Report: Spring Valley misused HUD funds

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According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the village of Spring Valley has been misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds.

The report states that more than 300 qualified residents are not being assisted by HUD?s Section 8 program; there is a 40 percent error rate in calculation of assistance, and over $500,000 in disallowed costs.

Following the release of the report, Spring Valley Mayor George Darden promised his constituents would clean up the HUD program and ensure that it benefits qualified low-income residents.

?This is a situation that we cannot tolerate,? he says.

The program that assists more than 500 Spring Valley families has been suspended while village officials work through the problems, which means that people like Laurie Seaton cannot receive vouchers for federal housing.

?I'm still living with my parents,? Seaton says. ?Because the waiting list is ridiculous. We have no kind of support for us.?

Mayor Darden says he disagrees with some of the HUD?s findings, but he says he will take action on all of them, including utilizing unused salaries to repay the $560,000 the federal agency is demanding back.

The village has 45 days to submit a corrective action plan to HUD or face further penalties. Mayor Darden vows to meet the deadline.

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