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Comptroller Stringer audit reveals HRA inadequately reviewed two-thirds of homeless case files

A new report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the Human Resource Administration (HRA) failed to adequately review two-thirds of the city’s Homebase case files and speedily alert the city to deficiencies. 

The 53-million-per-year program is meant to help those facing homelessness secure housing. 

The HRA’s incomplete tracking of Homebase clients who returned to receive the program’s services and financial assistance after their cases closed and inaccurate program records prevent the city from accurately assessing the effectiveness of the program and its providers. HRA was also found to delay fiscal reviews of its Homebase contracts and failed to regain over $2.2 million in advance payments after one bundle of Homebase contracts ended.

“There’s a human cost to the City’s failures,” said Comptroller Stringer in a statement. “If we don’t keep track of the resources that are intended to help vulnerable New Yorkers, the very people we must lift up fall through the cracks.” The 2021 mayoral candidate added the city is “spending more money than ever before” to address the homelessness crisis. 

The city’s Homebase Program operates in 26 locations across all five boroughs and mostly serves households whose income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty line for families with children. The poverty level of a household of four is an annual income of $26,200. Homebase also helps adults who are at risk of facing homelessness who have an annual income 30 percent lower than the Area Median Income for adult households, a report from the comptroller’s office said. 

For the full report and recommendations visit comptroller.nyc.gov.

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech