UNCHECKED HOPE

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FYI: Contractors working on HOPE VI grants–remodeling dilapidated federal public housing facilities–had completed only 27 percent of the units slated for revitalization since 1993 at the end of last year. Of the $4.5 billion Congress has budgeted for work on 165 sites, $2.1 billion has been spent, but with “inconsistent” oversight, according to a General Accounting Office audit. GAO concluded that the majority of HOPE VI grantees have not met their contractual obligations, but that administrative confusion within HUD and the absence of a formal policy for enforcing agreements has crippled the agency’s ability to watch over its grants. [7/8/03]