Breed Taps City Auditor to Restructure Troubled Housing Authority

The agency's alleged financial mismanagement threatened to interfere with housing subsidies for 14,000 residents.

Chief Audit Executive Tonia Lediju, right, will lead a transition team to restructure the San Francisco Housing Authority, which operates places like the Hunters View public housing project. (Photo by Mike Koozmin)/(Inside photo courtesy of Twitter)

Mayor London Breed has enlisted the city’s leading auditor to restructure the troubled housing authority, she announced Wednesday.

Since March, city government has handled duties of the San Francisco Housing Authority after the federal government alleged financial mismanagement. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said it was in “substantial default” of its obligations, which threatens the 14,000 San Franciscans who rely on subsidies to pay rent in the notoriously expensive city. 

Breed announced Wednesday that the city’s Chief Audit Executive, Tonia Lediju, would get the agency back on track with a transition team. 

“As the city takes on this important task of restructuring the Housing Authority, our focus is to ensure housing stability for the thousands of households who depend on subsidies and to complete our long-planned revitalization and transformation of Sunnydale and Potrero Hill as part of our HOPE SF initiative,” Breed said. “This restructuring is an opportunity to increase accountability, and ensure that we are providing quality public housing for our residents.”

HUD had to give the Housing Authority a $10 million bailout in 2018 after discovering a $30 budget shortfall. At the time, Supervisor Aaron Peskin ordered an audit of the agency now overseen by the city’s lead auditor. (A federal audit in 2013 called the agency “troubled.”)

Lediju, who has 20 years of experience in retooling organizations, has already assessed the Housing Authority’s financial structure, management, and staffing in 2017.

She now leads a transition team with representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Controller’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, HOPE SF, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the Department of Human Resources. Together, they’ll move the agency’s role as a direct source of housing vouchers to a manager of third-party contractors over the next year while regularly reporting to HUD and the city.

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