Feds recommend GHURA scrap current board - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Feds recommend GHURA scrap current board

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recommended that the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Agency replace their board of directors. According to GHURA director Michael Duenas, HUD's request to remove his agency's board stems from an issue which surfaced in 2012 to include a conflict of interest in involving then legal counsel Mark Smith, who at the time was a landlord in the Section 8 Program.

Although it has been three years since the issue first arose, Duenas says in a report from the financial analyst of the Departmental Enforcement Center GHURA is now being instructed to discuss and resolve the issue. "And that's where we are we're basically at that discussion stage as to what the specific issues specific concerns of HUD and how we can resolve it to their satisfaction," said Duenas.

But according to Duenas, replacing the board is in fact up to Governor Eddie Calvo, as it is through his nomination and confirmation of the Guam Legislature that board members are appointed. He adds that it is also the governor that determines if there is cause to remove a board member, noting, "So that is something for the governor to decide whether or not there is any cause to ask that they be removed or submit their resignation."

So what would happen to GHURA's standing with HUD if the board of trustees is not replaced? "The way HUD has dealt with issues like this throughout the country is they go out of their way to make sure that the ramifications don't affect the families that are benefiting from the Section 8 Program or the Public Housing Program, or any of the grants that we receive," he said. He explained that HUD will work with GHURA to identify and implement corrective measures.

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