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Thursday, September 18, 2014
HUD backs off Housing Authority
(Page 2 of 3)
John Maher/Herald
HUD recounted its earlier statement, now saying it was OK that the only tenant representatives were from Old Mill Court.

Because Old Mill Court no longer receives federal funds, HUD insisted for months that at least one of the tenant representatives on the board come from Rockville Manor, the other facility the RVCHA maintains and the only one still funded by the federal agency. Both Coleman and Fielder-Boyd are residents of Old Mill Court, and up until now, HUD alleged that this disqualified either of the two from serving. But despite protests, HUD passed the buck on directing Kondor on how to handle the dismissal of the two representatives, instructing him to instead ask the state.

The state’s response was clear: Not only does state law not require the village housing authority to have tenant representatives, but there is no state-approved process for their removal, and the responsibility therefore lay on HUD to direct the authority toward the correct course of action.

“Without a more specific HUD directive as to the manner of compliance, RVCHA remains vulnerable to a claim that any response it chooses, violates state law and was not in accord with HUD’s preemptive authority,” the Albany letter read.

Kondor, Morrison and the board immediately followed up on the Albany letter with one of their own, notifying HUD of RVCHA compliance with a piece of federal code requiring them to offer residents of Rockville Manor the opportunity to run for a position as tenant representative on the board of commissioners. The letter also reiterated the authority’s awareness of their duty to repeat such a process every year, and requested exemption from the requirement.

They got it. But the fight appears far from over. Fielder-Boyd and her friend Katherine Garry, a Broadway resident, have challenged Kondor at every turn, alleging that the dismissal of the tenant representatives was illegal and racially motivated. Kondor, meanwhile, insists that he has been forthcoming with all information, and despite this, the pair’s explosive indictments of the board at its monthly meetings have become routine.

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