Sale of King's Court could be key solution for Housing Authority woes
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
King's Court, a moderate-income residential housing complex, could be the key to solving the $1 million shortfall faced by the troubled East Hartford Housing Authority. The housing authority’s board of commissioners met July 19 with the East Hartford Town Council to discuss efforts to turn the authority around.
Housing Authority attorney Peter Alexander told council members that the board has proposed the idea to the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which would have to agree to the deal. Goodwin College has expressed interest in the property, which is located near its campus.
Earlier this year, the federal Housing and Urban Development agency, which oversees local housing authorities like East Hartford, issued a report that called the agency “troubled,” after an audit discovered that the authority was $1 million in debt. After an agreement between parties and a public hearing, the complex could be sold next year, Alexander said.
Members of the public were present for the first time to hear discussions concerning the financial problems of the housing authority, and several town housing residents were also present.
Susan Kniep, former East Hartford mayor and a member of the Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations, submitted a letter to the council critiquing their handling of the housing authority's problems by its board of commissioners. The authority's “financial distress has resulted from long-term mismanagement on the part of the board of directors, who breached their fiduciary responsibility to the East Hartford Housing Authority,” it accused.
Kniep and others have called on the board of commissioners to resign and be replaced. Instead, the commissioners have undergone training in HUD-certified programs. A national search for a new executive director and director of finance is currently underway.