Many of our South Florida readers are probably familiar with the fact that the federal government “grants” funds to individual states and cities for a million different reasons. For instance, each state gets federal funds for construction and repairs on the nation’s interstate system, and those with maritime ports get funds for maintenance as well. However, some of our readers may not have known that Miami Beach gets a direct grant of funds from the federal government each year – not until recently anyways, when it was reported that a failure to keep track of the funds resulted in a penalty.
According to a recent article, of the $3 million in federal grants Miami Beach receives each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, approximately $500,000 will be taken back. This comes on the heels of indications that a leader of one of the city’s departments was fired over the ordeal.
Most of the funds are intended to help with residential real estate and residential development in the local area, including updating and renovating apartments and helping individuals and families buy homes. However, if the money is not earmarked for programs within a set amount of time there are consequences.
For now, it appears that Miami Beach will attempt to reverse the penalty in order to keep the funds were they were intended, but the appeals process is just beginning. There is no guarantee that this process will result in a favorable outcome for Miami Beach. So, in the short term at least, it appears that it will be the less prosperous residents in the area who will pay for the oversight on one official’s part.
Source: The Miami Herald, “Miami Beach could lose more than $500,000 for housing because it lost track of the money,” Christina Veiga, July 3, 2013