POUGHKEEPSIE – An audit report on Hudson River Housing, a Poughkeepsie-based contract agency of Dutchess County, found it complied with contracts for the period of 2017 through 2019.
Hudson River Housing (HRH) has been a partner and provider of services to the county for nearly 40 years.
While known most for its services related to homelessness and emergency shelter, HRH also provides low-income housing, care management, and support services for special populations including youth, individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness, chronic chemical dependency, and other disabling conditions.
The audit found that HRH complied with material provisions contained within their contracts and fiscal controls were adequate for the administration of the selected contracts. The audit also found that 100 percent of the contracts between HRH and the county were executed after the commencement of the respective contract term.
“Dutchess County relies on our agency partners to provide critical services throughout our communities,” said County Comptroller Robin Lois. “Delayed contract execution not only results in a legal risk to the county but poses a significant financial hardship on agencies that provide these essential services to the residents of Dutchess County. The issue of untimely contract execution has been raised by our office over the past few years as a systemic problem across all county departments that needs to be addressed.”
The county paid Hudson River Housing nearly $10 million in 2019 to administer state, federal and county programs to county residents. Of that amount, $2.87 million were county funds for 22 separate contracts overseen by four different county departments.
Although not a finding in the report, the comptroller also noted that during the audit it was often difficult to discern the impact or value produced by program investment. “As program dollars are limited, it is important for the county to understand what programs can best and most effectively serve the public good while providing most value for taxpayer investment – not just for HRH but for all contract agencies,” Lois said. “I recommend the county prioritize a more standardized performance-based metric program across departments for contract agencies.”