Richmond Housing Authority to get independent audit

Grand jury offers harsh critique on Richmond Housing Authority
Hacienda housing complex

Richmond will hire an independent investigator to audit its embattled public housing agency.

City Council voted in favor of the audit Tuesday in light of media reports revealing deplorable conditions at Richmond Housing Authority developments. The reports also raised allegations of mismanagement and misuse of funds within an agency that is $7 million in debt.

The independent audit approved Tuesday will scrutinize the Housing Authority’s system for responding to requests from tenants for repairs, among other processes. It will also evaluate whether a lack of federal funding plays a significant role in the public housing problems.

The audit will cost an estimated $200,000, funds which have yet to be identified.

The independent audit is separate from plans City Manager Bill Lindsay announced last month to address housing issues. Lindsay’s short term solutions include the immediate inspection units in all five of the Richmond Housing Authority’s developments. Those inspections are ongoing. His longterm plans include possibly tearing down the 6-story Hacienda, which was a focal point of the critical media reports, and renovating the city’s other complexes.

More details about the issue can be read in this West County Times article.

An earlier report in the Richmond Standard incorrectly stated the independent audit approved by City Council Tuesday was part of City Manager Bill Lindsay’s plan to address public housing problems. In fact, the independent probe was proposed separately by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.