where tenants pay 30% with all utilities included. The 2% difference in rent calculation was corrected while the auditing team was still conducting their audit and tenants were issued credits in December of 2013.

The CHA converted the Peter Bulkeley building that was previously in deplorable condition and was able to secure numerous funding sources (private funds, CPA, AHT, DHCD), over a three year period. Those varied funding sources came with comprehensive regulations; financial conditions and complex contingencies. The building was successfully converted from a 36 unit congregate facility that had suffered from years of chronic vacancy and underfunding into a beautiful 24 unit one bedroom apartment complex in downtown Concord for elders and disabled.

The $1,000,000 in funding from AHT was originally reported on our accounting balance sheet as a grant; and because of its nature and the unlikelihood that it would need to be repaid under the terms of the agreement it was recorded as a grant. Although we still feel that it was accounted for properly, and after discussions with the auditors and upon their request, we have since made the reclassification of the funds to a long-term loan on the books of account.

An audit is an important tool to determine what we do well and where we need to improve. We have corrected areas that need improvement and keep working towards our mission to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to our residents. We are proud of the work we do in providing these opportunities for our tenants.

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