Although they declined to publicly state the reason for terminating my contract in the article, the Ogden Housing Authority's official position for the termination, is because I failed to correct deficiencies relating to exterior paint, in the time they had allotted me.
However, the real reason (which they disclosed to a number of my tenants), is because, "they were sick of the documentation I was posting about them, on this Blog"... and other online sites, showing that the Ogden Housing Authority has a history of making significant departures from HUD-Program Rules and Requirements in their dealings with Kier Property Management, which ultimately cost me a lot of money.
IN THE STANDARD EXAMINER NEWSPAPER ARTICLE,
AND THE FACTS BEHIND THOSE STATEMENTS
|Statements the Ogden Housing Authority made about the termination of my HUD contract|
It's hard to believe that HUD would terminate the assistance contract at one of the best managed and best kept properties in the city, over needing some extra time to do a little bit of paint repair. It would be easier to believe that the reason the Ogden Housing Authority terminated our assistance contract was because it was just too expensive and they were looking for a way out. It would be even easier to believe that they terminated my contract because of the documentation I have posted online about them... which is what they told my tenants.
The Ogden Housing Authority has been aware of the deteriorated paint issue at my building for years. In fact, they sat back and watched while the damage occurred, through the neglect of the building by my former management company. It's hard to imagine why the Ogden Housing Authority failed to cite the damage when it occurred, or why after 8-years, it suddenly became such a dire matter that they were compelled to terminate my contract rather than allow me the time I needed, to make the repairs when I was able to.
Ogden Housing's statement that they work closely with owners to correct deficiencies, couldn't be further from the truth and is in stark contrast to what the actual facts are.
I finally had to have my manager corner the OHA inspector when she came out to the building and hand deliver my letter personally. Perhaps my standards are too high, but when an agency you do business with, repeatedly fails to respond and you have to hand deliver your correspondence just to ensure it was received, I don't consider that to be, "working with an owner"
Because January temperatures in Utah are consistently below 50 degrees, I asked Ogden Housing for more time to complete the repairs, and they granted me a 60-day extension, which still placed the date for completion at a time of year when temperatures are largely below 50.
At the same time, the Ogden Housing Authority stopped paying the rent and utilities on three of my units, until the repairs were completed and forbid me from asking those tenants to move out. The loss of income from those units was $2,500 per month.
I contacted Anita Short at HUD, who in turn, contacted the Ogden Housing Authority, who lied and told HUD that they were not abating any of my units.
The Ogden Housing Authority also started preventing me from re-renting my vacant units and refused to send us new applicant referrals, causing three more units to stand vacant, at a loss of an additional $2,500 per month.
I contacted the Ogden Housing Authority and informed them that the money the building generated in rents each month, was my only source of income and that cutting my income off would make it impossible for me to make the repairs, but that didn't bother them in the least.
|Unaware, or couldn't be bothered?|
Initially, the Ogden Housing Authority lied and told HUD that they were not preventing me from renting my vacancies, but after providing HUD with copies of emails from the OHA showing that they were lying, HUD addressed the matter with them.
Weeks passed while I waited to hear back from HUD and after making a follow-up call, I received an email from Ogden Housing telling me that they had addressed my concerns with HUD, but forgot to let me know what the outcome was. (right)
HUD asked the Ogden Housing Authority to stop preventing me from re-renting my vacant units and to start sending us referrals again, for families that did not have pregnant women or children under 6 years of age in the household, so I could start generating some income again and make the repairs.
By the time the Ogden Housing Authority began sending us referrals again, 5-months had passed and I had lost over $25,000 in rents.
well over the amount needed to make the repairs.
Ogden Housing was undoubtedly annoyed with the fact that I had gone over their heads to HUD. and immediately after that resolution was reached and Ogden Housing could no longer prevent me from renting my vacant units, I received a City Code Enforcement violation in the mail, that included a hefty, weekly fine, until the damage was repaired. The Citation was issued in response to a complaint they had received. Not surprisingly, the complaint was about the same damage that the Ogden Housing Authority had stopped paying the rent over. It wasn't very difficult to figure out who filed that complaint.
The Ogden Housing Authority then required me to have a Lead Based Paint-Risk Assessment done, by a State certified inspector, to determine if lead based paint was present. The inspection was costly and served no other purpose than to cause me additional expense, since the Ogden Housing Authority had already made a determination weeks earlier, that the building had lead paint.
no idea what a lead based paint risk assessment was, or why their firm appeared on the EPA's list.
Because I was having difficulty finding an inspector, and the time I was allotted to have the inspection completed was nearing an end, the Ogden Housing Authority suggested that I let them help me find an inspector, and they quickly secured one for me.
The findings of the inspection were questionable at best, with the inspector stating that most often, when a positive result was obtained, he would re-test the same area just a few inches away and obtain a negative reading. When I questioned the inspector's qualifications and the accuracy of the testing materials, the inspector quickly sent a revised report to me... then another... and another.
In total, I received 3-revised inspection reports, each one different from the last. The most suspect of his findings, were the positive readings the inspector obtained from the back stairwell railings.
Most suspect of all, is the fact that when I asked the inspector how much his firm would charge to do the work he recommended in his inspection report, he told me that his company doesn't do that kind of work.
The damage to the paint occured under the former management company's watch, sometime between 2005 and 2009. The damage is no worse today, than it was in 2009 when I took over the management, which says that for at least the last 5-years, the Ogden Housing Authority had no problem with allowing tenants to live in the building, yet suddenly repairing the damage became so dire, that they felt compelled to terminate my contract and displace tenants who have been living in the building for as long as 30 years, rather than allow me a few more months to make the repairs when I was financially able to?
Because my finances at the time prevented me from being able to make the repairs and The Ogden Housing Authority would not compromise on time, they asked HUD for some guidance. HUD referred me to some programs, designed to help property owners with the cost of repairs, through low interest loans and grants, but after spending several weeks gathering the required documentation and submitting the applications, I found out that one program only offers tax credits instead of real time financing, and the other program was closed.
was the Ogden Housing Authority, who cut $40,000 off their annual budget while still housing the same number of people.
On the day my contract terminated and the Ogden Housing Authority stopped paying the rent and utilities, there were still 5-families living in the building who had not been able to find other housing and had no place to go. it was another month before everyone had found a place and moved out.
They can try to justify it, or cover it up, any way they want, but the fact is, that the Ogden Housing Authority made it very clear to my tenants, that if they did not accept their offer of a housing voucher and leave the Mod-Rehab Program, they would be dropped from the housing assistance program all together.
On January 31, 2015, the day my contract was terminated by the Ogden Housing Authority, there were still 5-families living in my building, who had not yet found other housing to move to. Evidently. the Ogden Housing Authority expected me to just kick them to the curb... just like they did.
By now, it should be fairly obvious to anyone reading this blog, that the Ogden Housing Authority's reason for terminating my contract was questionable at best, and was more likely in retaliation over the information I had posted on the internet about their corruption and misconduct, which led them to order me to correct deficiencies that had previously existed for as many as 9-years, and do everything in their power to cut off my income, to ensure that I could not comply with their orders, so they could terminate my contract.