HUD has ‘significant’ concerns about Dayton’s handling of federal funds

Published: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 11:19 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

Dayton loses $477k

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says it has “significant and continuing” concerns about Dayton’s ability to manage taxpayer dollars after the city forfeited nearly $477,000 in federal funding for not meeting statutory deadlines.

The Dayton Daily News in July broke the story that Dayton forfeited $476,624 in HOME dollars because the city did not have signed and executed agreements with two contractors by deadline.

RELATED: Dayton forced to give up $477k for missing deadline

HUD is working to get answers from the city about how much of its HOME funds are committed and more clarity on what the city has done to increase affordable housing under the program because its record keeping is not clear, said Brian Sullivan, a HUD spokesman.

“We are still working with the city to untangle what really is a confusing state of affairs with their HOME program,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, has sent two letters to the city this month demanding documents showing the city has signed and executed agreements for its HOME funds, as well as an action plan for how it intends to “address the mismanagement of HOME funds.”

RELATED: City of Dayton responds to Turner’s allegations HUD funds mismanaged

Turner claims the city is at risk of losing $4 million in federal funds if it does not comply with program requirements.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the city has been in touch with U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, who have helped the city work through the issues with HUD. Whaley said the city must and will resolve the issues.

“I think it’s pretty obvious we’ve had issues up on the sixth floor, and we’re working through those and continuing to work through those,” she said, referring to the department of planning and community development, which is located on the sixth floor of City Hall.

The director and executive secretary of the department resigned in June after being placed on administrative leave the previous month for reasons not made public.

RELATED: Two Dayton officials resign after being put on leave

In a statement last week, Dayton City Manager Shelley said the nearly $4 million Turner referenced has been committed thought the city’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 action plans.

Dayton received just less than $1.1 million in HOME dollars for fiscal year 2016.

The city did not have to repay HUD, and the affordable housing projects that did not meet the commitment deadlines were completed, Dickstein said.

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But Turner said HUD “believes the city does not adequately understand what they need to do to make certain they don’t lose money in the future.”

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Whaley said Turner has chosen to send letters and press releases instead of actually trying to help.

“I think he’s just doing his politics,” she said.

The HOME program sends money to communities across the nation to help create, renovate and expand affordable housing. Some uses include rental assistance, housing rehabilitation, assistance to homebuyers, and new construction of housing.

Amazon announces final 20 cities in the running for second headquarters

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:59 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:52 AM

Amazon Announces Cities Still In Consideration For Second Headquarters

Officials with technology giant Amazon on Thursday announced that the company has narrowed down its list of possible sites for its second headquarters to 20 metropolitan areas.

>> Read more trending news

The company said it got nearly 240 proposals from across the U.S. Canada and Mexico.

“All the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, with Amazon Public Policy. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Residents won’t have to vacate downtown Dayton apartments

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:26 PM

            The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A Montgomery County Common Pleas judge has granted a temporary restraining order that blocks the city of Dayton from forcing some tenants to move out of a downtown apartment building that has a malfunctioning heating system.

RELATED: Dayton issues vacate order for downtown apartment building

Last week, city of Dayton housing inspection officials issued an emergency vacate order to residents at the Newcom Building, located at 255 N. Main St., citing “unsafe” living conditions.

The residents were ordered to move out by 4 p.m. today if the building’s owners had not repaired its heating system, which was shut off because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

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But about an hour before today’s deadline, Judge Richard Skelton granted the building’s owner, Howard Heck, a temporary restraining order on the condition he purchase small heating units for each apartment and get the boiler repaired or replaced in about a month.

Skeleton said he or court officials would stop by the Newcom building routinely to check on the temperatures inside the apartment building to make sure it is not too cold and check on the progress to repair the heating system.

“I am going to be watching this very closely,” he said.

This afternoon, Judge Skeleton presided over a hearing about the Newcom Building Company’s request for a restraining order and permanent injunction against the city of Dayton division of housing inspection.

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The seven-story apartment building’s boiler was shut down this month after fire crews determined it was releasing high levels of carbon monoxide, which can cause deadly poisoning.

But that left residents without a safe way to heat their homes, and city inspectors told the building owner to fix the boiler or they would board up the structure by this afternoon.

Seven tenants have left the apartment building after the emergency order was issued, leaving about 18 other occupied units, officials said.

Skelton said the owner has 30 days to fix the boiler, but could maybe get a “reasonable” extension if things are going OK and the temperature inside is satisfactory.

4 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina; suspect in custody

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:30 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 7:26 AM

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WSOC-TV is following breaking news in York County, South Carolina, where officials said four law enforcement officers were shot overnight.

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Simone Biles latest gymnast to claim team doctor sexually abused her

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:53 PM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 8:06 PM

What You Need To Know About Larry Nassar

Simone Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics, went on social media Monday and became the latest gymnast to claim that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her.

>> Read more trending news

“I am one of the many survivors who was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles, 20, wrote on Twitter. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak these words out loud than it is now to put them on paper.”

Nassar, who spent more than 20 years working at Michigan State University and as a physician for USA Gymnastics, has admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, ESPN reported. 

In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of child pornography. He will be sentenced Tuesday for 10 state counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, ESPN reported. Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

Nassar has been accused by more than 140 women and girls of sexual misconduct. That includes Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, CNN reported.

“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive?’ ‘Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions,” Biles tweeted. “No. No, it was not my fault.

“No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG (USA Gymnastics), and others .”

In her tweet, Biles also called Nassar’s behavior “completely unacceptable, disgusting and abusive.”

Raisman offered her support to Biles in a tweet. Raisman accused Nassar of sexual abuse in November.

“I stand with you,” Raisman tweeted.