Auditor: Pa. homeless hurt by inept state oversight

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s auditor general says agencies that serve people with emergency housing needs are waiting up to 15 months for funding.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale put the blame on the state Department of Community and Economic Development. He said his audit found poor oversight of two federally funded programs.

One program, the Emergency Solutions Grant, distributes money for counties, cities and shelters to house victims of domestic abuse, persons with disabilities, and displaced families.

“Local agencies working to prevent homelessness should be able to rely on DCED for prompt and efficient distribution of federal funds or the people they serve could literally be left out in the cold,” DePasquale said. “People should not have to live on the street, in the cold when there is money available to help agencies provide services to them.”

The two programs receive about $20 million annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. DePasquale said the programs include administrative costs, so DCED should be able to hire the necessary staff.

His 75-page audit report released Wednesday includes 34 recommendations for improvement.

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