HUD takes over rudderless Lafayette housing authority
The Department of Housing and Urban Development took full control of the Housing Authority of the City of Lafayette in Louisiana to address weak accounting controls, the misuse of public funds and an apparent lack of leadership within the division's ranks, HUD said Thursday. HUD explained in a press release that HACL suffers from numerous financial deficiencies and continues to struggle on the leadership front since the resignation of its executive director five months ago. The federal agency said it will take full control of the organization's local management and even appointed HUD veteran Daniel Rodriguez Jr., a public housing program representative out of Houston, to manage day-to-day operations at HACL. "Good management is the cornerstone of running an effective organization," said HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra B. Henriquez. "The Lafayette Housing Authority currently lacks an executive director and an effective Board of Commissioners. This leaves HUD with no other choice but to assume control of its operations. We have an obligation to protect both the taxpayer and the residents who rely on the agency’s services." HACL handles the city's public housing programs and fell under suspicion by defaulting on its Public Housing Annual Contributions Contract, which outlines the guidelines local agencies must meet to comply with the government's public housing rules. Write to Kerri Panchuk.