Decision to Deny New York City Authority Over Funds for the Homeless

OSI-00-11R: Published: Jun 1, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2000.

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Robert H. Hast
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed what Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official denied New York City the authority to administer over $60 million in homeless funding.

GAO noted that: (1) the HUD Deputy General Counsel Kevin Simpson advised GAO that during meetings in early December 1999, Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Cardell Cooper recommended that New York City be barred from administering any grants awarded to it under the Continuum of Care Program; (2) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Need Fred Karnas recommended that New York City be prohibited from serving as convenor for the Continuum of Care process for the fiscal year 2000 competition; (3) GAO was told that HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo subsequently made the decision to implement the recommended courses of action; (4) although GAO was informed that there is no decision memorandum, there is a December 20, 1999, legal memorandum from the General Counsel that addressed the above-described recommendations; and (5) the Deputy General Counsel advised GAO that: (a) in discussions, it was determined that the recommended actions were legally supportable; and (b) the General Counsel's memorandum finalized and memorialized the legal opinion.

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