DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A state agency said it will stop funding rental assistance efforts by a Davenport organization, citing numerous violations in tenant agreements including overpaying households receiving rental assistance and filing missing information.

Rita Eble, a home program analyst with the Iowa Finance Authority, told United Neighbors Inc. in a letter that its tenant-based rental assistance program wasn't in compliance with federal rules and regulations, The Quad-City Times (http://bit.ly/2mstiqn) reported.

The organization was awarded a nearly $502,600 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its rental assistance program in 2015, but the authority suspended payments to the program in October.

More than 100 families and individuals had received rental assistance from the organization.

Iowa Finance Authority spokeswoman Ashley Jared said her agency won't reinstate funding to United Neighbors for its current grant award under any circumstance.

United Neighbors executive director Evelyn Nelson sent an email to the finance authority with questions about compliance a little over a week after she took over the organization from former executive director Ida Johnson.

The email triggered a monitoring visit from Eble on Oct. 21, 2016. Payments were suspended based on her findings.

The organization was required to recertify potential tenants for assistance and submitted paperwork for more than 20 clients. Eble said "discrepancies were apparent" in requesting copies and randomly selecting five tenants for intense review.

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In four of the five cases reviewed, the authority found that households were overpaid in rental assistance funding ranging from $655 to nearly $6,900.

Nelson said the organization used emergency funds to give rental assistance to families affected by the payment suspension, but that it wasn't able to handle all of the authority's requirements due to budget constraints.

Nelson defended the organization's actions since she took over control, including the decision to terminate four employees with ties to the rental assistance problems.


Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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