The Office of Housing and Urban Development defies anyone to grasp exactly what is happening to block grants that disappear down Buffalo's black hole:
- "[T]he city’s approach to running the CDBG program is determined by a jury-rigged collection of draft memos, informal procedures, and guides generated within numerous individual departments."
- There are no standards to judge whether Buffalo is in compliance with federal regulations, which opens up a Pandora's Box of deficiencies and abuses.
- City employees not working on federal block grant projects are paid from block grant funds
- $392,000 is being demanded back from HUD because it went to pay for employee paid leave categories.
- While HUD sets the ceiling of salary expenditures from block grant funds at 20%, Buffalo is spending 50% of its block grants on employees.
- Buffalo uses block grant funds to demolish buildings indiscriminately.
- There is no strategy communicated on the use of funds to acquire and hold properties.
- $2.6 million went to pay down a loan on construction of high-end loft developments.
- $608,000 is stranded in accounts of loan-servicing neighborhood agencies that refuse to cooperate with HUD.