Federal auditors found the Bridgeport Housing Authority improperly set rental rates for more than 150 tenants, causing the authority to forego millions in revenue that it could have reinvested in its properties.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General, following up on a previous report that faulted the authority for offering employees “Cadillac” health insurance, said the authority, also known as Park City Communities, has not updated its flat rent since 2004.
Since the cost of housing has risen since 2004, the authority should have updated its flat rents, according to the report released last month.
Auditors said they couldn’t precisely estimate how much revenue the authority lost, but said it was at least “millions.”
In the most recent year, the authority missed out on about $600,000 because it undercharged 161 tenants an average of $300 per month.
According to the audit, new staff at the authority are implementing its recommendations, including updated flat rents.
The report also raised two issues related to unreported conflicts of interest.
Authority officials failed to disclose an apparent conflict of interest when they contracted with a director’s family member to perform work for the authority’s federal programs. After discussing the issue, the executive director took corrective action and terminated the contract.
The authority also had a longstanding contract with an individual who later became an elected official and thus had a HUD-defined conflict of interest. However, officials did not inform HUD or obtain the required approval. After discussing the issue, authority officials agreed to request the waiver, and HUD officials indicated that they were inclined to approve a waiver for this individual to run an after-school program.