Mashpee Selectmen Will Review Housing Assistance Program

Town manager Joyce M. Mason and the Mashpee Board of Selectmen will receive information regarding the funding and operation of the Mashpee Housing Authority’s housing assistance program on Monday, June 30.

At its June 23 meeting, the selectmen passed a motion made by Andrew R. Gottlieb to request an audit of the program—which has been funded using $300,000 Community Preservation Act funds since 2012—after concerns were raised about its operation and funding.

Questions were initially raised about the program last August, when selectmen learned that the housing authority had been distributing funds as grants for residents and not loans.

However, the audit shared with selectmen by community preservation committee chairman Richard C. Halpern this week was described by Mr. Gottlieb as “utterly and completely unresponsive” to the questions raised.

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“It provides no information about the use or distribution of housing assistance money that the town made available and does nothing to answer questions about how money was used,” he said.

The audit covers a period from July 1, 2010, through September 30, 2012, roughly five months of the period for which the program has been funded, and contains descriptions of the housing authority’s ability to meet laws and regulations and management standards.

Although the audit meets state requirements, town manager Joyce M. Mason said, it fails to address her and the selectmen’s concerns regarding the use of Community Preservation Act funding.

Addressed by chairman Wayne E. Taylor with these concerns, Mr. Halpern agreed to provide the paperwork necessary to answer questions regarding the assistance money that was provided by the committee, the distribution of funds, and the criteria for residents to receive funding for the program.

Mr. Taylor expects to receive the information from Mr. Halpern on June 30, following which it may be reviewed by Ms. Mason and the selectmen.

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