The City of Miami Gardens is an entitlement recipient of Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for which the City received $971,071 in fiscal year 2016-2017 in which $20,000 is being utilized to assist eligible first-time homebuyers to purchase a home within the City of Miami Gardens. Furthermore, the City is also a recipient of State funds from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation under the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Program for which the City received $439,663 in fiscal year 2016-2017 in which $40,000 is being utilized to assist eligible first-time homebuyers to purchase a home with in the City of Miami Gardens. The City has received an application for purchase assistance from the following City employee who has been determined income eligible: Robert Smith, who works in the capacity of a Recreation Supervisor in the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Federal Government's Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR Section 570.611 states: "(b) Conflicts Prohibited. The general rule is that no person described in paragraph (c) of this section who exercise or have exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to the CDBG activities assisted under this part, or who are in a position to participate in a decision making process or gain inside information with regard to such activities, may obtain a financial interest or benefit from a CDBG-assisted activity or have a financial interest in any contract, or agreement with respect to a CDBG-assisted activity either for themselves or those with whom they have business or immediate family ties, during their tenure or one year thereafter . . ." "(c) Persons Covered. The conflict of interest provisions of paragraph (b) of this section apply to any person who is an employee, agent, consultant, officer, or elected official or appointed official of the participating jurisdiction, State recipient, or sub-recipients which are receiving funds under this part."
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may grant an exception to these provisions and allow Mr. Smith to receive funds for the purchase of a home, provided the City publicly disclose the nature of the potential conflict and an opinion from the City attorney that the interest for which we are seeking the exception is not in violation of State or Local law. The potential conflict in this case arises from the fact that the applicant is an employee of the City of Miami Gardens, and the City is a recipient of CDBG and SHIP funding. Ms. Sonja K. Dickens, serving as City Attorney, will review all documentation and issue a legal opinion regarding the potential conflict of interest. She will determine whether Mr. Smith’s application violates 24 CFR 570.611 or any City administrative policy.
Residents are encouraged to review the complete opinion and provide written comments. Copies of the opinion are available for review at the Department of Community Development, located at 18605 NW 27 Avenue, Suite 151, Miami Gardens, Florida 33056 during regular business hours, Monday to Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the 15-day period to commence on December 29, 2016 and end on January 13, 2017. Comments may be submitted to the Community Development Department by mail, in person, or by e-mail to [email protected] on or before the set deadline.
If you have any questions regarding this notice please feel free to contact Ms. Laurin Yoder, Community Development Director at the Department of Community Development (305) 622-8041.