State audit finds construction delays at area public housing programs


ALBANY – The State Comptroller’s Office has found problems
with the administration of the public housing modernization program run
by New York State Homes and Community Renewal have led to years-long delays
in projects in Kingston, Greenburgh and Middletown.

Auditors found $300,000 in funds were approved for a Kingston project
in August 2002. The project included replacing stoops, handrails, sidewalks,
kitchens and bathrooms as well as boiler upgrades.

The first construction contract for $16,500 for electrical work was not
awarded until February 2011. Division of Housing and Community Renewal
officials said they were unable to award construction contracts sooner
because the amount of available funding was insufficient. However, the
original funding provided more than enough to cover the first construction
contract and by May 2005, $2.27 million in project funding was available.
In Greenburgh, $550,000 was approved in October 2000 for kitchen and bathroom
renovations, new sewer lines and sanitary sewer replacements.

An additional $1 million in funding became available in January 2002.
However, the project’s initial three construction contracts were
not awarded until July 2006. The project was completed in December 2009,
more than nine years after funding was first made available.

In Middletown, a project was completed within three years.