The Richland Housing Authority is planning on being out of business by the end of June. This decision to close is based on the financial difficulties that the Housing Authority is facing. These troubles came to head in September when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that the authority had misused the housing assistance money, there was also $500,000 in Section 8 assistance money that was unaccounted for. Section 8 gives rental assistance for 400 low-income families in Richland, West Richland, and Benton City; in November this money was yanked by the HUD. The authority had to transfer their clients to the Kennewick Housing Authority. The authority has also had to sell off assets to pay back debts; they have decided to sell several vehicles as well as three houses in Benton City and Rickland.
Along with the financial issues and selling of property, the board members of the Richland Housing Authority also decided to place the Executive Director, Al Watson, on administrative leave before asking him to resign. Watson refused to resign and demanded a settlement of full wages and benefits through October; the board denied this request due to lack of available funds and so decided to fire Watson. On March 10 Watson filed suit against the authority so the board authorized their attorney to enter into settlement talk with him.
Poster by Richland Realtors® Joe and Colleen LanePosted by Colleen Lane on