SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A scathing audit released Monday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst has exposed multiple problems within San Francisco Housing Authority.

Among the problems identified in the audit: 276 units sit empty while thousands are on a waiting list for public housing; vacant units deprived the agency of more than $6 million in lost revenue over the past 5 years; the agency fails to collect, on average, $1.5 million in rent every year; it has a broken procurement system; has failed to overhaul its maintenance procedures; and has a backlog of thousands of repair requests.

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“It is upsetting that there are 270-plus vacant units with 26,000 people on a wait list. You know, you have close to 3,000 requests for repairs that have been not responded to. The list goes on and on,” said supervisor David Campos, who requested the audit.

“You wouldn’t run your household this way. And there’s no reason to run a $200 million agency this way,” he added. “You know, I knew that things were bad. But I was surprised by how bad they are.”

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Campos said he would push for Housing Authority meetings to be moved to City Hall, where they can be televised so the public can see what’s going on.

“You’ve had an oversight body that for 17 months did not review financial statements. You have an agency that has a $200 million budget that hasn’t had a CFO since 2009. Basic maintenance issues that are not being addressed, they don’t have the personnel to do it. They don’t have the systems in place.”

Several weeks ago, executive director Henry Alvarez was fired. Acting director Barbara Smith has already implemented changes designed to improve the agency’s finances, including cutting positions and sending layoffs notices to 30 workers in an attempt to trim expenses and help balance the Housing Authority’s books.

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