2082 total cash security payments totaling approximately $1.2 million issued in2008 and 2009.
DSS received back only $7,463.28
of $1.2 million issued in cash securitydeposits over a two year period. These were from landlords who voluntarilysent back security deposits.
The agency did not adequately keep track of a million dollars worth of taxpayermoney that was issued in cash securities to landlords
reviewed a random sample of 60 cases representing$41,271.28 of security deposits issued on behalf of recipients in need of shelterallowance. Staff also reviewed the cashier log and the associated cases for bothyears.
Out of the 60 security deposits issued, 53 were recoverable by the department,only 1 deposit was recovered.
DSS only recovered $353.00 of $30,351.28 in overpayments toclients/landlords for 2008 and 2009. This is approximately a 1.2% recoveryrate
. The remaining security deposits are not recoverable at this time due to theclients still residing in these locations.
Albany County DSS faces the potential for continued enormous financial lossunless significant changes to the policies and procedures to the shelter allowanceprogram are strengthened.
There is little or no oversight to the shelter allowance program.
DSS creates a climate of irresponsible behavior due to the lack of oversight andenforcement of cash security deposits for both clients and landlords.
By their own admission in the exit interview, DSS states that no prior securitydeposits are recoverable from landlords or clients due to the fact that
no postinspections were done on any of the rentals
. Albany County cannot recover anypast uncollected cash security deposits. DSS must conduct pre and postinspections to ensure recovery of taxpayer money used as security deposits.
The Department of Social Services is responsible for providing temporary, supportiveservices to those eligible families and individuals who seek shelter allowance. Shelterallowance can include those who require a cash security deposit to secure a newresidence. The private landlord will request rent and a security deposit as a guaranteebefore allowing a family or individual client to take possession of the dwelling. Underthe New York State Temporary Assistance Administrative Directive 93-ADM-10(ADM), there are three ways to guarantee security to the landlords under shelterallowance to help secure housing for those on Temporary Assistance (TA):Security can be guaranteed in the following ways: