Richland City Council members on Tuesday learned the Richland Housing Authority is nearly ready to be dissolved if one last wrinkle can be smoothed.
Joe Schiessl, the city's planning and redevelopment manager, said most of the lingering issues are resolved or nearly resolved, with the exception of an outstanding debt to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The housing authority has been winding down business for more than two years, and in early 2010 asked the city council for permission to dissolve, after years of financial troubles and bad audits.
The housing authority's bookkeeping problems culminated in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development yanking the authority'sSection 8 housing voucher funding when a 2009 HUD report revealed the authority couldn't account for nearly $500,000 in Section 8 money.
The federal agency since has determined the housing authority owes a repayment of $190,000 and refused a request to relieve the debt, Schiessl said.
If the city dissolves the housing authority while the debt remains, the city could become liable.
But the city could make its own request to HUD not to pass the liability to the city, in which case the agency could dissolve, Schiessl said.