Mayor Mike Purzycki Re-Issues 2017 Wilmington Housing Partnership Audit and Directs Additional Audits for 2018 and 2019
He says the facts regarding the previous management and decline of the WHP help to counter irresponsible allegations
Mayor Mike Purzycki said today that too many irresponsible allegations are being made regarding the financial decline of the Wilmington Housing Partnership. He said the constant suggestion that there were financial irregularities, in view of facts to the contrary, have the effect of damaging the public’s confidence in City government. The Mayor is encouraging Council Members to read the WHP’s 2017 certified audit, which shows that there were no funds expended from the JP Morgan Chase loan after 2016 because the loan was fully drawn down by September of that year.
The Mayor said because facts matter when it comes to piecing together the previous management history and subsequent decline of the Wilmington Housing Partnership (WHP), he is suggesting that the 2017 WHP audit be reviewed by Council Members and others casting doubts. Mayor Purzycki also announced today that he has ordered additional WHP audits for calendar years 2018 and 2019 to get a more complete look at the WHP’s financial history.
“With each successive piece of information we review, it becomes clearer that the WHP’s lengthy and important mission to preserve and strengthen City neighborhoods was unfortunately compromised by mistakes and misjudgments, and not, as others have insinuated, by any unlawful actions,” said Mayor Purzycki. “While the 2017 Audit shows no financial or management irregularities, it is my hope that the results of the 2018 and 2019 audits will indicate the same.”
Mayor Purzycki said he is proud of his Administration’s decision in 2018 to salvage two WHP affordable housing projects and to repay a $3.4 million loan which the City became responsible for more than a decade ago. “I came into office four months after the WHP had exhausted the JP Morgan Chase loan,” said the Mayor. “We inherited a failing agency and took reasonable action to preserve two neighborhood projects. But today, there are those for whom politics is more important than facts.
Mayor Purzycki said the 2017 audit indicates that the majority of WHP funding was being invested in properties, including interest paid on loans. The final page of the audit details the WHP administrative costs which totaled $579,896 out of a $1.2 million operating budget and $2.9 million in capital expenditures. The Mayor said the financial performance of the WHP from 2007 through 2017 shows a predictable pattern of operating at a loss while its operations were being subsidized by grants from government and private contributors. The Mayor noted that this is the business model used by most affordable housing agencies in order to ensure that individuals and families can afford to purchase a home.
Mayor Purzycki said once the 2018 and 2019 audits are completed, the City expects to have a more complete accounting of the WHP’s financial activities. Still to be decided, said the Mayor, is the best course to follow regarding the completion of the Bennett Street housing complex and how to dispose of the property assets of the agency.