Monday, January 30, 2012

DHCD responds to allegations regarding Peaceoholics project

Department of Housing and Community Development

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PRESS RELEASE                                                                  CONTACT:           Najuma Thorpe
January 30, 2012                                                                                               202-549-4886 (m)                              

Agency has asked OIG and OAG to investigate

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – A recent Washington Post report highlighted the troubled Peaceoholics project and the possibility of improper employee activities within the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  This pilot/demonstration project, which began under a prior administration, has faced numerous challenges and has been under scrutiny for some time.
DHCD Director John E. Hall released the statement below:
“The Department of Housing and Community Development began an internal investigation into the Peaceoholics project in the past several months.  In an abundance of caution, one DHCD employee has been terminated, and a second employee has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.  DHCD has already requested that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) investigate this matter further.  
Any improper behavior discovered by the OIG or OAG will result in the appropriate administrative action.  Additionally, the District is currently evaluating options to determine the best way to accomplish the primary goal of this project and the agency – the preservation of affordable housing – while at the same time safeguarding taxpayer dollars.”
About DHCD
The mission of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is to create and preserve opportunities for affordable housing and economic development and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia. DHCD fulfills its mission by providing gap financing; increasing first-time homeownership opportunities; providing funding to rehabilitate single-family and multi-family homes; supporting communities through neighborhood based activities; providing funding for homelessness prevention; addressing vacant and abandoned properties; and overseeing the administration of rental housing laws.

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