The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is finally handing control of the Detroit Housing Commission back to local authorities, after nearly 10 years of federal control.
HUD placed the DHC into federal receivership in July 2005, because of “un-auditable financial records, the distressed physical condition of housing units, significant regulatory compliance deficiencies, and HOPE VI grants that were in default for lack of progress with redevelopment projects,” HUD said.
Now, due to the DHC demonstrating “consistent accountability and progress,” HUD relinquished control to local authorities, effective Mach 16, 2015.
HUD said that significant improvements have taken place at the DHC since 2005, including hiring an executive director, completing reductions in staffing levels to fit the “current asset management” of the DHC and increasing the occupancy rate of public housing units from 70% in 2005 to 97% currently.
HUD added that the DHC has received a full audit with an unqualified financial opinion since 2007, and said that since 2010, the DHC has met “significant financial and management requirements” to comply with HUD regulations.
In 2014, the DHC received a passing HUD inspection score for every public housing development for the first time in more than two decades, and achieved the designation of “Standard Performer” while improving their public housing assessment score of 84%, up from 24% in 2005, HUD said.
“Today represents an important milestone in Detroit’s road to recovery,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said. “After a decade of federal oversight, I am pleased to say that the once-troubled Detroit Housing Commission has made a complete turnaround and that HUD is handing back the keys to Mayor Mike Duggan and the agency’s Board of Commissioners. It’s because of our partnership with local leaders and public housing residents that the people of this great city once again have a housing commission that they can count on.”
Now that the DHC is back in local control, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appointed a five-member board of commissioners to oversee the DHC’s operations.
"The Detroit Housing Commission plays a critical role in making sure low-income Detroiters have access to quality, affordable housing,” Mayor Duggan said. “I'd like to thank our partners at HUD and the Housing Commission for their hard work in making this day possible. We look forward to building on the progress they already have made."
Secretary Castro also took to Twitter to celebrate the announcement, tweeting the following on Tuesday:
After a decade of federal oversight, @HUDgov has returned the Detroit Housing Commission to local control.— Julián Castro (@SecretaryCastro) March 31, 2015
Our partnership with local leaders has transformed the DHC and given Detroit's families a housing agency they can count on again.— Julián Castro (@SecretaryCastro) March 31, 2015
Investing in quality, affordable housing for Detroit communities begins with a well-managed local agency that's accountable to citizens.— Julián Castro (@SecretaryCastro) March 31, 2015
And @HUDgov will continue to partner with local leaders and residents to ensure that all Detroiters can share their city's progress.— Julián Castro (@SecretaryCastro) March 31, 2015