Better Know a Vendor: (1) Development Directions

In this first of a series we will look in detail at those who are hired by Union County to provide outside services through check registry data (going back to 2004) and past countywatchers reporting to get a picture of how your tax money is being spent.

First up: Development Directions, LLC  which has received over $54 million from Union County since 2004.

Development Directions, LLC administers the Union County Housing Assistance Payment Program (Section 8 housing) and the Union County Home Improvement Program which spreads federal HUD money around but, in Union County anyway, not very transparently.

Looking over county audits going back to 2007 (earliest available online) among the recommendations section through 2012 there was this recurring item:

“We recommend that the County of Union monitor and document the submission of all audit reports and required matches of subrecipients and the financial activities of the consultant of the Housing Choice Voucher Program.”

On February 9, 2012 Resolution 2012-166 read:

Freeholder Daniel P. Sullivan: Authorizing the County manager to award a contract with Housing and Community Development Services, Inc, South Orange, New Jersey, for the purpose of administering the Housing Assistance Payments Program (HAPP), also known as Section 8 Program, for a contract period commencing on March 1, 2012 and ending on December 31, 2013.  The vendor will be reimbursed monthly based on a HUD formula in an amount not to exceed $600,000.

to which a landlord commented and received an explanation:

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On February 23, 2012 there were two add-on resolutions from the floor (page 8 of 9 here) reappointing Development Directions, LLC to run HAPP as well as UCHIP.

2014-178 FREEHOLDER BETTE JANE KOWALSKI: Authorizing the County Manager to award a contract to Development Directions LLC, Rahway, New Jersey, in the total amount not to exceed $456,232 for the period of February 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 to deliver Sandy Home Relief and related advocacy services to Union County residents 60 years of age or older and/or persons with disabilities.
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2015-671: Authorize the County Manager to exercise the options for the Development Directions contract for administration of the Union County Home Improvement Program and extend the contract through August 31, 2016 in an amount not to exceed $340,000.
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As you would expect there are plenty of campaign contributions to Union County freeholders and other Democrats.

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